You don’t always have to make enormous changes or a massive overhaul in order to save more money. You can start saving more each week right away by adopting a few everyday habits and integrating small lifestyle changes. Here are a few simple tips to help you keep a little more in your bank account this month.
The next time you feel the urge to buy something at the mall, give yourself a waiting period. Even if it’s just two hours of window-shopping before you make your way back to the store where you first saw that cute shirt, that can make the difference between saving and spending $50 on something you don’t really want or need. For bigger purchases, plan in advance and take at least a week to decide and check out other, potentially cheaper options.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Nothing good happens after midnight?” That goes for drinking, eating, and, as it turns out, spending as well. A weekend out with friends and a few too many vodka sours, and you’re suddenly deciding it’s also time for yet another drink, and dessert, and a cab home instead of waiting for your friend to drive you, and, and, and. Set a spending curfew for yourself (except for planned-for necessities), so you’re not making as many impulsive decisions.
If there’s something you buy regularly each week, like a scone or a coffee, make it a goal this week to make one for yourself (or just buy one fewer than you normally would). Boom! You’ve just saved yourself $4.50. And if you do it twice, you’ve saved $9, and so on.
Big restaurant portions and multiple courses can drive up your weekly spending quite a bit. Go for smaller portions, like side dishes, salads, soups, or appetizers to split with friends, and you overall check will probably be lower as well. The portions are usually so generous that you won’t still be hungry at the end.
Those 1-click settings are killer when it comes to your savings account. It’s so tempting to buy with the click of a button that you can sometimes feel instant regret. Make it harder to buy new electronics when you’re bored and sitting around, and you might think twice about if you really need that next purchase.
Time your big purchases, like washers and dryers or mattresses, around annual sales. Check for holiday sales regularly, as well as special discounts. A little planning can go a long way in saving you a hefty percentage on your next big buy.
We all probably have at least one auto-subscription or two that we keep forgetting to cancel. It’s just eating away at your checking account for no reason. Hit “unsubscribe” on a few newsletters, or cancel that automated payment, and you’ve just automatically saved yourself some extra money each month.