It is nearly impossible to go a single day without thinking of money. Whether it’s how you want to spend it, how much you have left, or how you’re going to pay your bills, it’s always on your mind.
However, it’s safe to assume that people don’t think about how they are going to save money quite as often. So here’s 5 simple, but overlooked ways you can save money in order to pay those bills and buy yourself something nice as well.
Grab yourself a small journey or notebook and write down every purchase you make. Whether it’s a car payment or a stick of gum from the grocery store, jot it down on a piece of paper. This will allow you to physically seen how you are spending your hard-earned money.
Include notes in the margins giving your rationale for why you had to spend money. Every week, perform a review of your spending and learn from your mistakes and successes. If you don’t care for using pencil and paper, look into one of these financial tracking apps for your smart device.
If you enjoy going out for a night on the town with friends, this suggestion may not be as simple for you but you can certainly adjust. Instead of spending money on transportation—fuel or ride-sharing—invite your friends over for a night in.
Have each friend bring a food item or beverage to share and be creative with how you spend your evening. The next day you’ll have less to record in your journal and more money left in your account. You’ll enjoy your time so much you’ll shun ever going out again and live the remainder of your life as a hermit!
Completely joking. Don’t do this. It’s not very healthy.
Yes, there are some store-brand products that are absolutely pitiful. You can certainly leave those on the shelf. But there are many comparable store-brand items that hold up pretty well against the higher-priced competition.
It’s probably more appropriate to suggest sacrificing some name-brand products rather than all of them. Which ones you chose is completely up to you. There are some people that just need their name-brand deli meets and craft beers while others won’t sleep in a bed with sheets less than an 800 thread count. But try to get used to more store-brand products. Your wallet will thank you.
So don’t literally sell all you have and buy a huge chunk of land where the deer and antelope play. Rather, grow your own food. Start a small garden in your back yard or grow some food along the window sill to save on buying fresh fruits and veggies.
Even if you’re only able to grow seasonings or herbs, start with something. Those spices and rubs can get mighty expensive. Growing your own garden may even give you an excuse to wear those overalls you secretly bought on Amazon. Because frankly, there’s no other occasion in which overalls should ever be worn.
Not judging. Just saying.
Seriously, going to the library is extremely cool mainly because everything is free. Want to watch a new movie and you can’t find it on a streaming service you are already paying for? Your library may just have it.
Want to get out of the house but still have work to do? Use the library’s free WiFi rather than spending money at the coffee shop. Need a new book to read but want to save money? Borrow a book from the library. Want to be labeled an old dinosaur by reading a new magazine? The library’s got plenty for you.
There are many other simple ways to save money that wasn’t included on this list. Things such as cooking for yourself and enjoying the leftovers, shopping for smaller items at the dollar store, signing up for cash-back rewards, and implementing the “30-day rule.”
You just need to be mindful of your income and expenses in real-time. You’ll see noticeable changes over time and be glad that you started saving when you did.
So slip on your store-brand overalls, grab a tiny tomato treat and head to the library to jot down next week’s budget. You know you want to.