10 Ways to Save Money Right Now
- If you aren’t already, track your spending
This is number one for a reason. I wish I had started doing this seriously years ago, it would have made such an impact on my current financial situation.
I have been tracking my spending over the last few years and the information I have gained about my habits, moods, and spending is truly eye opening.
I realize my appetite before my period isn’t limited to food, I also shop and can see that clearly because I track my spending. I can see what I spend for clothing, H&B, and groceries.
Tracking your spending also allows you to create a realistic budget and to see where you can cut back and where you can start saving.
Tracking your spending allows you to be grateful for all that you have and to more easily cut back without feeling restricted because you are seeing in black white just how you are frittering away your money.
- Re-adjust your budget
Budget is something newer to me. I couldn’t really budget until I had a firm grasp on my spending, and I couldn’t have a firm grasp on my spending until I started tracking it.
I would hear people say things like, my energy bill was high this month or I spent “X” on my groceries last month and I felt totally stupid because I had no idea of my own expenses.
I mean I paid those bills but I did not pay attention.
So now I track my spending and even if I don’t have total recall on every detail, I do have access to it when it is appropriate for me to review.
Which brings us back to budgeting. If you know you spent $1000 on clothing last year you can see that, and reduce that amount or if you find you spend $1000 per month on groceries you can work at reducing that number.
I’m finding that I have really good months and then I slip for a month but I’m definitely improving my spending simply by having a target to meet or hopefully even beat. Next year I will try to do even better.
So now when life sends you curveballs like a reduced income you need to reevaluate your current budget and reduce your expenses to match the income changes. Maybe now it’s time to remove the massages or coffees.
- Cancel memberships and subscriptions
If you are like me, you sometimes sign up for memberships and subscriptions thinking, “It’s only $7.99, or 49.99 for a whole year,” and then, next thing you know you have 4-6 subscriptions running that you no longer utilize.
If this is something you do as well, cancel them. Pull out your credit card statement and go down and call each place and cancel these subscriptions. Easy.
- Stop watching tv with advertising
I personally do not watch much tv, I’m more an occasional movie or binge watcher of recorded series, but my husband watches tv and I know he sees the commercials for Taco Bell and KFC and it makes him want the junk food. (I doubt he will admit to this, but I know it’s true.) Not only is this stuff bad for your waistline but it’s a waste of money too.
I also remember being around my friends children when they were young and hearing, “Mommy! I need a XYZ pony, or this fancy new toy car!”, these were things they saw on commercials while watching cartoons.
Have you ever paid attention the amount of advertising to children? It’s crazy.
So, if you can, avoid tv with advertising, because none of us are really immune to it.
- Unsubscribe from email marketing
Email marketing is a lot like tv advertising but it affects me more. If I ordered a top from JCrew and I forget to unsubscribe to the email marketing, I will get blasted with sales, new products and pictures of all the things I may want to buy.
If I don’t take action and unsubscribe immediately, I find myself deleting the first one or two, then I see something I like, then I get a sale promotion and then I’m going out to the website and looking, adding things to my cart…STOP IT!!
UNSUBSCRIBE FROM ALL OF IT NOW!!
- Remove your credit card information from online shopping sites, especially Amazon
Make it harder to make a purchase, put a few more pain in the butt steps in between you and that shopping cart full of impulse purchases.
If you buy household products on Amazon, give yourself a day each month to purchase those items and then cut yourself off the rest of the month.
You can even put things in your cart, but make yourself wait for a once a month purchase so you can see all these things in total. You will find that one thing every few days adds up to 20 or more things each month and you will more easily weed out the unnecessary.
- Cook and eat at home
Eating out is way more expensive than eating at home – period. Even if you don’t order drinks and desserts. Not to mention, you really don’t know what the quality of the food and preparation is at the restaurant either.
- Prep for meals and don’t waste food
Make out a weekly menu and shopping list. Buy only what is on your list and if you find that you cannot help but buy what you see while you are in the store, use the grocery pick up services. They are likely less expensive than your impulse shopping.
Be sure to note times when you will not be eating meals at home to avoid food waste. Make sure you set aside time to prep at least the veggies and things so you are less likely to waste them. I personally meal prep all my food on Sunday so I rarely waste anything anymore.
- Eat less meat
Meat is a large portion of most grocery bills especially if you are eating organic or free range products. You should definitely price shop and find the best places to attain these healthier versions for your family.
But the key is to begin treating meat not as the main part of every meal, but as a compliment.
Try to have more meat-free meals and begin increasing your vegetable portions and decreasing your meat portions, not only is this less expensive but it is also healthier and good for your waistline.
We get way more than enough protein in our diets; though some of the current diet trends would have us believe otherwise. Simply use healthy fats on veggies and you will be full and sated for hours.
- Learn to want what you already have
Finally, learn to love what you already have. We are RICH here in America, RICH – I SAY!! We have so much more than almost everyone else in the world.
Practice gratitude for all that you have. Look around you with fresh eyes and think about what life is like for others in poorer countries, or what life was like for your grandmother. See how lucky you are?
If you crave the new and novel, experiment with putting your old clothes together in new ways and use those eyeshadow colors you rarely go to and freshen up your routines. Do everything different like your work out routine and your meal plan.
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