Contrary to popular belief, there are small easy ways to save money steadily and efficiently. With a little will, restraint, and determination, it’s possible to transform pocket change into an annual “me-time” vacation, outfit splurge, fancy date night, or birthday bash. And when you are able to be responsible with bills and money-spending, it is completely alright to spend your hard-earned money on a frill item every once in a while.
Now, we’re not financial analysts, but we do believe in having a good time and we know sometimes it’s easier said than done. Here are our 5 tips for saving money to help you get on your way!
- The 10% Rule: Whether you have direct deposit or cash a check every month, set a rule to save 10% of every paycheck. Automatic transfers between your checking and savings account become your best friend when you realize how much money you’ve sneakily saved. For example, if you receive a $1,000 direct deposit bi-weekly, set an automatic transfer of $100 from your checking to savings account on that same bi-weekly schedule; an extra $200 put away each month adds up quickly!
- Brown Bag Lunches Are Cool: Stop eating out with the co-workers. Sometimes this can be challenging, and even leave you a bit hangry, but grabbing a quick $10 lunch every day adds up to an extra $50 you could be saving per week. Skip the lunches and pack your own from home; typically this allows you to be healthier, offer portion control, and saves you money on top of it.
- Pharmacies & Grocery Stores: We all know that groceries are expensive, but those quick $10 trips to CVS add up too. Most grocery and pharmacy stores offer card saving programs, coupons, and even gas points – take advantage of this. Additionally, healthier or bulk option grocery stores are sometimes worth the extra driving time for the deals; try Trader Joe’s and Costco to save a buck or two.
- Know How to Say No: Are those new booties calling your name? Does the kiddo need-to-have that 18th Star Wars figurine set? Do you have to go to the movies twice a month? While we don’t want to seem like we’re discouraging any and all things fun, it sometimes is necessary to cut out smaller expenses to reach the ultimate bigger expense goal long-term.
- Be One With Nature: You don’t have to spend money to have fun. Go on hikes, go to the beach, have family cooking days, or arts & crafts sessions – there are so many free and/or cheap activities to do without spending money. Getting creative, being with loved ones, and exploring your surroundings offers adventures as well. Besides, hiking up the paths at the town park is still an opportunity to prepare for your big Machu Picchu trek you’ll get to take now that you have all of this money saved!!