On the list of hardest things to ever do, saving money is definitely on there. It requires a whole lot of discipline and consistency to even start seeing a change, and it's dangerously easy to reverse all your frugal efforts with just one purchase. But now's the time to finally get a hold of your debt and even start seeing some cash back in your account. Start saving now with these 12 tips!
1. Suggest alternate activities.
Being social can be expensive! But it also doesn't mean you have to cut yourself off from the outside world in order to save. Instead of dinner out, invite your friends over for a family potluck, or opt for a movie night in instead of hitting the theater.
2. Make a grocery list.
It's easy to get carried away at the store and start throwing random items into your cart. Having to toss uneaten/spoiled food is basically like pouring your money down the drain, not to mention it's extremely wasteful. Shop with a purpose and only allow yourself to buy items that can build full meals.
3. Walk and/or take public transportation more.
Resist the urge to call a Lyft or Uber when your destination is close enough or if you're not in any rush to get to point B. Remember that Lines and Pools can also really add up! When making plans, suggest places that are close to you or locations that are near transit lines.
4. Set alerts on apps.
5. Cook at home.
Think about your upcoming week and meal prep as far ahead as you can. This combined with a specific grocery list will help prevent you from eating out. We promise you'll notice a difference in your account statements from just a week of dining at home.
6. Eliminate temptations.
If you know that you don't have enough self-control to resist shopping at your favorite stores, restrict yourself from even browsing online or in stores. Another tip is to remove saved billing information from your frequent checkouts to make purchasing less easy.
7. Ask your credit card company about your options.
It never hurts to ask if it's possible to lower your interest rates or to explore balance transfers. Speak to someone from your credit card company to see if there are any ways to help you save.
8. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions.
Look through your statements to identify any monthly payments that are adding up. Negotiate a cheaper cable bundle, put a hold on your monthly boxes, or cancel memberships that you rarely use.
9. Set up a reward/penalization system for yourself.
Agree to treat yourself to one (reasonable) dinner out, for example, for sticking to your budget all month. But you also need to hold yourself accountable when you screw up. If you fail to follow your budget rules, force yourself to put a certain amount of money away as a penalty fee.
11. Recruit a budget buddy.
Everything is easier when you have someone to suffer through it with you. Ask one of your friends who's also looking to save some cash to join you on your financial journey. This will also help you both hold each other accountable for any slip-ups.
12. Ask yourself if you really need it.
You shouldn't be shopping to begin with, but apply this thinking to smaller purchases, too. Target is one of our favorite places, but it's also where you end up buying a whole lot more than you need. Sift through your basket before checking out, and take out items that you can hold off purchasing.