Why is it so difficult to determine our wants versus our needs?
Saving money is either a very easy task, or almost impossible to accomplish – there is NO in between. Old habits die hard, they say, but your inner compulsive shopper can prove them wrong by adapting these money-saving habits.
Quora user, Angela Recruiter, shares:
“When you are shopping and your heart leaps at the sight of xyz product, and you think it’s love at first sight…WAIT. Save it, bookmark it. Come back to it hours later, then a day later, then days later and gauge, each time, how or whether your level of “pumpity-pump” interests stays the same, declines, etc. Never buy on impulse. Sleep on it. Ask yourself: Do you think it’ll make you happy a month from its purchase? A few months? A year? Years?”
Here are some practices that will encourage you to think twice before whisking out that AmeX card.
7 Habits To Save More Money
1. Convince a Friend To Join In a Savings Challenge
Turn that friendly competition into a slightly competitive one. Better yet, find a friend who works in a bank or anywhere finance-related. This way, talking about monetary problems won’t seem awkward and you’ll always find solutions to save more money easily.
Don’t take the challenge too seriously or to the point where it ruins your friendship. Keep each other accountable and cheer each other on. At the end, you won’t only have more savings under your name, you’ve got yourself an open and more honest friendship.
“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” ― Oprah Winfrey
2. Track Your Spending
You don’t need a personal accountant or a banker to count every single penny in your account. Apps like EveryDollar, Goodbudget and Mint can help you keep track of your expenses without the hassle of encoding on an Excel file, the old-fashioned way.
Estimating to the nearest dollar usually does the job of keeping your finances in check. Keep those coins in a piggybank. It’ll come in handy someday. Set alarms and alerts so you don’t forget when bills are due.
“Never spend your money before you have it.” – Thomas Jefferson
3. Try To Pay In Cash Rather Than Credit
This habit can help you save more money in the long run. Be more mindful of your spending. Research states that we pay out a fifth MORE when using a credit card because it makes purchasing feel less “painful”.
Handing over a hundred dollar bill to the cashier makes you feel a lot more hesitant about your purchase than swiping your credit card somehow, doesn’t it? You don’t always have to succumb to the pressures of spending just to build a good credit score.
“A simple fact that is hard to learn is that the time to save money is when you have some.” —Joe Moore
4. Energy Efficient Routines
Save more money in your home by investing in energy-saving equipment. Splurging on those skylights will not only give you the best views of the evening sky and morning sun, it’ll cut back your energy bills by almost half, depending where it’s positioned in your home.
Rather than driving, take the bus on sunnier days. Take your bike out for a spin. Appreciate how good the wind feels in your face, compared to the air conditioner. You saved yourself (and Mother Earth) from consuming a few days’ worth of gasoline.
Turn off TV and lights a few hours earlier. You can even do away with your TV and cable. All you really need is Netflix and a stable internet connection nowadays.
“Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life: what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it.” —Timothy Ferriss
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Do-It-Yourself
Sometimes, the only difference between a well-known product and a generic one is just the name. People can’t care less about what toothpaste or shampoo you use. Save the extra cash for bigger, more important things instead.
Secondhand shopping is actually fun once you know where to look and how to pick out unique pieces for half the cost. Mix your “new” items with your old articles of clothing and you have yourself a fresh outfit. Thrifty is the new trendy. Creating something new out of something old never gets old.
Have repairs to do at home? Turn to Google for solutions first before calling for the help of professionals. Anyone can be a carpenter with the help of YouTube tutorials. Don’t believe me? A woman even built a home just by watching videos online.
6. Leisurely Lunches
Cooking in bulk ahead of time will help you save more money in plenty of aspects. One, there’s no longer any need to buy meals outside the office. There’s no time wasted falling in long lines and driving or walking to restaurants. Preparing your meals in advance compared to eating out can accumulate up to thousands in savings annually.
If you can’t go a day without your daily Starbucks fix, try easing out of it slowly. Spending $3 on a serving daily amounts to $90 a month – that’s $1080 a year. Get yourself a budget-friendly coffee maker and brew it at home instead. Then experiment with different flavors and styles at your own pace and price range.
7. Use Coupons
There’s nothing embarrassing about handing over cutouts of discount deals when you reach the counter. If you can get two – of anything – for the price of one, why deprive yourself? For more tech savvy shoppers, apps like Groupon offer paper-less couponing.
It’s a lot more embarrassing turning up short when it’s time to pay your monthly rent allowance.
The secret to save more money in general?
“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”—George Lorimer
Learning how to say “NO” may be difficult at first, since you wouldn’t want to be known as the one who always “flakes” on plans. However, if the treat or check is on them, by all means, go. They offered; it’d be rude of you to decline.
Stop wondering where you money is disappearing to. Those .99 cent apps and random “small treats” add up, too. There’s nothing bad about spoiling yourself every once in a while – but keep track.
Remind yourself that too much of a good thing can also be bad. Simply be happy with what you have. Living within your means is the easiest way to avoid monetary woes.