One of my goals of 2019 was to become an expert on my personal finances. A lot of that has had to do with finding a budget that works for me, and sticking with it. I’ve read a lot of personal finance books so far this year, but the best one I’ve read so far is I Will Teach You to be Rich. It’s basically a game plan of how to start saving money from paying off any debt you may have to investing in a Roth IRA. If you’re a money beginner like me, I highly recommend giving it a read.
Money is one of our biggest stressors in life, and I know it’s something I strive to understand more and more each day. Saving money can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve got five small tips to help you save money starting today. Let’s get started!
1. Don’t shop just because there’s a sale.
This is my number one rule — just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy. Yes, you could be saving $40 off those shoes, or, you could save $100 by not buying something you don’t need in the first place. To avoid feeling like you have to shop because you know about a sale, I recommend unsubscribing from email lists from stores. This makes it easy to avoid temptation since it won’t always be at the top of your inbox. I also like to keep a list of things (specifically clothing) in my notes app that I know I want. If it’s not on the list, I don’t buy it, since I clearly never thought about it before seeing it online or in the store.
2. Buy travel-sized makeup.
This is a funny little trick, but I started buying travel-sized mascara, and it’s been a life-changer for me. It lasts just as long as a normal tube of mascara because, let’s face it, mascara lasts forever but we are supposed to replace it every three months for hygiene’s sake. By buying the travel-sized tube, I’m saving money, and I’m treating my eyes better. I also buy travel-sized primer since I use such a tiny amount of that anyways. It typically lasts me around 3 or 4 months as well. I do this because I like medium-end makeup (think Two Faced and Smashbox), so by opting for travel-sized products from brands like this that last me months, I’m saving money. I don’t recommend this hack with makeup you use frequently like concealor or foundation.
3. Buy what you can in bulk.
I’m talking about anything non-perishable. Don’t have a Costco membership? Me either, but my brother does! I also tend to stock up on things that don’t go bad (candles, hair scrunchies, etc) when I find them on sale. Again, these are things I need that I am buying, not just buying things because I’m getting a deal. Buying in bulk saves you from having to go to the store constantly, and it also typically saves you money since bulk items are discounted.
4. Skip the drinks.
This may be easier said than done, but a huge way I save money is by not buying drinks when I go out with friends. I’m not a huge drinker anyways, but knowing that I can save around $7 per drink just by skipping the extra nonessential calories is huge to me. I still hang out with my friends, I just grab water instead. My wallet and my overall health thank me.
5. Pick your battles.
You can’t win everything, so pick what you are and are not going to spend your money on. Personally, I know I can skip the drinks if I would rather spend that money on concert tickets. I also choose to spend $6 on coffee once a weekend to get more work done on a Sunday than I would if I stayed at home. We can’t all be perfect and only spend money on our needs, so pick what you want to spend your money on, and make that a priority. Also, if you go over budget, be kind to yourself. We all make mistakes. Try to implement more strategies the next go around to really stick to your spending limits.
How do you save money? Let me know in the comments below.