3 Lifestyle Changes that Will Save Money
By Aurora McCausland
More often than not you’ve probably sat and wondered how you could manage to save a little extra money every month. You don’t have the time nor the energy to start another job, and you don’t have any hobbies that you feel like you could monetize. But it would be nice if your wallet had a little more padding, your bank account just a little more cushioning, and your budget a little more wiggle room. The good news is, there are definitely ways that you can start saving and stop stressing about getting all of your bills paid on time.
Think about your lifestyle differently
This isn’t news to anyone. You came to this article hoping to find actual answers to help you save money. Saying “spend less money!” isn’t going to solve anything. Even with the strictest budgets, the most important thing that needs to happen, is that you need to think differently. Stop thinking about money in a negative way. Don’t say “I don’t have enough money”, because that’s true. Those negative thoughts are not helping you bring more money into your life! So the very first step to saving money, is to tell yourself that you are good at saving money. Changing your mindset is a really important part of trimming your budget and saving your money more effectively.
Look at your spending habits
There are some of us, who know that we have areas we spend too much money on. Some of us spend a lot of money mindlessly shopping online. Some of us eat out for dinner every night, even though we know there are groceries sitting in the fridge, just waiting to be eaten. But some of us, feel like we handle our money in a mature manner, and genuinely feel like there’s nowhere to trim your budget without feeling deprived or living far below our means.
Do you fall prey to the lure of “sales”, and spend money on things you don’t need, or that you could easily live without?
Do you buy name brand products, when you know that there are quality options for a fraction of the cost?
These are two of the biggest culprits of people that feel like they don’t spend extra money! You could cut your grocery bill down significantly if you were to buy store brand items instead. And if you see a sale, walk away! Always look for sales when you’re planning to buy something. But just because there’s a sale, doesn’t mean there’s something there that you need to buy. So don’t let yourself be pulled in by the enticing promise of quality items for less, because you really don’t need those things.
How new is your car?
Most people either buy brand new cars, or they buy very used and relatively old cars. Not a lot of people fall somewhere in the middle. But in this case, you really want to be right in the middle. Buying a brand new car can cause you to lose a lot of money. The value of a brand new car drops thousands of dollars when you drive it off the lot. Whereas, a car that’s a decade old will need a lot of maintenance over the course of just a few years, and you’ll end up pouring money into a junker car that you don’t love.
When you need to buy a new car, find a reputable used car dealership (many regular car dealerships also have a used car section that you can shop from). You can often find a car that’s less than two years old and is virtually new, but will cost you significantly less than a new car. This link has some handy tips for make cost-effective car-purchasing decisions.
If your money is just sitting in your checking account, chances are that you will end up spending it. Even if you didn’t intend to, and even if you don’t have a reason to spend that money. The smartest way to make sure that you don’t spend all of your money when you don’t need to, is to set up automatic payments from your checking account to your savings account.
This way, you don’t even have to think about it, and you’ll end up saving a lot of money this way. Start with 10% of every paycheck, automatically transferred into savings. If you don’t miss that portion of money after a few months, change it to 15% of your income. Find an amount that works for you, and passively save it every single month!
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