I’ve been working two jobs for several months and finally turned in my two-weeks notice to my part-time job. I absolutely loved it there – my coworkers were phenomenal and I was always around cute clothes – but it was time to get some “me time” back into my life.
I am so so so happy to finally have weekends again. I get to figure out hobbies again. Work on writing. Maybe actually finish a book that I feel is decent enough to try to publish.
And while my life is now more open to going out and doing things with friends again, I need to focus on not spending as much money as I have. Here are a few simple ways I plan on cutting expenditures and putting my paychecks towards more important things.
- Not Eating Out: This is a big one – it’s so easy to go out and grab food for lunch or on the way home after a long day. But eating out can cost you some $$$. When I go out, my meals generally cost me $10 – $18 after tip. I’ve gotten so used to this pricing that I don’t even flinch anymore, but it really adds up! I’ve already started bringing my lunch to work and trying to eat in more and it’s been helping a lot.
- Ban Shopping Sprees: I’m obsessed with clothes, anyone can tell you that. But always buying the latest and greatest is only going to fill your closet more than you need and empty your wallet. Really consider if you need that new top or dress before whipping out your credit card. It might even be good to put it on hold and think it over a bit more – if you don’t really feel like going back for it, it is probably not for you. Focus on what you already have in your closet and experiment with trying new outfits by mixing things up.
- Be Smart When Grocery Shopping: Don’t buy things you know you aren’t going to eat or that you may not finish (maybe make a list before you head out). Not only will you be wasting food by getting it, you’ll be wasting money that could be put towards something better. And if you can get a generic brand – that’s great! Most of the time, there’s not really a difference in taste but there is a difference in pricing. Perhaps not by much – but it adds up, right?
- Hold Off on the AC: If you’re feeling a little warm in your home, try turning on a ceiling or floor fan before turning up the AC. Trust me, this can save a TON of money and is just as good (said to make a room feel 10 degrees cooler!). Additionally, changing the AC/heater when you are out can help as well so your unit isn’t working 24/7 and using a whole bunch of energy (as well as increasing your electric bill!).
- Save Water: I am all for conserving water (water conflict is a thing, y’all and not everyone has the ability to have water whenever they want). Turn your water off when you are brushing your teeth and take shorter showers. Use your laundry machines and dishwashers only when you have a full load in them.
- Carry Cash Instead: Try leaving your credit/debit cards at home and carrying cash on you instead. You’ll be more aware of what you’re spending and focus on not letting your cash go too quickly. I’ve done this before on a trip overseas and it really helped.
- Budget, Budget, Budget: I used to be really good at tracking my expenses, but have unfortunately slipped in the practice the past year. Tracking expenditures and revenue is so helpful, because you know exactly where your money is flowing and what you can do to stop it from leaving your account too quickly. Build a spreadsheet or use an app that helps with tracking this and making sure you are sticking to your budgets.
- Find Free Activities: If you are going to hang out with friends, find activities that are free (or maybe just don’t cost too much). Most likely, there are lots of free things to do in your city. Just in Austin, there are hiking trails, Barton Springs, Texas State Capitol, pools, Castle Hill, etc. Google and you can always find something. I’m also planning on focusing on some of my hobbies – writing my novel (one of the million ideas I have), blogging, practicing violin, exercising, and reading.
Saving money can be easy – but you definitely have to think about it and make sure you are following through with the plans you have set up for yourself.
I’ve only captured a few of the ways to save money, so I want to know – how do you like to save money and spend less? Please comment and share below!