Back in May, someone sent in this topic for a Friday Five [which I covered here]. I loved it because it’s not something I talk too much about but was happy to. To me, savings and money management, in general, can be overwhelming and very personal, and I’m not sure it’s something discussed enough. Obviously there’s a lot more to saving and being financially secure than what I’m listing below, and I’m in NO way a financial professional, but I did want to share some personal tidbits. I keep things pretty basic as that works for me!
So whether this year has hit you hard or you’re simply wanting to become a better saver, I hope this list is helpful! Oh, and if you want to learn more, I’ve heard amazing things about this book!
Only buy what you love or need
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this year, it’s an appreciation for things, and that we can in fact go without lots of things we used to deem essential. I’ve been shopping less, in general, this year and with financial hits to many of us, it’s made me a lot more intentional with what I’m buying. I’ve truly only bought what I LOVED or felt I really needed this year, and it’s felt good. Moreover, the space that we have here in the UK compared to what I had in the States is incredibly different and it’s truly helped minimize overspending. For example: our refrigerator does not hold as much as mine did in the US so we don’t buy nearly as much as I did in the States and it’s led to less spending and less waste, as well. These are just two areas of life where I’ve done this but I know there are other examples.
Cancel unnecessary debits
Every month or two, as you’re going through your accounts [something I suggest in general!], play close attention to all the recurring charges you may have forgotten about. Things like subscription services, online workout memberships, home maintenance services, etc. and cancel anything that’s no longer serving you or no longer relevant. You can always add it back on when you’re in less of a budget crunch, too, if you’re on the fence.
Automatic transfer to savings each month
This is something I have done since college and it’s something I still do to this day. It’s always been an easy way to put away a set amount of money from your paycheck without you even realizing it was there in the first place, I suggest making the transfer date the same day you get paid. This way, you never actually see that ‘savings money’ and it only hits your checking account for less than a day. By automatically putting a percent in your savings account, you’re setting yourself up for success without it feeling like a monthly chore. The percentage will depend on the rest of your money situation but even a small amount is better than nothing! Then see if every 6 months or so, you can increase the amount.
Make coffee at home [most days]
A $5 latte every single day adds up so unless it’s truly your favorite thing in the world, I suggest making coffee at home. I like to treat myself to a barista drink 1x a week though because I definitely believe in balance!
Plan for something specific
I find it much more motivating to save for something specific, usually travel. John and I know we want to take some amazing trips in the next few years so we like to have different “buckets” in our savings accounts for those things. If you struggle to save without specific in mind, try naming different savings accounts: trip to Africa, college fund for the kids, new kitchen, new Bag … whatever motivates you!
Carry a reusable water bottle
Similar to coffee, grabbing an overpriced water bottle often adds up. Plus, it’s bad for the environment. I try to carry my reusable water bottle whenever I leave the house and always have an extra stashed in the car in case I forget.
Make your own sauces [and meals!]
John takes care of this for me but instead of buying spaghetti sauce or tzatziki dip, we just make it! It’s cheaper and a lot healthier for you, too. We do the same with food and try to eat 80% of our meals at home since it keeps costs down.
I’m sure y’all have some great tips to share so if you don’t mind, please leave them in the comments. I’m sure there’s a ton we could learn from one another! xo.