There’s a lot of stuff we spend money on without even realizing it! Frequent, small purchases seem like no big deal when you’re making them. At the end of the month, though, this can leave you with the feeling of …where the heck did all my money go?
1. Don’t Go To The Store If You Don’t Need Anything
Stop going to the store out of boredom!! Find something else to do in your free time! Start that hobby that you’ve been meaning to. Going to the store unnecessarily is a huge trigger for people to buy a lot of things that they don’t need.
Make sure that if you are going to the store, it’s because you need something. Make a list. Be sure you actually need those things, be really sure! You can even make a game out of it and challenge yourself to stick to the list and only the list.
2. Don’t Shop Online Unless You Need Something
Don’t even go on Amazon unless you need a specific item! Do not be snooping around on any clothing website unless you really need something! You’ll always be distracted by the current deals they have. This will ultimately lead to you buying whatever they have to offer. Because you will not be able to find this deal
I don’t have any experience doing this at ALL 😉
3. Eat Less Meat
When you’re out buying groceries, take a look at the meat prices! Meat is one of the most expensive grocery items you can buy. To cut down on meat consumption, you can just start with one meatless day a week and go from there! Get creative with your meals. Once you’re used to it, you hardly notice.
We go meatless at least 4 days week. If anyone knows my husband, they know that he is a major carnivore. Now he usually isn’t even peeved by eating meatless (other than a random breakdown he has about once a month “I NEED MEEEATTT”) … because we’ve gotten creative with our meatless meals and they’re always really delicious and satisfying!
Great, affordable staples we use in place of meat are brown rice and beans (thank you, Dave Ramsey), quinoa, oatmeal, eggs, peanut butter, and hummus. You can buy all of these things in bulk (we love Costco) and it winds up being even cheaper.
4. Make Your Coffee At Home
This is a huge one for some people!! If you buy a coffee at Starbucks (or another coffee shop) just four times per week, the math equals out to spending $86 per month and $1,000 per year.
That’s a lot of money. Make the effort to brew your coffee at home. Your wallet will thank you.
5. Workout At Home Instead Of The Gym
Lemme ask you a question… do you really use your gym membership? If you don’t use it at LEAST a few times a week, it’s got to go. Cut the membership and enjoy all Youtube has to offer! I really love Yoga With Adriene and Fitness Blender.
Even buying some weights or a mat for working out at home will save you a ton of money in the long run as opposed to having a gym membership that you don’t use. Even if you do use it, it’s hard to get a gym membership cheaper than $60/month! Shop around for a less expensive gym if you’re a frequent gym-goer.
6. Get Rid Of Cable
7. Skip The Salon
If you’re just getting your hair trimmed, go to a cheaper salon or do it yourself! I learned how to cut my husband’s hair via Youtube and it always turns out looking pretty great (if I do say so myself!). Also, learn how to dye your own hair at home or let your natural color show. You know you could save a huge amount of money skipping the salon.
8. Use Only Cash
If you go to the store, bring only cash. And leave your cards behind.
If you bring the amount of money you’re expecting to spend (with your list of course), you really can’t do any surprise spending. Without your cards you have no backup if you spend too much, and no one wants to be stuck at the register unable to pay.
This way you know your exact budget, you need to pay attention to what things cost, and it really makes you wager whether you truly need something or not. Check out my post Cash is King and see why we love and use cash for everything.
9. Stop Going Out To Eat So Much
Make going out to eat a super special occasion. For date night, try eating at home and then going to a coffee shop or a brewery for your date. This way you can still get out of the house and get that date feel, but it costs way less to buy only drinks rather than the whole meal!
Our favorite is to go to the brewery during the day with Scrabble and enjoy ourselves for hours. It costs us maybe $20 as opposed to $60 for a whole meal. And we actually end up spending more time there than we would a restaurant!
Even buying a nicer piece of fish or steaks that you make at home can be a lot cheaper than going out to eat! You get to make it exactly how you want, too.
10. Make Your Own Lunch For Work
Skip that nasty cafeteria food!! Alright… even if it’s good food, chances are you’re spending around $8 a day on your meal at work. That’s a ton of money compared to bringing leftovers or making a sandwich. It really starts to add up when you do it frequently!!
A bonus is that your food from home is probably much more healthy compared to what you’d buy at work.
11. Do Not Buy Brand New Furniture Or Decor
I basically say it all in my post How to Buy Furniture For a Fraction of the Cost. To sum it up, you can buy new or nearly-new furniture for WAY lower prices than at the store. Buying anything large for your home is going to be expensive as it is, but it’s worth being just a little patient and not buying brand new furniture or decor from the store. Buying it secondhand from another person or from a thrift store can save you a lot of money.
12. Thrift It If You Really Do Need Something
If you truly NEED a piece of clothing, say a dress for an upcoming wedding, thrift it! I have found so many amazing dressing and other clothing at thrift stores. You may have to visit a few stores at different times, but what you need is out there, I’m tellin ya. I have had some amazing dresses – I found one for $7 that was originally $120, brand new! This is a great way to look unique as well because there’s basically zero chance of you wearing a similar outfit as someone else.
13. Buy Groceries At The Cheaper Store
We all know Aldi is cheaper than Whole Foods. We also all know that Whole Foods is prettier and has the ridiculous farfetched items we want. At least start at Aldi (or whatever more affordable store you have near you) and then go to the Whole Foods type places if you want a specific item. This prevents you from doing all of your shopping at the extremely expensive place – the “well we’re here, we might as well get the rest of the groceries,” mentality.
Shop at the cheaper places first and you’ll cut down a lot of your grocery bill!
14. Buy More Affordable Beauty Products
I have found that when comparing beauty products, there are generally a lot more affordable options that work just as well if not better than the super expensive ones. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to have products that are extremely effective.
Take a look at my post about affordable beauty swaps and start trying some cheaper options! This can really cut your spending without losing out on great value.
15. Get Outside More
For fun, you don’t really need to spend a lot of money. Getting outside and enjoying the outdoors is generally free and you can find a ton of stuff to do! Hiking, biking, running, exploring, parks, frisbee, barbeque, yard games, volleyball, snowshoeing, skating, you name it!
Instead of going out or paying for an activity, suggest to your friends or significant other the great outdoors! Chances are it’ll make you happier getting outside and obviously, you can save a lot of money that way. There are a million things to do outside so try doing that, whether it be with friends or with a date.
You Can Cut Costs Without Sacrificing Too Much
You really can cut down on spending without even putting much effort in. Just be conscious of the little purchases you make, and you could easily save so much money just from these small changes!
Let me know in the comment section how you save money the simple way!