As a twentysomething that is always on a mission to save, I’ve learnt a few things that might just help you spend less, too. It all started while I was at University where I needed to figure out how to budget and stretch my student loan – and fast. These aren’t revolutionary pieces of advice, but effective ways that easily fitted into my lifestyle and made a massive difference to my bank account!
1. Stop unnecessary buying!
First, I stopped buying stuff that in fact, I don’t really need, just want. Meaning, no more window-shopping, no more online browsing or filling up my little virtual basket. Get into the habit of asking yourself before any purchase “do I need this?” and be brutally honest -you might just find your attitude to shopping drastically changes.
2. Become a savvy spender
If you’re going to procrastinate on something, let it be buying. Instead of spending little and often, I wait until the seasons change to invest in maybe 2 or 3 key pieces to see me through to the next. Be extra savvy and scour the web to find the best price on what you want. This also works for dinners, holidays; it literally pays off to spend a bit more time hunting for a discount than paying full price. If you need help on saving money, these apps will save your day!
3. Plan like a pro
I love being organized, and maybe I was the only student with an Excel spreadsheet for my weekly budget, but it worked. Just very simply work out what goes in, what goes out and how much can you allow yourself. Plan your week even more by making a grocery list and deciding your meals in advance. Sounds obvious, but so many of us just blindly shop but I found planning the easiest way to spend less and save more.
4. Take out all the money you need
With my weekly allowance set, I would take out that certain amount on a Monday and only use that for the rest of the week. Using plastic doesn’t like real money and you’re more likely to overspend than if you’re handing over cold, hard cash. Be strict with yourself and you might even realize you need less than you thought!
5. Just put it away
$3 a week on coffee is $12 a month. Instead of wasting that money on something that I can easily do without, I put it away. It’s not a lot, but I believe small sacrifices soon add up. So, have a set amount of your salary automatically paid into a separate account – and don’t touch it! You won’t even notice it gone. And did you know, you can use apps to make money? Find out more here.
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Photo by Camille Valbusa