Saving money has never been one of my strong suits. I was constantly nagged by my parents to learn to save but it wasn’t until I had my first full time job of my own I realized exactly how valuable my own money felt. There are so many big pictures things to save up for now that I’m older — paying off student loans, buying my own place, the puppy I’ve always wanted. Now buying that extra pair of shoes at the mall, the extra-large coffee or bagel before work every day doesn’t seem so important.
I’ve slowly taught myself a few tricks over this past year to save up as much as I can without even changing my life around that much at all.
And here’s how I do it.
Collect all your change in a jar.
Most people waste or misplace their loose change. Once it’s given back to us at a store we shove it in our cup holder or at the bottom of our purse where it will essentially sit for the rest of eternity. But have you ever thought about how much money all of that small change could add up to? I bet not. Back in college I started collecting all of my change into a jar and at the end of each month or when I got too poor and desperate I would cash it in. The longer you save obviously the more it adds up, so try and hold off as long as you can and you’ll end up with a nice cash out.
Start bringing your lunch to work (or school) instead of eating out
There are so many cute cafes and restaurants near my work which makes it really tempting to order out every afternoon, but now I have limited myself to once a week (if that). Bringing my own food from home allows me to save at least those 10 extra dollars each day — that’s about $50 a week.
Wait for sales to buy from your favorite stores
I just started doing this recently and it has already saved me over a hundred dollars. Most stores have sales at least once (or probably more) a month, online too. Another great way to save at your favorite stores online is to join Groupon or the store mailing lists where there are constant coupons coming your way. Of course, if you see something you really want or need and it’s not on sale it doesn’t automatically mean you can’t buy it; it’s just about learning to be more sale conscious. Plus, the new stuff feels better when you got it on a good deal.
Only bring a certain amount of cash when you go out and leave the card at home
I’m the queen of thinking her bank account is endless once I have a few drinks, which is why taking out cash and limiting your spending really pays off, especially the next morning when you realize you didn’t rack up an $80 bar tab. This way you can choose (sober) how much money you want to/are able to spend that night. Also, this ensures that you won’t have any chance of losing your debit card after a blurry night at the bar.
As a frequent spender and self-proclaimed shopaholic these simple tips have saved me the extra cash recently, with very little effort. I barely even realized I was doing it until I pleasantly checked my bank account.
Happy (Safe) Spending!