Saving money is essential to a good healthy budget, and essential to living the life that you want to. Whether you make a lot of money every month, or a little, you need to be able to save for the future.
When my husband and I got married and he got his first real job, we thought we would be set for life. But the reality was that even though he made a good amount of money, we had no idea how to manage it, and we always felt broke.
We were lucky to get signed up for a Financial Peace University class through our church and discovered why living on a budget was so important.
While we’ve had our financial ups and downs through the years, I can firmly say that this class saved our budget!
Many years, and 5 kids later, it is more important now than ever that we stay on a great budget that works for us!
If you constantly feel broke, and can’t seem to save money, read on!
10 Simple Ways to Spend Less Money
1. Use Cash
You can read more about this in more depth in my post about using only cash.
Essentially though, it is just what it sounds like. You stop carrying those credit cards around, maybe even leave your debit card at home if you’re feeling really brave, and you only spend cash.
The idea is that if you don’t have the cash for the thing you want to buy…you don’t buy it.
Using cash really curbs those impulse buys, because you can see how much money you have left in your wallet and you think twice before spending it.
2. Plan Your Meals
I hate it when financial blogs give the advice of not eating out. We love to eat out and having someone tell me to only eat at home feels like a hurdle I can never jump over.
Instead, my advice is to plan your meals ahead of time (I like to plan for each week). Grab a piece of paper, list out the meals you want to have each day, and then shop for those items. If theres a day you plan to eat out, or get pizza, write it down!
Planning out your food really helps with not getting into the hunger cycle where you are hungry and you haven’t planned and then you grab taco bell and spend way too much money!
It’s OK to go to taco bell, but write it into your plan.
3. Evaluate your sbuscriptions
We all have lots of subscriptions that we have in our lives that don’t get used a lot. (I once had a BeachBody subscription that I literally didn’t use for 4 months and didn’t even realize I was being charged $32 per month for!)
There is a subscription box or package for everything these days and none of them are terribly expensive….except when added together they add up!
There is plenty of free content to match what you are looking for on YouTube.
4. Unsubscribe from Emails
I’ve had the same email address for like 15 + years. This means that I am subscribed to lots and lots of things that try to sell things to me on a daily basis. Most I can ignore, however, there are a few sites that usually rope my husband and I in, and we once ended up with a perfect butter pat dispenser for $12.
We didn’t need it, and it still sits in our drawer and collects dust.
Go through your email and unsubscribe from any and all retail websites that you are likely to buy something from.
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6. Lower your debt payments
Student loan payments and mortgages can be some of the most cumbersome debt that American’s have. Look into lowering your payments by refinancing to get a better interest rate. Refinancing can literally save you thousands over the life of the loan, as well as make the monthly cost more affordable.
Check out Credible for great rates on student loans.
7. Stop Using credit cards
Credit cards are one of the greatest scams of the american dream. they let you have now what you really can’t pay for right now. The problem is, that once you get the thing that you wanted so badly, the thrill goes away, and you aren’t as excited to pay more money for it than it is even worth!
Save for what you want rather than using credit to get it and you’ll likely never regret your purchases, and you be in much less debt.
8. Change up insurance companies/Policy
One of the easiest ways to lower your monthly expenses is to shop around for car and home insurance periodically. You will get better rates simply by being a new customer!
- Another thing to consider is to raise your deductible on your vehicles and house. This will decrease your monthly payments (however you should make sure to have enough in your savings should you need to pay out a deductible in the future.)
9. Consider what you can rent to others
Do you have an RV, or camper trailer? Do you have a free basement or an extra bedroom? Consider renting these spaces out for a little extra profit!
We recently bought a camper trailer for our family, and decided to rent it out when we were not using it! It’s worked out really well and put some money back into our pockets!
10. think about why you are spending money
This advice is a little off the main path so stick with me. A lot of times we overspend because we don’t have a good handle on where our priorities lie, or where our money is going each month- it’s purely accidental.
However spending money gives you a rush of endorphins and feels good in the moment and can become a habit or crutch like overeating or alcohol. If you find yourself buying lots of non necessities every month, it is time to ask yourself WHY?
- Maybe you feel bored
- Maybe you really love to buy new shoes
- Maybe you love to go out to eat
- Maybe you want to feel in control
Whatever your reason, addressing it will help you to understand, and curb your excessive spending.