How to Save Money

Photograph by Tala Parker

Photograph by Tala Parker

We all spend more $ than we would like to, and it's mainly because we just don't think about the purchases we make. Here are ten tips to limit your spending and to save money. 

#1: Track Your Spending

How much money do you spend on groceries, restaurants, clothes, bills, etc? If you commonly use a debit or credit card pull up your bank statements and categorize your spending. If you use cash, every time you make a purchase pull up your notes app and jot down what you bought and how much you spent and after a month, tally up the list. I'm always shocked at my expenses and am inspired to spend less afterward. 

#2: Identify where you overspend 

Once you've tracked your spending, take a look at your categories. Notice anything? Maybe you spend over $100 a week on take-out, or maybe you buy new clothes every other week. Whatever it is, find out what you're overspending on. 

#3: create a goal and save for it

If you realize a goal, whether it's to buy a house or to go on a vacation to Australia, you will have a tangible reason to save rather than an abstract notion. This will help motivate you to save and keep you focused on your goal. 

#4: set up a savings account 

Set up a savings account and never take money from it unless it's for your goal. If you can, also set up direct deposits from your checking account to your savings account. 

#5: Unfollow and Unsubscribe

If you're constantly receiving notifications about sales or are being bombarded by images of new products on Instagram, of course you're going to want more and therefore buy more. Limiting the amount of ads I see has drastically lowered my need to shop. 

#6: Identify what you really need

Once you're desire to shop has lowered, take the time to write out a detailed list of what you really need. Be specific about what exactly it is you want and why you need it. Then wait a month before purchasing anything (unless it's groceries. Definitely don't starve). If you still feel you really need it, then go ahead and buy it. If not, cross it off. 

#7: turn down shopping invitations

When I go into a shopping mall or store I almost always come out with something new, regardless if I need it or not. Try to minimize your opportunities to buy something. If a friend invites you to go shopping with them, suggest a different activity to do, such as going to the botanical garden or having dinner at your house. 

#8: borrow or buy from friends

After step #4, ask around your friend and family group if they have the item that you need and if they're willing to let you borrow it or buy it. I'm surprised at the amount of times I've been able to borrow something from a friend. 

#9: Shop on sale

I know this goes against step #3, because you usually need to be following a brand to know when they have sales. Nonetheless, if you've decide that you need something after completing step #4 and the item is pricey, try to wait until a sale. Cautiously follow the brand (and only that brand) but remember what it is you really need and don't get distracted by their other products. If you're nearing towards autumn, wait until Black Friday and check for sales then. Just remember, don't get sucked in and end up buying the whole store! Stick to your list! I believe in you. 

#10: Learn how to cook & Discover activities to do that don't require $

One of the biggest money holes is takeout or restaurant food. If you can buy groceries and cook at home you'll save a lot of money. If eating out something you enjoy, try to limit it to once or twice a week. Being social is another big reason people spend money. Instead of meeting your friend at a coffee shop and buying an eight dollar coffee, make your own at home and meet them at a park instead. 

 

Do you have any tips I didn't mention on how to save money? Let me know in the comments, I'd love more recommendations.