Hi everyone! I’m wishing you all a happy Thursday or just a happy day in general if you’re reading this at a later time! In today’s blog post, I wanted to give you all some insight on the different ways I’ve been budgeting, saving, and planning lately. Budgeting my money and planning for the future was never really my forte when I began making a steady income. So to begin this guide, I’d like to take you back to-day one. My very first real job!
I got my first job when I was 18 working at an amusement park selling glow sticks. You heard me, glow sticks. The cash flow was little to nothing but it was something and much more than anything my friends were making at the time. Each Friday my pay would roll in at a couple to a few hundred dollars. For someone who had just graduated high school, this was a lot of moola to be carrying around. Here’s the bad part, as soon as I received my paychecks I would immediately start spending. I’d buy whatever I wanted when I wanted it until I ran out and there was nothing left. The next week? I’d do it all over again without a penny saved.
To make a long back story short, I moved on from that job, went to college, worked my way up in a few positions, and now we’re here. Do you think things would have changed dramatically? The answer is no.
As I moved up roles in different companies, I began to make more money. But with more money came more responsibilities. Responsibilities and no doubt bills were always increasing. Just to name a few this includes my car payment, rent, utilities, phone bill, insurance, and so many others. Every raise, promotion, or shift in my career that happened I’d assume it meant I was somehow able to spend more. In reality, I was just tacking on and creating bigger issues for myself.
Fast forward through some boring details, I’m still not the best at saving money. However, I’m positive there are others out there who struggle the way I did/do on a weekly basis and are looking for some direction! So today, without further a due, I’d like to share my tips!
Below are just a few of my most used money-saving and budgeting hacks that always help me stay on track. Not to say I don’t drift off of it sometimes!
Pay The Bills ASAP
This is an important tip because it’s something I’m beginning to learn will allow me more financial freedom in the long run. Each time I get paid, I go through my finances and try to see which bills are manageable to get rid of that week. It’s the first thing I spend on and leaves me worry free for the remainder of time until my next pay cycle. It makes knowing how much I have that much easier!
Save At Least 10% Of Your Paycheck
It can sometimes be difficult to see the value in saving money when there are more luxurious things you’d rather see it go towards. I’ve found a happy medium in saving my money by automatically removing 10% each pay period from my checking into my savings. It’s not much but it’s something and leaves me with enough leftover to budget the rest of my expenses, wants, and needs.
Take Advantage Of Sales
A good rule of thumb when trying to save your money is buying sale items! You’d be surprised how many gems are hidden in your favorite stores sale section. Just recently, I was able to pick up two dresses on sale at Forever 21 for less than $15 bucks each! Choosing to bargain hunt and spend some extra time searching is well worth it when you get to save a few pennies. It’s not a whole lot but it for sure adds up!
Make Your Own Food & Coffee At Home
Simple life hack that will save you tons! Making your own food or beverages from home can be very rewarding, less expensive, and delicious! Head to the grocery store once a week, pick up what you need, and try to avoid eating or drinking out. Some meals can cost anywhere from $10 to $25 bucks and coffee can add up just as quick too!
It’s okay to treat yourself sometimes but remember the end goal, to save as much money as you can! What I enjoy doing is giving myself a little leeway on the weekends. I try to grab a coffee and bagel on Friday and on Saturday I’ll splurge on a dinner with friends. Find your balance!
Write It Down
I find budgeting to be easiest when I write down my most important saving goals somewhere I could never forget. Try buying a small white board for the fridge as a daily reminder to keep things on a smooth path.
Eliminate Subscriptions You Don’t Use
My biggest pet peeve are those who choose to keep monthly services going when they don’t even use them! Think of all the extra money you could have if you got rid of that gym membership you don’t use? This is valuable money longing to be saved!
Download Store Apps
There is so much missed opportunity from not having in particular stores apps. Some of my favorites always have deals going on. The two I’ve always loved is Cartwheel for Target and the Starbucks app! There’s always a coupon on Cartwheel and when you join the Starbucks app program you get a free drink! Lots of goodies and savings waiting for all of you! Make sure to see if your favorite store has their own application!
The 2 Day Rule
Okay, this tip is good and I mean really good! If I’m shopping and I see something I like I automatically throw it in my cart without thinking. I don’t contemplate about whether or not I need the item, I just know I like it. For everyone out there like me, here’s what you should do next time!
The next time you’re debating on buying something you really want, put it back. Set the item back where you found it and leave the store. I know, it sounds horrible already right?! There’s more. Think about that item for the next two days and consider the reasons why you need it or don’t. A majority of the time I can guarantee, you won’t be coming back to buy it or at the least will realize it’s an item that you’re unable to buy at the moment.