Trim the spending and rack up the savings.
Saving money can sometimes feel almost impossible!
There is always a need to save more. Whether it’s to shore-up your emergency fund or build your retirement accounts, here are some steps you can take to begin or maximize your savings.
Here are some suggestions that can supercharge your savings:
1. Implement a “Spending Freeze” We all know that living below your means is a way to have money left over each month to put towards savings. To implement your spending freeze, choose a period of time where you commit to spending only on your needs: groceries, housing, transportation and insurance.
This will allow you to evaluate how much you’ve previously been spending on your wants. You could also do a variation on a sending freeze where you decide to eliminate spending in a particular type of purchase: think about past regrets around your spending. Is there a pattern of spending that always seems to result in remorse?
By intentionally not spending in this category, you won’t be subjecting yourself to the frustration of experiencing that icky feeling again.
2. Practice the Pause This tip has saved me thousands of dollars! By implementing a waiting period on the wants that I have had, I have found that 24 hours later, I have either forgotten about that item, or I have found something else that I want!
Start by waiting a day before you spend on anything that is a want. Delaying your gratification can be challenging, but is a skill that will save you a lot of money.
3. Evaluate Your Subscriptions Take some time to research which subscription services you have.
There are two questions to consider with your subscriptions:
- How much are you using the subscription?
Perhaps you have a streaming service, but you find that you’re not really watching the shows they offer.
Are you enjoying or using all of the products you receive, or could you do without them?
- How much are you spending on this subscription?
Even if you are spending $10 a month, you could be putting that amount towards your savings goals! Remember, every little bit adds up! I recently went through this exercise with a client who ended up saving over $2800 a year! Boom!
4. Unsubscribe to the retailor emails that are tempting you to part with your money! Have you ever noticed that there a constant sales and special offers from these stores? These promotions are designed to tempt you!
By eliminating these from your inbox, you are removing the temptation!
5. Pay attention to your emotions! Never shop when you are experiencing the negative emotions like boredom, loneliness or anger. We tend to make poor spending choices when we are in a triggered state.
Buying something in those moments may seem like it makes you feel better, but it will be a temporary fix, and could lead to regret.
6. Sell what you’re not using! We all have too much stuff! It’s never been easier to sell your unwanted items.
Here are some websites that can make selling unwanted clothes, accessories and other items super easy:
7. When you are tempted to spend on a want, think about how much time it took you to earn the money that you are about to spend.
If you make $20/hour after taxes and want to buy something that costs $200, that equates to 10 hours of work! Is it worth it?
8. Plan your grocery trips! By taking the time to plan a week’s worth of meals and making sure you have every ingredient you may need will save you from making extra trips to the grocery store, making it less likely that you will be tempted to buy the extra impulse
items that end up being sneaky little expenses that add up.
9. Put yourself on an allowance! Based on your cash flow, determine how much you can spend responsibly on extras. You may want to incorporate the envelope system for this spending by taking cash out of the bank and using it exclusively for your fun money.
Using a credit or debit card tends to be more mindless than actually budgeting your cash.
10. Celebrate your saving milestones! We all like to be rewarded for achieving our goals! When you set a specific goal in terms of how much you want to save, include a reward amount that will pay for something that brings you joy, without derailing your hard work! Add the cost of this reward to your savings goal so that you can reap the reward and know that you can afford it!
Remember that saving is a verb!
When you take steps to save money on purchases don’t let the action step of actually saving the money elude you! No matter the amount, take that step and transfer the money into a savings or retirement account! Every little bit will add up!