Do you ever feel like you spend too much money? I’m here to show you how to spend less money in your every day life!
The thing is, small change builds up into big dollars over time – so it’s your little habits that can make or break your financial future.
Sometimes I feel like I’m the last person who should talk about saving money. There’s always something to spend money on, and I find myself doing it a lot.
I don’t always get the best deals, I don’t spend a lot of time comparing prices or going from one store to the next, or like some frugal living bloggers, sweeping the grocery store for markdowns every morning (we live too far in the boondocks for that!). And sometimes, I buy things just because I want them, rather than because I need them.
So why am I talking about spending less money?
Because it’s important to learn where and how to cut expenses down to live below your means in order to get ahead financially. It’s a skill that helped us get through being dead broke, and then later, to start a savings account while living on minimum wage.
How to Spend Less Money
I’ve been in a place where we had so little money we had to cut out virtually every unnecessary expense, and I know exactly how depressing it can be, so I’m not telling anybody they have to do everything they can now and forever to get ahead.
Instead, I believe it’s important to determine for yourself what’s important enough for you to keep, and what expenses you can drop while keeping in mind that every dollar consumed is a lost opportunity to invest and collect interest.
Sit down and list out your expenses.
Make a category for expendable luxuries like entertainment (Netflix, Spotify), a category for necessary, but flexible (cell phones, car insurance, groceries), and a category for necessary (mortgage)
Choose expendable luxuries to cut, call around and get flexible necessities reduced by negotiating, or changing providers (I use Ting Wireless for my cell phone and love it!), and prioritize necessities. In other words, stop spending money on things you don’t need.
Find ways to save money on groceries
This is a really big one for me, because I’m in charge of the grocery shopping in our house. We use strategies such as Kitchen Confidence, which shows you how to meal plan and shop in a way that saves you money. You can also download apps like Ibotta to help you get rebates on the groceries you buy.
Make “no-spend week” a regular thing
Sometimes we get clutter in the backs of our pantries, or bottom of the freezer, and having a no-spend week where you simply don’t buy groceries forces you to clean that up. Here’s how to have a successful no-spend week, and also, you may be interested to know what we ate during no-spend week.
Find budget-friendly ways to do the things you want to do
We love budget friendly date nights, we eat out, but use clever hacks to save money at restaurants, we collect Swagbucks and cash them in for gift cards to places we want to go/eat at/shop, we use Gas Buddy to find the best gas prices in our area. Little things like that go a long way.
Shop through eBates
It’s a great way to earn a small percentage of what you spend back. At some online stores like Kohl’s, you’ll get as much as 8% back! Sign up for a free eBates account.
There are so many ways to spend less, and you’ll find that for you, they’ll change over time, For instance, I recently wrote about ten money saving strategies that are working for us right now. We didn’t always do all of these things, and I imagine we won’t at some point again.
And maybe that’s the ultimate key to spending less money – learning, changing, and staying flexible.