With student loans, credit card debt, and high interest rates it can be difficult to get a handle on your finances and set a budget. It can seem like as soon as you’ve found a good balance the dog needs to go to the vet or your car needs a repair throwing you for a loop yet again. Believe me, I’ve been there. Here are 5 simple ways to start saving money each week to keep you out of debt and feeling more secure.
- Make your coffee at home. Those $4 lattes add up to $20 a week, $80 a month, and $1,040 a year! $1000 that could instead be saved or spent on an awesome getaway with the hubby. Having trouble quitting Starbucks all together? Make it a Friday-only treat.
- Pack a lunch. Same principle applies. Assuming you spend $8-$10 a day on lunch out of the office at least three days a week you’re spending a minimum of $1250 a year. Holy crap! Again, make it a weekly treat instead.
- Ask yourself, “Do I need it or can it wait?” This can apply to clothing, accessories, books, home decor, etc. Chances are if you give it 24 hours and ask yourself again you’ll realize that it would have been an impulse buy. Also, by asking yourself this question you know that the things you are buying are things you truly love instead of accumulating a bunch of items that you probably won’t like or wear three months down the road.
- Don’t give in to peer pressure! If you know money is tight for the week it’s okay to skip happy hour or girls night out…especially if you know your girls tend to rack up a pretty big bill at the bar. Spending a night with Netflix and boxed wine is better than being out and worried that every dollar you spend is one less dollar going toward your rent.
- Balance your checking account every day. I spent YEARS just hoping I had enough money in my account and not keeping track of my daily spending and it was freakin’ stressful! Get a notebook just to document your checking account and track your spending. Originally I tried to save all receipts, but once my husband and I got a joint account that became to complicated. Instead I check the account every morning, document the charges in my notebook and make sure the total amount I have written down matches what’s actually in our account. This also prevents you from being a victim of fraudulent charges which seem to be occurring more and more. Wondering how this will actually help you start saving money today? Because when you know how much you actually have in your account you will probably be less likely to splurge on that new tote or head out to the bar.
(Things you can do instead of spend money…see below…)