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We all want to save money, but where do we start? How do we get the most bang for our literal buck? It’s easy to say, “I’m going to reduce my spending”, but the follow through is much harder.
So how do I start saving money fast?
There are sure fire ways to help you save money fast, in as little as a month. Some are extreme and others can be adaptable pretty easily. You won’t find extreme ANYTHING on this blog. If you know me, you know that I used to love spending money (more on that here), so I had to take baby steps to get to where I am today with my frugality. I don’t believe that you have to go extreme to get noticeable results. So, I’m going to tell you some of little things I did to kick start my savings journey into high gear.
Bring your own lunch
Yes, we’ve all seen this one before. It’s a known fact that bringing your lunch to work or school will save hundreds of dollars per month (at an average of $10 per lunch each day, you’ll save $200 if you’re working a 5 day work week). It’s huge…and noticeable, and doesn’t take a ton of effort, just basic planning.
What’s different about my method? Well, when we think of bringing our own lunch, we think of that bland ham and cheese sandwich, a small bag of chips and maybe a fruit. It’s not very appealing come lunch time when you’re starving and can smell all the take out your colleagues are bringing in to the office.
Here’s where my method is different. Bring leftovers! Nothing smells better than that leftover steak and mashed potatoes and it will leave little room for your hunger cravings to wander. It will save you money and time.
Cook at home
On the note of taking leftovers for lunch, you’ll need to actually HAVE leftovers for the above method to work. Cooking at home will save you a TON of money and you’ll eat better and feel better too. Anything you crave, you can make at home with the help of the all-knowing Pinterest!
The great thing is, you cook once, and you pack the leftovers for the next day’s lunch. You’ve saved time and energy, and of course, MONEY! Cooking at home at least 4-5 times per week, saves you an average of $10 each dinner, which saves you a total of $160-$200 per month! You can take that to the bank, literally! Okay, I’m not the most talented comedian, but you get my point. It makes a huge difference in your budget.
Cut the cable
Again, nothing new here. It saves you anywhere between $70-$120 each month, depending on your package and what company you’re with. And with all the options we have with Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Youtube, what will you be missing? Just the bill, and believe me, you won’t miss paying that monthly charge.
Don’t go to the mall unless you have to
Rarely do I find myself NEEDING to go to the mall. I almost always go out of boredom, to take my girls out, or to just have some “fun”. The moment where I started avoiding the mall visits, my pockets thanked me. It’s hard to go to the mall without buying something, anything. Especially for me. I know my weakness, so I try to minimize my mall trips, and it saves me hundreds each month. Instead, I stay home and watch a movie with my girls or relax with my favorite shows.
Minimize your luxury services
Don’t have luxury services? Think I’m crazy for saying that you do? Well, do you get a haircut? Get mani/pedi’s? Get your eyebrows threaded? Do you get your car washed regularly?
These are all luxury services in my book. They’re things we can do ourselves if we had to, but we CHOOSE not to do them. And that’s perfectly okay. I do them too. This is why I said minimize, not eliminate.
It’s nice to treat yourself every once in a while, but try to let more time pass between services and you’ll naturally save more money.
I love getting a hair cut , but I get a hair cut every 4 months instead of every 6 weeks. And I love getting mani/pedi’s, but I get them for special occasions and do them regularly at home. These little tweaks save me a lot of money.
My husband loves washing his car, but he washes it once a month. It really doesn’t get noticeable dirty in a month, so we’re able to save a little money and his car still gets that wash that he loves.
These methods are easy to start and really don’t take too much effort to implement into your life. But, they help you save a lot of money without you having to sacrifice your lifestyle. It’s the small tweaks in your habits that will get you to be more frugal and you’ll be more successful in saving.
What habits have you tried lately that you found helpful (or not)? I look forward to reading your comments!
Peace and love my frugal friends,