Pretty much everyone is tight on money right now. With so many places currently closed it can be pretty easy to find your money disappearing. How do you rationalize what you should and shouldn’t spend your money on? This post contains some practical money saving tips, that have helped me personally save money.
My Dad will be one of the first people to tell you that growing up I was incredibly bad with money. I mean to the point of embarrassment bad. Sadly that continued in my 20s as well. Now in my early 30s I’m finally getting a gripe on my spending habits, which honestly is a massive relief.
I am allowing you to learn from my mistakes, in hopes you use your money more wisely than I previously did. I know what its like to feel so overwhelmed by your finances, it really takes its toll on your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
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Practical ways to save money right now
Anyone else in need of some money saving tips? I have never been great with how I spent my money before. I will be the first to admit that, but it is something I have been thankfully working to improve. With some persistence, hard work and discipline you can change your money spending habits as well.
Creating a budget is the most practical way to start saving money
Okay, so budgeting is probably one of the most obvious ways you can save money. Honestly, you really can’t go around spending money on things if you don’t know how much money you have.
First thing you have to make sure gets paid is your essentials. Rent, food, medication, power and clothing. Life becomes increasingly difficult if you don’t take care of those things first.
When creating a budget take into account all of your expenses. Some suggestions to have included in your budget are:
- Medical expenses (medications, medical insurance ect)
- Utilities (water, heat and power)
- Insurance (for your house/apt)
- Clothing (for work and home)
- Vehicle expenses (gas, maintenance, insurance ect)
- Bridge/highway fare
- Paid parking
- Bus pass/tickets
- Pet supplies (if you have a furry friend(s))
- Cell phone(s)
- Childcare expenses (babysitters, daycare, afterschool programs ect)
- Children’s activities (sports, dance, chess club, scouts *whatever kids do now a days* lol)
- Credit card/loan payments ( bank loans, student loans ect.)
- Bank fees
- Emergency fund (for medical bills, home repairs, unemployment ect.)
- Entertainment (dinner out, movie night, date night, coffee from your favorite cafe, weekend away, girls night ect)
Take out or delivery
I will be the first to admit that I have spent way to much on delivery food. In reality you may feel to tired or lazy to cook something, so ordering in seems like the logical answer. The cost for take out/delivery is ridiculous! If there’s 2 people ordering you probably spend at least $30 in one order.
The same $30 can get you an entire cooked roast chicken, some veggies and potatoes or a big box of rice and some veggies. Depending on how you shop making your own food can be a real money saver. I suggest shopping the sales. Sale food has a higher turnover rate (since it’s cheaper) so you end up with fresher food.
If you have the space freeze the food you don’t think you will use right away. (Putting frozen veggies in a plastic container instead of keeping them in the bag will keep them from getting freezer burnt longer).
Another tip for ordering takeout or delivery. Don’t order anything you can make yourself (unless it’s salmon). Definitely don’t order something you can make for yourself and cheaper than the restaurant price.
Do you really need Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, and Crave? Do you actually watch all of them? If you add the prices in with the cost of cable, because let’s face it, most of us have cable/satellite PLUS at least one of those subscriptions.
That’s a lot of money in a month. Try going over subscription services you have joined and think about whether or not they are something you are still interested in or even use. Unsubscribe to anything that no longer interests you.
Buying fast fashion is not a practical way to save money
The biggest issue with “fast fashion” lies right in the name. Usually it’s cheap and poorly made clothing that is popular at that very second. If you wait 10 minutes there will be new fast fashion clothing that is popular. Most of the time these clothes get worn a couple of times.
If you have ever been to a landfill you would see all the clothing that has been thrown out. When shopping for clothes it’s highly suggested that you get timely pieces. By that I mean don’t go spend the money on clothes like your Carrie Bradshaw.
I love Sex and the City the same or more than most people, and even I can see that she wastes a lot of money on items that only get worn once or really have no practical place to wear it. If you see something you really love that has a crazy pattern or really bold colors don’t be afraid to treat yourself.
It’s always a smart idea to pick items that have multiple uses or can be matched to make multiple outfits with clothes you already own. I will be the first to admit my “wardrobe” (or lack there of) is a very tiny random hogpog of items. I really want a actual wardrobe, that is my personal goal.
Jenni has a lot of fantastic fashion and shopping tips and advice. You won’t regret checking her out ;-).
I am a huge lover of lists, so yes! A grocery list is a must for me. Going grocery shopping with a list can also help prevent you from going down an aisle you don’t need to be in. Not only does this save you money (ie keeps you from filling your cart with random things) it also helps make your grocery trip more organized and quicker.
As I mentioned in the 8 productive ways to spend time alone post, sale items usually have a higher turnover rate. Which means a lot of the time you are getting fresher fruits, veggies and meats. You have to watch that you don’t buy things too ripe or that have to be consumed the same day as purchased. (Unless you want to eat it the same day).
Try your best to shop the sales
Okay, so while visiting your local grocery store you may have noticed sale stickers on shelves and items. If you can, lift up the sticker to see the orginal price. Sometimes you will only save 5 cents on the product. To me a “sale” of 5 cents isn’t a sale at all. You really end up saving nothing.
An easy way to fall “victim” to sales is by buying things you don’t need. If it’s something you never intended on buying in the first place then leave it on the rack or shelf.
Keep this in mind: The sale doesn’t count if you don’t have the money to pay for it or if purchasing something affects your ability to pay for the essentials.
Credit cards and Overdraft
Oh overdraft, how I loathe you. I am SO glad I haven’t had overdraft since I was in my early 20s. Just like high interest loans, it can become a vicious circle.
Now I’m not saying you can’t have a credit card. I would be a massive hypocrite, especially considering I have one. If you’re in the market for a credit card, shop around. Check out different interest rates that are offered.
A good rule of thumb is to only spend on a credit card what you can afford to pay back at the end of the month. Now for most of us, I know this isn’t realistic. Sometimes life happens and it’s not cheap or affordable.
High interest loans are not a practical way to save money either
Places like Money Mart or Easy Financial may sound like a dream come true when you are short on funds. The reality of them is yes, they may give you a loan right away but you will be paying it back for 1-3 years (providing you don’t borrow more money) with a interest of almost 50%!
So, let us pretend you borrow $1000 from one of these loan places. You will be paying on that $1000 plus an extra $500 (at least) in interest payments. That’s half of your initial loan. That is a lot of extra money to be paying out and definitely not a practical way to save money.
The worst part about places like these is you end up in a loan-payment vicious circle. First you need money for an emergency, then you’re on track with your payments and they come along (yes, I know it’s their job) and increase your loan. Now your payments are higher which in turn takes more money out of your pocket and increases your chances of having to borrow money from them yet again.
It’s pretty clever on their part, if you’re not the one giving all your money to interest payments, that it.
Okay friends, there you have it! 8 practical ways to save money right now. What are some ways you save money? Let me know down in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss the next random thing that comes out of my brain.
Till next time,