Managing your money can be incredibly difficult. You try to spend less than you earn but it doesn’t always work out that way. At the end of the month, it can be depressing to find that you’ve ended up in the red when you thought you’d been diligent about saving money. But you don’t need to change your whole life to tweak your spending; a few tips on personal finance can help you to decrease the amount you spend each month and save money.
You don’t need a huge home or apartment to survive. Choosing a place that’s got just enough space for you to live in without feeling stifling will save you enormous amounts of money that you might otherwise waste on the extra space. Your rent or mortgage will be less expensive, utility bills will be cheaper, and even home insurance won’t cost as much.
A smaller home will also reduce your ability to store endless items you don’t really need, reducing your temptation to spend and buy things you won’t actually end up using. Having less junk will also make moving less expensive and make cleaning your home substantially easier.
Shopping is one of the biggest wastes of money. Spending a lot of time on online shopping sites or in stores will tempt you to want to spend more money on things you don’t need. Instead of allowing yourself to spend money without intention, plan the things you need to buy ahead of time and then stick to only that purchase.
Creating a plan for what you’re going to buy will help you resist add-ons and splurges that will drain your ability to save and leave you with only the things you really need. Stores are designed to make you want to spend more than you originally intended, so avoid spending more time in stores than you need to.
Reevaluate Your Expenses
When creating a budget for the month, it can be frustrating to see that you’ve got very little disposable income left over after all of your expenses have been accounted for. Regularly looking at your recurring bills can help you to reevaluate the necessity of things like cable, magazine, and food service subscriptions. Perhaps there are things that you once needed that you don’t anymore, or things that you find you haven’t used in a while. If you’re not getting enough value from the things you’re spending your money on, you’re better off getting rid of it and spending your money elsewhere.
Even reducing the amount that you use certain things like utilities and gas can help you to save money when those monthly bills come around. It can be easy to ignore your pattern of spending on things like electricity when you could easily be saving money each month by reducing the amount you use. If you’re on top of everything you’re spending your money on, you’re less likely to waste money without realizing it.
Seek Friends With Cheaper Interests
You shouldn’t have to spend money just to see your friends, and having friends who don’t have the same financial concerns as you do can be frustrating. Spending time with friends is often a financial burden when it involves things like expensive dinners or costly movie tickets. Find a social group centered around free hobbies such as hiking to connect with other people without needing to invest a lot of money every time.
If you find friends who have the same interests as you, you’ll be able to connect much more easily than you will with the friends who require you to fork over a certain amount of money just to keep up with them. Take the interests that you have and seek out like-minded people; there are always others who are looking to connect over the same things you are.
Automate Your Expenses
Turning as many of your bills as you can on autopay takes away your ability to forget them. It can also be helpful to force you to choose in advance what you need to spend money on versus what you don’t. If your bills are automatically taken out of your checking account, you’re less likely to spend money you don’t have and wind up unable to pay your bills at the end of the month.
Automating things like savings and investments can also be a great way to ensure you’re planning for your future. Investing in a 401(k) through your workplace is a simple retirement plan that requires very little effort on your part. If you have an automatic transfer of funds from your checking to your savings account each week, the pressure is taken off of you to find money to save as it’s done automatically.
Eliminate Eating Out
Eating out is one of the biggest drains of cash that there is. Cooking at home is almost always the cheaper option, so cook for yourself as much as possible. The more you cook, the better you become at it, and the more time you’ll end up saving. While it can be tempting to save time by going out to eat or ordering takeout, you end up spending more time just to earn the money to pay the inflated price of food that someone else prepares for you. Cooking for yourself more will help you to become more comfortable in your kitchen and navigate it much more quickly.
Taking the time for meal preparation will save you endless money spent on work lunches and last-minute splurges on food. Buying food in bulk to prepare your lunches for the week is an easy way to reduce your overall spending and save money. This isn’t to say that you should never eat out, as going out to eat with friends can be a great social experience. But dining out should be reserved for special occasions and celebrations; making it a regular occurrence takes all the fun out of it and drains your wallet.