It’s the end of the month. Do you have any money left or are you scrounging together crumpled bills for your groceries?
If checking the balance in your bank and credit accounts is always a surprise, it may be time to get savvy. Although it would be rocking to earn more money, your empty pockets may stem from those little extras you’re constantly shelling out on.
Breaking the cycle is not impossible. Keep these tips in mind, and you may discover how easy it is to cut back without feeling deprived:
1. Cash, Card or Money Moderation?
If you feel like cash runs through your fingers like water, then limit the amount you keep handy. If you tend to swipe without thinking, give yourself a daily cash allowance and stick to it (even if 2 for 1 lattes become available). By simply paying attention to where your money is going, you can save bucket loads every month. Or at least one bucket.
2. Bring Your Foodie Side Home
Are you a smoothie addict? Just think: you could buy yourself a top of the range bike with the money you’d save by making your coffee, juice, or smoothie at home for a year. Let’s go deeper into our imagination: what would you save if you took lunches to work? Set aside some time on the weekends to batch cook freezer-friendly meals, or assemble salads sans dressing in the evenings when you’re making supper. You’ll be the envy of your colleagues every time you sit down to eat. And possibly your Instagram followers as well.
3. Drinking Can Be Your Special Occasion
If business lunches are burning a hole through your paycheque, you can easily limit what you spend by skipping that glass of wine. You’re already paying for food, why not save drinking for special occasions or evenings at home? You’ll not only bolster your bank balance but also stave off the early afternoon lull. You might even lose a few pounds, to boot.
If you live in the ‘burbs, try carpooling or commuter trains. If you’re not traveling a great distance, why not ride your bike? You could even leave a change of clothes at work and use that time for your daily run (provided there’s a shower, of course!).
5. The 5-Second Rule Isn’t the Only One to Follow
Use the 10-second rule at the supermarket (do I actually need it?) or the 30-day rule for bigger purchases. A little pause may help you to see the bigger picture. Signing up for mailing lists from your favourite stores, or checking online flyers and restricting yourself to buying sale items can also make a massive difference.
Doing five new things at once may feel like a giant shock to the system, so try just one of these suggestions before you add on another. Saving money is not as lame as it sounds. It can be incredibly freeing, especially when the end of the month is no longer coupled with anxiety.