No one likes cutting down on things they enjoy or missing out on their favourite activities but sometimes you need to have a think about what more important; would you rather a $5 coffee everyday or a 6 month trip around South East Asia? I know which one I would choose!
Start with small things first
Stop buying a coffee everyday, they add up easily. Make a coffee at home , put it in a keep cup and off you go. Make a coffee at work instead of getting one on your break. Also don’t buy your lunch, you’re just being lazy 😉 Seriously though set out one day a week to plan your meals so that you don’t have an excuse to buy lunch. It’s the same deal with dinner, resist take away. Make your meals in bulk, portion them and freeze them. This will also save you from making dinner on some nights, all you have to do is reheat!
For me this is the hardest one because all the little things (coffee, lunch) are disappointing for you to miss out on but when friends ask you to go out I find it creates a bit more conflict when you say no (if your friends are anything like mine). When I go out drinking I’m most likely going to spend at least $100 if not more, so not going out makes a huge difference to my savings. At the moment I’m working weekends which is my main excuse for not going out however it’s also helping my savings big time. I would recommend trying to get some weekend work somewhere so you can use this as a cover instead of just saying you’re saving money. Also if you do tell your friends you don’t want to go out because you’re saving money, explain to them what you’re saving for. Tell them where you’re going and how long for, making them jealous might give them seconds thoughts about doing something similar and the more friends you have saving for a trip, the better it will be for you!
Avoid shopping at all costs here as it’s too easy to get carried away! However if you are really in need of something Op shops/second hand shops are your new best friend. If you haven’t shopped in one before it’s time. Find out the best ones in your area and off you go. I have never shopped in the before but went to one a couple of months ago and got two pairs of good shoes and a knit top for a total of $20! You can do a lot of your shopping here whether it’s for clothes, shoes, books, magazines or house appliances.
Track your spendings
It’s easy to not realise how much of your pay is going on silly unwanted things. start tracking your spendings so you know exactly where it’s going. You’ll also see what subscriptions you have and whether you need them or not. Take some time to sit down and write what you are likely to spend in a week on necessary things such as rent, groceries, petrol, rates etc. Then take that amount away from your weekly wage and then you’ll see how much you COULD save per week. Then check your bank statements to see what you’ve been saving in a week. Realise what things aren’t necessary (the coffee, that eggs benedict) and that’s where you start cutting things out.
Tell friends and family
Let people close to you know about it and tell them what your saving for. This way people will understand more when you aren’t going out for dinner with them. Try and get someone to do the same thing so you have someone running the race with you. This way you can keep each other motivated. Also suggest that you and your friends hang at someone’s house to watch Netflix instead of going out for tea, sometimes its about making smarter choices and not ignoring them completely.
Obviously you don’t want to be living a miserable life so be careful when cutting things back to save. Maybe keep one thing that you enjoy. For me I won’t cut out my yoga class because i only do it once a week ($15) and I really love it. It’s good for me and it’s something I get to look forward to on my day off.
What do you find hardest to miss out on when saving?
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