Hey there friends!
I hope you are having a wonderful Thursday and staying safe with this quarantine craziness going on. This lockdown has given me time to think about how I truly spend my money, especially since most business are shut down and leaving us with shopping online instead of going to stores.
When it comes to saving money, I've found that it's the "little purchases" matter. They matter a lot! This made me sit down and fully analyze each of my statements from my bank accounts and credit cards to see what all I was spending my money on. I found myself going out more to fast-food restaurants instead of making food at home. I was spending so much money on coffee, thanks Starbucks, because I loved having my grandee white chocolate mocha every afternoon before going into work.
I was spending way to much money than I should have been. So to fix my problem, I decided to make a list of ways to help myself and others save and manage their money better.
1. Create A Budget
I made myself create an Excel spreadsheet and I documented, everyday, what I spent my money on. I would save my receipts so when I got home at night, I would sit down at my computer and enter each one in. By creating a budget, you are helping yourself manage your money one step after another.
2. Use Cash
While you are creating your budget, it's helpful to create a 'cash envelope' for yourself. Every time you get your paycheck, take some money out of it and put it in your cash envelope. This can help you avoid using your credit card when you go out shopping and allows you to stick to your budget better!
3. Make Coffee at Home
If you are a coffee drinker, make your coffee at home! I love to drink coffee and I still struggle with this. Yes, it's okay to get your coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin' every once in a while, but don't let it be a daily thing. If you were to spend one whole year buying coffee at cafes, you would be spending an estimate of $1,200 a year. (This is about an estimate I got from my coffee expenses.)
4. Eat Before You Shop
This is probably my favorite tip because there is so much truth to it. If you are about to go grocery shopping, make a list so you know what to buy, but also make sure you EAT BEFORE SHOPPING! It may seem silly but it's so true. I can't tell you how many times I would go to Market Street or Target for groceries and walk out with way more than I needed because I was hungry. This will help you stick to what you need, instead of buying what you are craving at the time.
5. Download apps like Acorns & Mint
These are two of the many apps that help you manage your money and save it.
I use Mint because it allows you to link all of your credit & debit cards and monitors your spending habits. It places it into categories like: Food & Dining, Shopping, Fees & Charges, and Uncategorized.
Acorns is an app that helps you invest your spare change. It's similar to Mint in the way it links your cards and invests your spare change. By answering a few financial questions, it helps you build a portfolio around your answers to help you save and invest for the future.
I highly recommend these apps if you don't already have them.
I hope you find these tips helpful, just like I did.
Have a great day!