How often does this happen to you? You get your paycheck, pay your mortgage, and then after you buy groceries for the week, your bank balance runs low. You’re not alone. In fact, the average consumer overspends over $7,400 every year. $7 Coffee, unused gym memberships, and excessive online shopping are some things people spend too much on. Most people won’t even realize it until they check their budget. But when you spend wisely, you can still enjoy life without sacrificing your fun. You’ll want to check out these tips to get more out of your money.
Spending wisely is all about getting the most out of your money. It means using every dollar you earn to get back the most value. You can be intentional with your spending and not feel deprived because you can use the money you save for what is most enjoyable and important.
Additionally, by spending money wisely, you’re also proving that frugal living doesn’t always mean having less fun. When you’re smart with your money, fun doesn’t always have to mean breaking the bank!
Your budget is a plan for your money and a friend that never lies. This will help you decide how you spend your money every month.
But your budget doesn’t get the final say on your purchases; you do. Following it down to a T is your best bet to getting the most out of your money.
A budget is rarely perfect at first. Every month, you’ll want to reassess your budget to see if there’s something that you could’ve done better. Sometimes, your estimated expenses and actual spending don’t always add up. When there’s a discrepancy between these two, you’ll want to take another look at your budget.
For example, you might’ve realized some purchases in your food budget were unnecessary. You can then take note of them and crop them out of next month’s budget.
Eating out now and then isn’t a bad thing. It’s a great way to try new food without all the hassle of meal prep and cleaning up. But because it’s so easy to open up DoorDash, it can get addicting.
Instead of ordering every meal, you’ll want to get into the habit of cooking your own meals at home. Not only will you be able to save more money, but you’ll also have more control over your caloric intake.
Need some suggestions? Check out my article on some of the cheapest meals.
Spending $7 on Starbucks every day for a year amounts to $2,555 yearly. With that money, you’d be better off buying a French Press and your own bags of beans. Then, you could also save and invest whatever’s left over. You can make your daily caffeine stimulate your mind and your future.
The average household loses an average of $577 on late fees and other miscellaneous costs. Instead of having to shoulder these costs, you can automate your finances instead. That way, you’ll never have to pay another late fee again. You’re also freeing up that money to be reallocated toward something you love!
Shopping is not a hobby but a household chore. It can be fun, but the main point of shopping is to help you meet your needs.
As a general rule, try to take as few shopping trips as possible. This also has the added effect of needing to spend less money on transportation.
Multi-billionaire Warren Buffett once said: “Don’t save what’s left after spending. Spend what’s left after saving.” This means that before you even think about spending your money, you’ll want to set some aside for your savings.
Does your employer offer a 401(k) account? Find out if they match your contributions. If they match, you’ll want to maximize how much you put toward your 401 (k) so your employer contributes as much as you do.
A Costco membership can pay for itself in savings. Buying big packs of toilet paper, shampoo, and toothpaste means getting more products per dollar. Not only will you spend wisely when buying in bulk, but you’ll also be generating a lot less waste!
Have you ever done a “quick grocery run” and ended up spending next month’s food budget on wine and snacks? Skip the shopping cart when heading to the store to snag one or two items. When you use a shopping cart, you tend to shop more pushing the cart makes the trip down the aisles more comfortable and relaxing. Plus, the cart fits way more than you can carry in a basket or your hands.
Gym memberships can be expensive. Additionally, you might not need to use all the equipment you’re paying for when you buy a gym membership. Not to mention they’re a pain to cancel. They’re not the most valuable purchase, especially with free home workouts on Youtube and other apps.
If you want to get fit on a budget, try switching to calisthenics or bodyweight fitness. You’ll only really need workout clothes and some shoes to train in.
Farmers’ markets are great places to grab quality produce for your kitchen table. Unlike buying fruits and vegetables from the grocery, you can almost guarantee you’re buying fresh. You’ll also be helping the local economy when you buy straight from farmers instead of the supermarket.
You might have a favorite brand, but have you opted into their email newsletter or downloaded their app? If you know you’ll be shopping somewhere often, even just 5 or 10% off can help. When you spend wisely, you’ll take any discount you can get.
Did you know that just 1% of coupons end up being used? Coupons and gift cards are a great way to save money on purchases. You can find them in newspapers, magazines, and Google. The best part? They’re free!
Here’s my list of some of the best coupon code sites that you can use.
Need a new winter jacket? Head over to your local clothing store during Summer, when they’ll likely have last Winter’s jackets on clearance sale. By doing this, you can save hundreds of dollars on seasonal items.
The best time to eat out is during your birthday. There’ll definitely be stores and restaurants running some sort of promotion for birthday shoppers. Whether it’s a free meal or a big discount, shopping on your birthday is another way to spend wisely.
Here’s a list of just a few establishments that will give you something during your birthday.
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Dollars Makes Cents by Shaquana, Financial Coach and Wealth Expert, resources helps professional millennial women of color with the tools and skills they need to eliminate their debt, amplify their savings, and build generational wealth — without having to compromise their lifestyle.
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