In high school, college, and everyday life there’s always a new big expense coming up.
Need new books next semester?
How long have you wanted that new phone?
Even if you don’t have anything in mind to save for right now, it’s always safe to put some money away. You never know when you might break your phone or need a car repair.
Saving up can be hard! I feel like there’s always something he to buy! Especially online. That’s why it’s important to have two things: a goal and a mindset. Here are 3 of my favorite tips to help prioritize your spending.
Plan Your Purchases
One way to save money instantly is to plan your purchases.
We’re all guilty of going in the store for ONE THING and walking out with $30 worth of things you don’t need. (This has been a habit of mine at Target…) Just one simple change can stop this!
If you have an idea of something you need to buy, write it down. It can be a post it note, on your phone, whatever. Just make sure it’s there. When you go into the store, keep the list in view. It will help remind you of your goal.
Do this at every store! It can be groceries, gift buying, even clothes!
I surprised myself on how much this saved me. Just walking into a store prepared can cut your spending.
I saved $10 the other day at the dollar store by doing this. My average spending there is about $15. Then, when I got home, I put that extra $10 into my savings.
Right there, I “spent” the same amount of money I normally would have, but instead tucked away $10 and kept myself from buying things I didn’t need.
You don’t have to put that money into savings either. Just keep it in your wallet. More money for you! Yay!
Cut Off Your Carrying
This is sort of add-on to planning your purchases. A super simple way to save even more money is to cut off your carrying.
What I mean by this is, only bring in the amount of money you absolutely need.
After you make a list of things to buy, think about how much these might cost. Chances are, you’ve purchased these items before. Here’s an example for me:
- Shampoo: $6
- Conditioner: $6
- Lip balm: $3
If this is all I need on this shopping trip I only need $15 (plus tax). So, I’m only going to take about $17 in the store with me. That way, I can’t buy anything more than I need and I won’t waste any money.
Value Your Time
This is an interesting concept I came across a little while ago and it really stuck with me.
The whole idea is thinking about how many hours of your life it would take to buy this item.
Here’s an example:
Say you work at a job for $15 an hour. You’re out shopping and you see something cute that you don’t need but are just like oh I kind of want that. You look at the price tag and it says $30.
To figure out the value of that item, think about how much you would have to work to earn the money to buy it.
If you make $15/hour, then you would have to work 2 hours to earn the money. Is whatever you’re buying worth 2 hours of work?
See, maybe it’s something you’ve really wanted for a long time. But if it’s not something you’ve really set your mind on, then thinking about it this way can really help you avoid buying that shirt that you thought you loved but it’s been sitting in your closet unworn for 2 years (guilty…).
Even if you don’t have a job, it can still help to think about the value of an hour. Say you’re out shopping for gifts and suddenly you eye this gorgeous sports jacket. $50. Even at $10, you would have to work 5 hours!
Now, I’m not saying it’s never worth it to buy something you might seem randomly in a store. If that were the case, you’d never buy anything!
But before you impulse on that $12 necklace, think about the cost.
Yes, saving money can be hard. But it becomes easier when you learn to prioritize. Value yourself and your money, and it will stretch a lot further.
What will these tips help you save up for?