I don’t know about you but way too often I feel frustrated and overwhelmed by money issues. I hate feeling this way but it keeps happening and I’m working on making goals and plans to have next year be a lot more peaceful financially. So I want to share some ideas to help you spend less money. I have done most of these but need to focus on being more consistent with my efforts.
That seems to be where I fail when it comes to spending less money and saving money. I know what works and I’ve made it work. Then life gets busy or stressful and I fall back to bad habits. I don’t like being that way and if you have the same problems I’m sure you’re tired of it too. So let’s go over some ideas to help you spend less money.
Often I think about how to save money but I believe we also need to change our mindsets about money and figure out what needs to be done to spend less and still have the life we want. Plus if we aren’t spending as much then we will have more to save.
To keep track of all these ideas on how to send less money I have created a PDF just for you.
1 Shop strategically for big items when they are at their cheapest
Throughout the year certain things are on sale and cheaper than they are most of the year. So especially when you know you are going to be buying a more expensive item. Such as a new car, an appliance or furniture. You need to do your research and figure out when that item is most likely to be at it’s cheapest.
Sometimes we have to make larger purchases and if money is tight in your home that can be stressful. That’s where you need to be strategic and plan ahead if you can and find the best time and the lowest price.
2. Stay clear on your money goals, especially your why
A great way to spend less is to get real clear on what your financial goals are. If you know why you are spending less and what your goals are you will be more committed to doing what it takes. There will be times you have to not buy things you want and make the decision to not spend. This will be easier if you know what you are trying to achieve and you have your goals in place to motivate you.
3. Decide what you really want and what you are willing to let go of
One of my ideas to help you spend less money is one thing that my husband and I work to do quite often. When we need to tighten our budget and get serious about money. We have to take a good look at what we are spending money on and how important it is to us.
Often times we buy things and then don’t use them as often as we should. From subscriptions to services like Netflix, magazines, online photo storages like dropbox, etc. We sometimes need to really ask ourselves what are we really using and what are we willing to let go of.
4. Get smarter with your grocery budget to save big
So many of our monthly expenses are pretty fixed like the phone bill, insurance, utilities, etc. They may vary slightly but are pretty fixed and you can’t change them much.
With food though you have more room to save. You can spend a lot or a little depending on how well you plan and how smart you are with your grocery budget. Ways to save money on food include meal planning so you don’t overbuy. Sticking to a list, price comparing to find better deals, using coupons and belonging to rewards cards at stores. Making wiser choices and having a plan could save you lots of money on groceries each month.
5. Take advantage of deals and look for them more often
There are so any deals out there for stores that if you are going to shop you should be using them to not spend as much. I keep Target cartwheel and the Kohl’s app on my phone so that if I’m shopping at those stores I can make sure to take advantage of sales and discounts. That I might not have been aware of.
Also, make sure to check fliers that come in the mail that offer savings at restaurants and stores you shop at. Those savings will help you spend less and really add up throughout the year if you use them consistently. It’s very little extra work and if you want to not spend as much money you need to look for these extra ways to save.
6. Put yourself and your family on a spending freeze
This is also sometimes known as a no spend month. My family has done it once and after the holiday craziness, I am going to have us do it again. Basically, for one month you only buy the necessities. No running to get coffee, no takeout, no splurges.
It’s a great way to really see how many times you just want to go spend money without really thinking about it. It was very eye-opening for my husband and me when we did it a couple years ago. It is one of the best ideas to help you spend less money that I have because for that month you will spend a lot less.
It also helps to teach you that you can do without and to make the effort to skip those extra spending even after the month.
7. Find ways to get what you need for free
It’s not always possible to do this one but there are times and ways you can get things for free or for much less. Either by someone not wanting something that you need. Such as an appliance or furniture. We needed a couch and a family member was remodeling their living room. They were willing to give us their old couch.
This is not always possible and it may not be exactly what you want but keep an eye out free stuff is out there. Also look for ways to trade services for what you need. In the past, I was able to trade babysitting for a family for them doing computer work for me for free. This saved me a ton of money. What is something that you are good at or willing to do? That someone might be willing to either pay you for or trade for.
This is very common in the blogging world. Bloggers trade VA services for design services. Tech help for all sorts of things. This way you can help someone with something you are good at and get some help with things you would have to pay for.
8. keep track of your spending and your money
One of the areas I struggle with the most when it comes to spending money is tracking it. I think I can do it all in my head and remember everything. I’m wrong and I can’t. So mistakes are made and I forget this purchase or that purchase. When I get serious and really focus on tracking my spending I spend less and do better.
So in the new year that is one of my major money goals. To track where I’m spending and what I’m spending on sp that I can not spend as much money and end up wasting my money. It’s a work in progress for me with budgeting. So if you feel like you aren’t any good with money and are struggling. Please remember you are not alone. I feel that way too.
9. set realistic expectations about money
As much as we’d all love to have an unlimited amount of money to spend on whatever we want. I’m going to guess that’s not the case for you and it certainly isn’t for me. So we have to remember to be realistic with our expectations with money.
If your budget is tight don’t expect that you are going to be able to take that trip you want. Start saving for it now but don’t set yourself up for disappointment or bad decision making by trying to make it happen when it just can’t. Like this year I would love to shower my daughter and nieces and nephews with Christmas presents.
I love them and it would make them happy but it’s not possible. So I made a decision on what we could afford and that’s it. They will still be happy and hopefully in the future I can do a big pile of presents but not now.
10. Finally, use cash when spending
Here’s another tip that I know works but I get lazy and don’t use as much as I should. I’m going to start using cash as my main payment method starting January 1st. Why because it one of the greatest ideas to help you spend less money.
We don’t use credit cards but we do use a debit card and it can lead to spending too much. With cash, you can only spend what you have. If the budget for groceries is $120 and that’s what you have in cash you can only spend that. With a card, you can go over what you budgeted.
It’s more work to go with cash but getting serious about my budget and being smarter with money is important. I hope it is to you as well. So take these ten tips and make some better choices with your finances so that you can spend less money.