Helpful Money Saving Tips – save $$ while spending it – realistic budgeting hacks

Let’s face it. People like to have fun. Go out to eat, buy clothes, hang out with friends, buy gifts for people….. all of which equate to spending money, sadly. So, thought it would be a great idea to share some of my favorite tips that helped me save money while spending it. A contradiction, I know. But, it’s true! There are many helpful and easy tips you can implement into your life that will 100% help you save money but also still be able to have fun.

These tips are perfect for any ages. College students, college grads, young adults just starting out in the work place or older adults looking to save a few bucks. Whatever your reason these tips are for you! Implement them all or just a few.

Another thing I made sure to keep track of when writing down these hacks was making them realistic. So many “money saving” posts and videos share such unrealistic tips that will in fact save you money, it’s just people won’t do them. I came across one the other day, buy your cars instead of leasing. While that is a sure fire way to save money, I know so many people who prefer to lease. So, obviously that hack won’t work many people.

My story-

A few years ago I was spending way to much money, and I’m a young person. The things I was buying were ridiculous and I didn’t even need them, I just wanted them. Fast forward a few years when I decide I want to lease my own car. But, I needed to start saving. In combination of working a full time job over the summer/on my breaks and budgeting BIG TIME, I saved a ridiculous amount of money and was able to not only afford the down payment on my car but also my monthly payments. For 1 year I buckled down, worked, saved and have picked up a few very handy tips that will help you like they’ve helped me.

black envelope with cash dollars on marble table
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

These tips are all realistic ways you can easily cut down your spending but still have fun! 🙂

Cut ties with cable

Cable is expensive and let’s face it, many of us don’t even use the it anymore. Instead we watch netflix or another entertainment subscription on our phones or through an app on the tv. We are spending money on Netflix, Hulu, Impact Tv….and on cable tv! It’s one or the other. If you don’t watch cable anymore or only occasionally then cut it out. You’re just wasting money. Instead try an online subscription such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu…. that are in many cases way cheeper than cable and all your favorite shows and movies are on them!

Cut down on groceries

Make a food list of everything you need and STICK TO IT! A bag of chips here and a box of cookies there, which are not on the list are okay, occasionally. But, if you find yourself constantly buying off the list and bringing home the extra bag or two of groceries, think of all the extra money you’re spending. Most of it’s due to going food shopping hungry which is a death sentence. Be strong and stick to your list. Or, if you’re like me and find yourself constantly visiting the grocery store because I’m home all the time, stop and instead go once a week, I stick to my list and don’t buy things I really don’t need.

Skip the coffee shop

Everyday on my morning commute, pre-covid, I used to visit a coffee shop on my way to school. Every single day – $4.50, cha ching. Once covid hit and I stopped commuting I simultaneously quite my coffee stop. Looking back, I realized how much money I was spending a week! $23.00! That’s just shy of $100 a month. And I guarantee there’s people out there who spend more than $4.50 on their morning coffee pit stop. Now I’m not saying to cut this tradition out of your life 100%, instead only go there twice a week or once a week… or less (depending on your preferences). You bet I am still going to go because those gluten-free and vegan muffins are calling my name! Just instead of everyday I’ll cut it down to twice a week. 🙂

Wants vs Needs

I want those shoes, but do I need them? Trust me, I’m all for treating myself to a nice Coach purse or a pair of new Abercrombie jeans but do I need to spend $200 a month on buying new clothes. No. That doesn’t mean however that you have to stop altogether. Instead of buying things you WANT weekly or monthly, hold off. Unless you really NEED something don’t spend the money because it’s a waste. If you calculate all the times over the course of a year or month that you spent $$ on something you wanted but didn’t need, trust me, the number will shock you. I still shop for things I want but I cut down a lot and am saving money!

Cut down on eating out

I used to eat out 3 time a week. Another big hole in my spending. Yikes! Now I only eat out once a week and am saving $40 a week! And $160 a month. Now think about if you eat out more than I did and spend more than me. You can still eat out, but do it bi-weekly or monthly.

Coupons & discounts are your friends

Now you don’t have to become obsessed with couponing like on those shows. Just a simple browse through your markets magazine or online app is perferct. We food shop on Saturday mornings so everyday up to Saturday I spend 5 minutes of my day browsing through Hannafords online app clipping coupons (digitally) on items that I need to buy that week. Last week I saved $8.00 on our grocery bill! While that may not seem like a lot think of it in the long term. Over the course of a month that’d around $32. Now think if you save more than $8 – $10 or $15 +. Couponing in combination of shopping on the store discounts is easy and will 100% save you money. It’s a gimme.

Keep track of miscellaneous spending

$15 here and $20 here can add up over the course of a week and/or month. Find these problem areas in your budget and cut them out if possible. Drink coffee at home. Skip the morning donut from dunkin or avoid the snack machine for an afternoon pickup. Instead bring food with you from home or if you can’t eliminate these stops from your day then just do them occasionally instead of everyday.

person using dewalt cordless impact driver on brown board
Photo by Bidvine on Pexels.com

DIY everything

Okay, maybe not everything because a DIY fridge would be hard to do but a DIY coffee table, sanding your own floors or painting your own room is certainly doable. Plus since most of us are home all day these are fun projects you can do yourself and not hire someone else to do for you.

Plus, it’s way cheeper! And you’ll enjoy it more since you’ll remember all the hard work you put into it. 🙂

Implement the 30 day rule

Follow these tips or others you’ve found for 30 days and at the end you’ll realize how much money you’ve saved! Compare it to a previous months ending total and you’ll be amazed! 🙂

You can clearly see how much I have saved and now think about how much you could save! Budgeting doesn’t have to be horrible. As I’ve outlined above you can still have fun – eating out, shopping, buying decorations…. just do it on a lesser scale then you previously did it. Give it 30 days then you look back and you’ll surely be smiling.

Which of these tips will you be using? Are there any I didn’t mention that are worth knowing? Comment below. 🙂

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Thank you so much for reading today’s post! Have a wonderful day. 🙂

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More about Theresa Healey

Celiac, Foodie, Runner, Blogger, Etsy Seller, Avid Reader

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