I’ve never been great at budgeting or consistently saving up money. When I started working and getting paychecks, I didn’t put that much thought into how much money I had to spend and how much I needed to save in order to be okay. Then I’d go out and accidentally spend more than I should have.
Since then, I’ve learned a few ways to cut down on my expenses when I know I don’t have as much spending cash or I’m trying to save up for something. These tips are a bit basic, but hopefully they can help you get started in saving up some money.
Plan out and cook (most of) your meals. Instead of eating out all the time or getting home at the end of the day and trying to figure out what you can put together for dinner, actually plan out your meals for the week. You don’t need to know exactly what you’ll eat for every meal, but you should know which meals you can quickly prepare with the ingredients you have.
Invite people over instead of going out. You don’t have to plan a huge event when you invite people over. If all you want when you’re trying to hang out with friends is to catch up and maybe have a meal together, that can be more cost-effective at home. You can still have a snack together or watch a movie, but it’ll cost a lot less this way. If you do want to have a bunch of people over, you can encourage everyone to bring a snack or a dish for the group so you don’t have to spend too much.
Look into rewards for the places you often go to. If there are coffee shops, restaurants, or other places where you often go, find out if they have some sort of rewards system. If you’re going there often anyway, you’ll be able to save up occasionally when you visit. Don’t just sign up for rewards at every place you ever visit, though. Sometimes it’s not worth it.
Cut down on your monthly subscriptions. We all sign up for monthly subscriptions from time to time, but sometimes it’s easy to forget what we’re even subscribed to. Spend a day just going over all your monthly subscriptions, and see if there’s anything you could cut out and be okay. You can always re-subscribe later if you find your life was better with that product or service.
Limit the number of times you go out each week. Even if you’ve already decided to eat most of your meals at home or make your own drinks at home, it can still be easy to get roped into going out a lot. If you’re really trying to cut down how much you’re spending, limit the number of times you go out a week and/or the amount of money you’ll spend when you do go out. You don’t have to stop enjoying time out with friends, but it can help to cut back on which invitations you say yes to.