I was recently viciously attacked for my post, 87 Extreme Cheapskate Money Saving Hacks — not really, but a little dramatics are always fun. Someone left a comment stating that in all of these 87 money-saving ideas, none were original. While I could argue the fact that if this person had heard all of these tips before, why were they still broke? But that’s beside the point. Maybe. Nonetheless, I kind of get it which is why I have tried to steer clear of “cheapskate” talk. So what about us non-cheapskates of the world? How can you see results in your money-saving capabilities without dumpster diving? Lemme break it down.
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Make a list of 3 things you want in life
In my opinion, the best way to make every life decision, including with your money, is by starting with the end result and working your way backward.
When it comes to money, first ask yourself what you actually want to accomplish from your life. Like realllly accomplish. What is it you want your life to look like once you’ve reached the end of it? This mindset is the entire premise for The Bucket List Budget financial course.
Find your spending gaps
After you’ve decided on what you want the most in life, take the time to go through your last 1-3 months of spending and find the major gaps.
What are spending gaps?
I am referring to any spending habits you have that are super far away from the long-term goals that you set for your life. For example, if you have a goal to run a marathon and every month you’re paying $150 for cable (which causes you to sit on your butt for hours on end) — that’s a spending gap.
If you have a goal to travel to Paris but you spend $50 on gas station snacks last month — that’s a spending gap.
Other areas might feel a little “less gappy.” For example, maybe you spend $300 going out to eat, but you love trying new local restaurants with your friends and good relationships are a part of your life goals. The truth is then that you’re not spending money on food, you’re investing in relationships and time together. Be sure you take the time to make these distinctions.
Reduce the gaps
Once you have decided what is a gap and what isn’t, find ways to make your gaps a little smaller.
If you are in the habit of getting gas station snacks every time you go to the gas station, chances are you’re not going to kick that habit overnight. Instead, look into ways to reduce the gap instead of completely eliminating it.
- Maybe aim for one less snack than normal.
- Get just a drink and not a donut…then the next time, switch it up.
- Buy yourself a $20 gift card to that gas station and use this to help you stick to a budget for next month.
Of course, this isn’t all about gas station snacks. This same type of mentality can be applied to any spending gaps that you have.
Need help reducing the gap?
If you struggle to know how to effectively find and reduce spending gaps, check out The Bucket List Budget. There is a step-by-step process that you’ll be walked through that allows you to effectively build a budget, pay off debt, and still enjoy life’s little luxuries.
Set automatic goals for your wants
Once you have decreased the gaps in your spending, start planning other automatic goals for the additional money you have freed up in your budget.
You can do this by setting up an automatic savings plan through a savings account that pays you to save! My personal favorite savings account gives you high-paying interest rates when you set up automatic savings of only $100 per month! This is a great account for people who are just getting started on saving and would love additional incentive (AKA money) to help them do it! Click here to open a Savings Builder account.
Choose cash or card for your problem areas
Here’s my favorite money-saving tip of all!
When it comes to your biggest “problem area” in your spending. Maybe you get too carried away on drinks when you go out, or you can’t pass up new outfits ever week…there are a few steps you can take
- Look at your biggest struggle area
- Calculate how much you spend
- Set a new reasonable goal
- Put that amount on a Cash App card or take it out in cash!
Designating a spending amount and then separating it from your other spending helps you hone in and be more aware of when and how much you spend without totally taking it away from yourself.
Focus on big wins over small ones
The biggest mistake people often make, especially cheapskates is focusing on small wins and living with a lack mindset. Small wins are things like reducing your electricity, clipping coupons or going to the gas station with 3 cents cheaper prices. Yes, you will save money…but I want you to focus on bigger wins instead. If you can
- Reduce your monthly spending
- Make reasonable spending limits for yourself
- Open a savings account and make it a priority
You will be steps ahead of people with 800 coupons and thrift store clothing. I promise.
If you’re sick of messing around with the small wins that aren’t getting you anywhere, I encourage you to commit to change. Join the Bucket List Budget course and get the complete game plan to transform your financial life forever.
Have fun making money
So many of us end up getting stuck at jobs we tolerate for a paycheck. The truth is, you can have a lot of fun making money if you look in the right places.
I personally love earning an income online (click here to join my free training on how to get started) and while running this blog I have learned about so many great ways to bring in an extra income!
- Flipping items online
- Selling your old stuff
- Bartending (I would go back to my beer cart girl job at the golf course any day!)
The truth is, if you’re looking to beef up your bank account, a side-hustle can be the best way to do it! Side Hustles That Can Pay Your Mortgage