If this blog title got your attention, well… GOOD! I was hoping it would.
Money’s one of those topics people get weird about when it’s brought up. Do you think so, too? I mean, I get it…
Some of us live paycheck to paycheck, and others spend frivolously. Then there are many of us right in-between, living comfortably within our means and spending on things we genuinely need. Whatever your financial situation may be, I thought today we could talk about it openly and just be real with where we’re at.
I’ll be open with you. I make a decent living doing what I do, but I’m sure I could make more. But, I’m sure that by making more, I would either be saving more and/or spending more on things. Let me clear, my current earnings afford me a very happy, full life, but I live within my means, day-to-day, right where I’m at.
I feel fortunate to have a steady income and to get the opportunity to spend it wisely. I guess it helps that material things don’t really excite me much (other than the occasional cute pair of shoes, yoga top, or dangly earrings). I’d MUCH rather spend on experiences—something Sam and I have in common—like concerts, vacations, and a fine dining experience somewhere new.
Lately, I’ve been reading Money Magazine (thanks Dad, for my subscription!) and I’m always blown away by the articles on saving, 401Ks, real estate and investing. Call me a nerd, but 30-year-old me is INTO THIS STUFF. I never would have thought I would be, even like 5 years ago, but now I’m really scratching my head when it comes to how I can save more, and how I can soon invest with Sam in a home. That’s our hope, anyway…
So today, I’m sharing my own simple and easy ways to save money. It all just takes a little conscious thinking in the moment, but these can all be done—starting TODAY—if you really want to get your financial business in order.
These are some things I feel we can all practice if we’re looking to save even just $10-20 weekly. Hey, a little goes a long way!
– Work out on your own, with friends or outside.
Gym memberships and yoga studio packages are expensive. If you’re looking to cut down your bills, start here. I will admit, that as someone who loves to work out, I do have a yoga membership but it’s something that makes me so happy and that I do regularly enough that I can justify the monthly bill. However, if you’re someone who hasn’t used yours in awhile, I’d consider dropping it and getting some fresh air for your workouts. Grab a friend even and hold each other to it each week.
– Split meals with your partner or friends when dining out. And, better yet, skip the alcohol.
Half the time when I go out to eat, I don’t even really want a huge entree, so to cut back on the price (and the calories… win, win), try splitting a meal with someone. Entrees at restaurants are HUGE so don’t feel bad about splitting.
And, try a tapas restaurant. Everything is shareable, small plates anyway.
– Pack your own lunches for work.
It’s easy to do this when you meal-prep on a Sunday for the week ahead. Make things like: salads, wraps, soups, smoothies, yogurt parfaits, fruit cups, and veggies with hummus. I’m telling you, if you take an hour or two on a Sunday, you’ll be set up for success all week with healthy meals. You’ll save money, no doubt.
– Walk when you can > driving.
If you live in the city, there’s no excuse. Sam and I walk to the grocery store, bank, gym, and even some appointments. If it’s within a mile, I always prefer to walk. Plus, I don’t have to give up my prime street parking spot. 😉
– Look for street parking (even if it takes an extra 5 minutes)
This has my name written all over this. More times than not, I’ll circle the block a couple times to find parking because if it’s free… why not! Unless I’m really pressed for time, then I will pay for valet if I gotta.
What can I say… I’m just THAT girl. 🙂
– Get outdoors. It’s free.
The great outdoors, ah yes. Use it, love it, soak it up. There’s no price tag there. Have a picnic, get some sun on your skin, or just walk around and breathe in the fresh fall air.
– Give your closet a deep clean and discover “new-to-you (again)” clothing items.
By discovering old articles of clothing you haven’t seen/worn in awhile, you’re saving on money you WOULD be spending out. Treat these “new” pieces just as so—NEW. Give them a fresh wash, hang them in the front on your closet and start wearing them again. You didn’t spend a dime on them but you’ll feel like you have plenty of “new” items to show off at work and out with friends.
– Consider traveling somewhere during non-peak times, but be prepared for maybe more rain or gloomy skies.
Traveling is the best but it’s also a huge money sucker. If you can, try to arrange your travel during “off” seasons. The flights will be way less. Also, pick the right days. Traveling during weekdays is often less than arriving/departing on weekends. Researching travel can be time-consuming, but you will more than likely save $100+ when you do your due diligence.
– Treat yourself with coffee out 1-2 times a week, rather than every day.
THIS one is hard, but it’s a sure way to cut back some spending. Look at coffee out as more of a treat than a routine. That $3-5/day can really add up when you think about it. Make your coffee at home and really savor it as you would when you go out.
– Pick up a side gig.
What’s something you’re good at and love doing? Start asking yourself how you could make some extra dough using your talents and passions. That extra $50-$200/month can give your savings the extra boost you’ve been looking for.
– Peruse free things to do in your town/city.
I do this all the time. I literally just google “Things to do this weekend in LA.” It’ll surprise you how many things pop that are local, free to the public, and super unique. Things like farmers markets, pop-up shops, concerts, and festivals.
Take for example next weekend. I already found an awesome festival in downtown LA that features various types of mole (a traditional sauce originally used in Mexican cuisine) and Sam and I are already pumped about it.
But honestly… can I go back to Tip #1 for a second?
Guys, really…. LIVE within your means. Whatever you make, adjust your lifestyle to THAT. Maybe that means saying no more to going out with friends every weekend or passing up on a trip somewhere (for now). Just do it. Your bank account will thank you.
That’s all for today!
Hope these little tips left you thinking, “Hmmm, I could do that” ‘cuz guess what, you CAN.
Give it a try!