As we go through our daily routines we are constantly tempted by opportunities to spend our money. On top of that we are bombarded by colorful advertisements, billboards, and television commercials telling us what we “need” in order to: get through the day, look better, feel better, make our families happy, make ourselves happy, make ourselves healthy, be accepted by our peers, etc.
With this ongoing barrage of messages and opportunities to spend, it is no wonder many people are out of money before their next paycheck. Just at how many things the world is telling us we need.
So how do we break this endless cycle of daily spending? How can we make our money last, even with such high prices at stores and restaurants? Why does it seem like we only buy what we needed but all of our money is gone already? In this article you will learn 5 tips to save money every day.
- Don’t feed into the media! (It’s their job to make you want things!)
Does it ever feel like everywhere you look there is something that will make your life just that much better? The new face cream that will make you look 10 years younger, the cool gadget that will make cleaning the house or car so much faster and easier, or how about the new “superfood” supplement that cures everything from achy joints to cancer. Then when it comes to food that is a whole other story, if you like to go out to eat you can try the new restaurant that makes the same food that you can make at home (and charge 3x the price).
It’s really easy to believe things the media tells you. The reason for this is because they spend tons of money researching what will make you buy their products. People are working at these companies earning six figure incomes because they know what makes you tick. They know what emotions to hit such as “this will make your day so much easier.” or “If you don’t buy this you will be unhealthy and overweight!”
Do you want to know a secret? You don’t actually need these things, and after you buy most of them you will realize you don’t really even want them or you barely use them. You realize that what you thought you wanted was just a glamourized representation of what you bought.
- Make what they sell (for much less)
Many people miss out on this wonderful tip which will not only save you money but also teach you valuable life skills such as cooking, building, repairing, etc. A great way to start getting into the habit of making your own things is to think of one thing you pay for often (daily, weekly) and make it a goal to do that thing for yourself.
For example if you buy your coffee every day that could add up to over $100 a month in coffee alone. However if you went out and bought some fresh ground coffee from the market for $10 and made your own coffee each day you would end up saving $70-$80 a month in coffee expenses alone!
Another great way to save money is to start washing your own car instead of taking it to a car washes that costs anywhere from $7-$25 per wash.
One of my biggest money eaters was ordering takeout. Every day I would order takeout, paying $9 for a sandwich and up to $25 for a dinner for one. Then one day I realized how ridiculous those prices were and started teaching myself how to cook my favorite meals. I was not a pro chef overnight, and in the beginning I definitely made a few meals that turned out to be not so appetizing. But after a short time I got the hang of it and can make my favorite meals for a fraction of the price plus have leftovers.
- Only shop for deals
When people shop they usually like to stick with their brands. Always buy a certain trash bags, cereals, etc. However this is not always the best strategy for budgeting. Because grocery stores rotate their sale items every couple of weeks.
The next few times you go shopping make it a goal to only buy items on sale in the isles. Usually the meats and produce sections don’t run sales but if they do at your store look for those items that are on sale also. See how much more you get for your money when you shop this way.
- Recognize the difference between wants and needs
Often times the line between what we want and what we need is quite blurred or totally unseen even.
The only things we actually need are air, water, food, and shelter.
Of course this is a very Spartan list but these are the only four things humans need for survival, and one of them is free. This does not mean you should completely cut all luxuries from your life but having this short list of needs comes handy when you feel like you NEED that item that you are about to buy.
- Save every paycheck
This is one of the most valuable habits you can teach yourself. Even if you only save $1 every paycheck and put it away where you won’t spend it, you will be building the habit of saving money and having money left over from your paychecks. Once you build the habit of saving even $1 per paycheck you will notice that you can save $2, then $5, and so on. Pretty soon you will wonder how it was so difficult for you to save money in the past and laugh about how much you have grown financially.
When you take action on any of these 5 tips try to remember the 10% rule. This means only change 10% of your daily routine at a time to prevent going into “shock” from the changes being made. Trying to make too many changes too fast is one of the main causes of people not accomplishing their goals and moving forward.
As an example: if you were to get your next paycheck and say to yourself “I’m not paying any attention to the medias mind control (that means no tv, magazines, etc), and I’m going out to the store to buy only food on sale and make it all myself, oh I can probably also make some house cleaning products for cheap too, then whatever money is left over after food and gas is going straight into the savings jar!” I would applaud your enthusiasm, but the odds are that you will not follow through with at least one of these goals which can result in feeling like you failed and deserting all of the goals. Possibly by saying “Oh well, I’ll try again next time”.
So instead pick one or two reasonable money saving goals and stick with them until they are habit and then it is the right time to expand your views.
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