Money. Money. MONEY!
Now that I have your attention…
We earn it. Then spend it. Then save what’s left. And do it all over again, week after week. If we even have any left to save at the end.
That’s the tricky part; finding ways to put a little or a lot of cash aside. It’s even harder in these times of increasing cost of living (have you seen your latest hydro bill? How about the price of avocados, and fuel? Holy guacamole is RIGHT.)
I’m pretty sure most who come by my blog aren’t making a six+ figure income (unless you’re working a whole lotta overtime.) I did my share of overtime but as it wore on year after year with the last job, I found my quality of life wasn’t worth the darkness. Literally — many of us would arrive at work when the sun hadn’t fully risen and leave when it was the same outside, just in reverse. Bleh.
I needed to figure out how to make my income stretch farther.
Whether you’re working sixteen or sixty+ hours each week, anyone will benefit from real strategies to make whatever amount we earn work for us in a more efficient way. Here are four suggestions of what I do to save a few bucks!
1. Phone Apps. There are now 29 million people using mobile phones in this country (source: statista.com). Thazzawholelot.
That stat also means in between the social media, gaming, photos and tweets, there are great apps available to help you track your moola. I use Bills Manager — super easy and it tells me what bills are coming up:
And what percent I am spending with monthly reports:
*Photos courtesy of the App Store.
2. Make your weekly food plan. Spend an hour Sunday writing out your Monday-to-Friday meals and healthy snack plans. I recommend the European way of grocery shopping by going every two or three days and getting only what you need. I rarely shop with more than a basket I can carry which prevents a tonne of impulse purchases being thrown into your big push cart.
I can already hear some of you balking at such a CRAZY idea.
If you’re feeding a big family or have some members in the house that are always saying “MOM I’m starving! And there’s nothing here to eat!” (I’m looking at you, friends with teenage boys), this may not be as feasible to shop small. Even so, keeping to your written plan and listing your ingredients on paper — remember my article on lists? — will still help you ease off the unnecessary buys.
*Handy Tip: If they aren’t hungry enough to eat the apple in the fridge, they AREN’T that hungry. Heh.
Another easy pre-game of the same vein is to set up the coffee pot at night so it’s ready to turn on before you hit the shower. Or if yours has it, set the timer before bed. (Bless whoever invented that, helping us get up to the smell of fresh brew). Now you’re saving money AND time by not stopping for Tim’s or Starbucks on your way to work!
3. Don’t sacrifice your social life because you’re “too broke to hang out.” This comes back to the P word you hear me use often. Planning. Yeah. It really is that easy.
I get it; doing something spur of the moment is part of the fun. Trust me, I am the Queen of it! Often because I worry about saying no (future post on THAT.) Of course you can still do spontaneous things; personally, I think it’s one of life’s essentials. You just gotta cut back on the “Meet me at the pub in ten?” and increase the “Wanna meet up next Tuesday after work?” This way, you can set aside actual cash for exactly how much you are going to spend, rather than drinking away your share of the rent money just because you bumped into an old pal from high school 2 hours earlier. I’ve heard that can, uh, happen. **I was 25. Cut me some slack.
4. Sell stuff. I am ALL about this one the last couple years, thanks to the likes of online auctions and buy/sell/freebies apps and websites. When I sold my house in Fall of 2016 I was moving into something half the size. That meant half the stuff that was filling up my townhouse had to go before I ended up in my new place. This was quick and pretty darn easy, which then turned into payments on my credit card and fun money in my purse.
Get Your Glow On with these saving tips today. You can do it!