Have you come to the realization that you’re overspending? Whether you spend a lot on food, clothes, travel, or entertainment — it’s okay. Because there’s good news: You’ve recognized that you need to spend less. Acknowledgment is the first step, after all. And spending less than you make is the foundation of financial security.
Here are some tips to help you spend less and worry less, too.
Tip 1: Track Your Spending
You will never be able to spend less if you don’t analyze what you’re spending so much money on. What seems to be the bulk of your spending? Food? Clothes? Events? After you analyze your spending, you’ll be able to clearly see areas you can cut back on. Take that unnecessary spending and put it in your savings account instead.
You can also utilize MoneyLion’s Financial Heartbeat feature, which will help you track your spending daily. It’ll tell you if your spending is in a healthy range or if it could improve. Just like you would count your calories on a diet, count where your money goes.
Tip 2: Avoid Unnecessary Fees
Late fees are pesky and annoying, but they’re avoidable, too. Write down every single payment you have and its due date so you can avoid these late fees in the future. Many companies charge credit card convenience fees. Cut back on these fees by linking your bank account or use auto-pay. Try a zero-fee checking account from MoneyLion too. Or get a 0% APR Instacash advance to fill your account when a bill is coming due.
Tip 3: DIY Your Beauty Routine
Skincare and beauty products can be outrageously expensive. But you can find so many online resources with DIY skincare recipes. Find items around your house to whip up and put into your daily routine. Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer and sugar is an excellent exfoliator. Do a Google search to see how you can use apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, avocado and even honey.
Tip 4: Cook Your Meals at Home
Eating out all the time adds up quickly. But when you cook a meal, you can have it for lunch and dinner the next day and that saves tons of money. You don’t have to cook elaborate meals, especially if cooking isn’t your thing. There are plenty of easy recipes online. And if you just don’t have the time to cook, then invest in a crockpot. Cooking can also help you get in touch with your creative side. Have fun in the kitchen!
Tip 5: Quit a Bad Habit
Seriously, quitting a bad habit is such an easy way to spend less. Every time you have the urge to purchase something that supports a bad habit, put it toward your savings instead. Do it for a month and see how much money you end up saving. For example, just by quitting smoking, you could save $200 or more a month. It can change your life — in more ways than one!
Tip 6: Cut Back on Subscription Services
The subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100% each in the past five years, thanks to our preference for convenience and online shopping.
But do you really need your subscription services? Prioritize your subscriptions and unsubscribe to ones that don’t benefit you. Check to see if you can pause services temporarily if you’re not sure. This can serve as a trial period to make sure you can get along without the subscription.
Tip 7: Learn an Inexpensive Hobby or Skill
Learning a new skill can cost little to nothing and it can also take the place of more expensive activities. Inexpensive hobbies could include knitting/sewing, writing, baking, critiquing movies and exercising. Research websites like Coursera, which offers over 1,500 courses to teach you something new. Another website called CreativeLive offers free, live broadcasted courses for more creative learning.
Tip 8: Cut Back on Alcohol
You can still go out and have fun, just cut back on the fancy drinks. Offer to be the designated driver some nights, which will not only saves you money but it saves you on expensive rides from Uber and Lyft as well. Instead of spending money on expensive cocktails, opt for a fun mocktail or cheap beer. Find out when bars have big specials or happy hours. You can save a lot of money and save an extra few bucks on drinks. Or invite your friends over to drink at home — this will save you money on both drinks and rideshares.
Tip 9: Don’t Be an Impulsive Buyer
Think before you buy! It’s so tempting to buy an item you’ve fallen in love with, but give yourself 24 hours to see if you can live without it. Make grocery shopping lists so you know exactly what you need. Unfollow Instagram bloggers so you’re not convinced that you need all of the expensive beauty products in the world. Impulsive shopping is not worth the financial stress.
Tip 10: Save on Energy Costs
Most expenses are fixed, but energy costs are the one expense that actually varies. This means you can decide how much you spend on energy. Prepare your home for winter so you’re not cranking up the heat every day. Block out the sun as much as you can and utilize your ceiling fans in summer. Turn off your air conditioning altogether in spring and fall and open the windows. Learn to insulate and prepare properly and you’ll see how easy it is to save on your energy bills.
Spend Less, Worry Less
Use these tips to take control of your finances and build your funds for a better future.
Save more for the things that really matter to you. Once you get into the habit of prioritizing your spending, you’ll see so many other opportunities to have fun and spend less.