saving money tips

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I am going to be real with you all. I looooove spending money, shopping and splurging on things, experiences and food. I just can’t help it.

My focus word for the year is to simplify and one of the aspects of my life that I want to simplify is definitely my finances. It is all over the place… or well, at least it was until I decided that enough is enough.

So if you’re much like me and enjoy shopping once in awhile (or more like once a week) and splurging is your religion, continue reading.

In this post, I want to share with you some of the tips that helped me a lot recently to start saving instead of spending all of my money on spontaneous buys. Hopefully, it will come helpful to you too.

Do a bit of an inventory before buying

Tell me, when was the last time you checked what you have in your wardrobe, cupboards or makeup bags? We are so quick to forget what we actually have in our house when it comes to buying.

What helped me a lot (and let’s keep in mind that I’m that person who goes shopping as a hobby) is actually taking time in my day to look through my things, clothes before making a purchase. If I see a cute dress in a shopping mall, instead of going to try it on and spending 40 Euros on it, I now stop and think about how many dresses I have in my wardrobe. If I have 5, does a 6th one is really needed?

​​​​​​​How many dresses does a girl need anyway? Probably not 5 neither…

The point is, before making a spontaneous purchase, think about what you already have and if whenever it is really needed in your life. Just because it looks cute is not enough of an argument.

Put the things you need on the list

List lovers, you’re going to love this one.

Get yourself a small notepad or notebook and use it to write down things that you need. Instead of buying each thing when you decide you need it, write it down in your list and wait for the right moment.

Now what do I mean by the right moment? Discount, sales are the reason people like me spend hundreds but they also can come handy if you use it to your own advantage.

For example, I have face-wash, mascara and foundation listed on my to-buy list. Instead of going to a random shop to get all of these, I did a little research. I checked all the drug stores in my town and found out that one of them had a sale going on. So I went there and managed to get my mascara and foundation (which I run out off) with a 40% discount.

How’s that for a saving method! Another example of this method:

I write down things that I think I need on the list but I don’t buy them for at least 2-3 weeks. If after all this time, I can’t stop thinking about it and needing it, I will go on and purchase it. But most of the time, I forget about it and end up not buying it.

This helped me a lot when it comes to clothes. You know what moment when you see a gorgeous piece of clothing and almost convince yourself that you can’t no longer live without it? Yeah, this is why you need to take a bit of time for your brain to process and make a rational decision.

Bring food from home

You are going to save a lot if you stop going to cafes, restaurants and whatnots during your lunch break. I am not even talking about bottled water…

What you could do instead is make yourself lunch at home and bring it to work or university. You can even bring snacks, so you won’t feel the need to buy that delicious looking cinnamon roll.

Also, try using a reusable water bottle to bring water as well. You’ll save money by not buying a new water bottle each day and you’ll definitely do a bit of good for our planet.

Hashtag live sustainably.

Track your expenses with an app

I have no idea why I didn’t do this sooner. From the beginning of the year, I started using an app to track all my expenses and income and it’s been a life-changer.

Somehow I never realized what I spend the most money and turns out that it is food and clothes. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t expect that…

Anyway. Each time I spend any amount of money, I note it on my app with a label such as ‘food’, ‘transportation’, ‘leisure’, etc. After the whole month of tracking, I can look back at the numbers and see what expenses are the biggest, which are the lowest and so on.

This way I can see where my money is going and where I can improve. Last year I spent hundreds on clothes (half of which I don’t even wear…), so I made a mission to spend less this year. Also, I noticed that I can improve my ‘food’ expenses by making food at home, bringing it to university and bulk buying as well.

So if you take anything from this blog post, definitely download an app or create an excel sheet if you want to be fancy and start tracking your money. You can’t be good with your money if you don’t know where they are going.

You can't be good with your money if you don't know where they are going. Click To Tweet

Use 50/30/20 rule

I am still trying to get accustomed to this rule but I can already see a big impact of it on my journey to simplifying finances.

I learned this one from one of my all-time favourite websites, Girl Boss (check it out!). In short, this rule means that every month you should spend 50% of your after-tax income on basic needs, 30% on entertainment and leisure and to allocate 20% to savings.

For example, if your after-tax income is 1000 Euros, then 500 Euros should go for rent, food, transportation, 300 Euros on leisure things (trips, cinema, take-out, trips) and you should put 200 Euros to your saving account.

Now you can adjust the percents as you see fit for your situation. If you’re in debt, you definitely should put as much of your income as possible towards paying it off rather than trying to save something now. Also, if you feel like you can spend less than 50% of income on basic needs, adjust it as well.

What do you do to be better at saving money?

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