You may hear “save money, live better” and immediately think of Walmart and the catchy slogan, but it’s a lot more than just a marketing phrase for a big box retailer. Saving Money is something that has been a topic of many conversations lately. With the direction of the market, housing prices, and the rising cost of nearly everything, money and liquidity has been on a late of people’s minds.
With social media and lots of individuals flaunting extravagant lifestyles, it’s easy to want to spend money aimlessly and even spend money that you don’t have. Saving money and living better is about not only saving money and having funds to fall back on if needed, but also living better because you have peace of mind in knowing that you are able to make ends meet. Saving money is not just about putting cash in the bank or a retirement fund, there’s a lot more to it.
Here are 8 ways to save money and live better..
Cut back on Alcohol, Cigarettes, Vapes, etc.
I would hope that everyone reading this is aware of the negative health effects of alcohol, cigarettes, vapes, and other ways people escape… These activities have long term health risks associated with them and also cost a decent chunk of money. The minimum retail price for a pack of cigarettes in New York City in $13.00, I highly doubt you’ll find them for that low but we can use it for the example. If you smoke a pack a day, which is pretty standard for more smokers, you’re looking at $4,745 a year on cigarettes. Now do the math for drinks or cocktails at a bar, vapes and vape cartridges, it really does add up. Money is being spent and quality of living in failing.
Instead of spending nearly $5,000 on cigarettes, think about taking on a gym membership. A $30 a month gym membership is $360 a year. Cutting smoking and purchasing a gym membership still equates to an over $4,000 profit in your pocket! Not to mention all the positive health benefits and the chunk of change you have in your pocket.
Start Saving Small
A tree starts as an acorn and it takes time to grow, so does your savings. As we enter into this unsettling time, it’s important to review finances and start to put cash aside sooner rather than later. With job market volatility and rising prices, you will never know when you may need to fall back on savings. Wether it’s $5 a week or $500 dollars a week, you need to start somewhere.
Saving money, in any capacity helps you live better because it helps ease the stress around money. Knowing that you have something, anything, to fall back on is such a feeling of relief. It’s like starting to workout, the hardest step is starting! But once you start it becomes addicting and lifestyle changes just start to fall into place. I remember my first job making less that $30,000 a year, paying nearly my entire monthly paycheck on rent, and starting to set a side a couple dollars every month. Watching that grow to what it is now is such an accomplishment. But you have to start in order to live better!
Cut back on Starbucks
As a note, when I say Starbucks, I mean all coffee shops. Similar to cigarettes and drinking, coffee comes with a steep price tag! Let’s say you’re getting coffee 7x a week and your latte costs you $7.00. That means in an entire year, you are spending $2,548 on coffee, not to mention the gas to get there and the croissant or cake pop you buy to go with it. What would you do with over $2,500 back in your pocket?
Sure caffeine addiction is real, but buying your own coffee machine and coffee beans is a much more cost efficient way to start your mornings than running to Starbucks or your local coffee shop. Here’s an awesome coffee machine for $25 and espresso machine for $70 on Amazon now. With the rising prices I have starting going to my local coffee shop 1x a week instead of 4x a week, I want to keep supporting small businesses but also need to keep an eye out for my own well-being! There are many ways to save money and live better, you just have to find them!
Give Yourself an Allowance
Remember when you were a kid and your day would be made when your parents gave you an allowance? You cherished that money and kept it in your piggy bank for something nice. You didn’t just spend it all in one place, or maybe you did and then you immediately regretted it… You’re the keeper of your own finances know, give yourself an allowance.
Now what you do with that allowance money is on you, but if I were you I would start saving it and maybe even start investing it! The beauty of investing money is compound interest, there is a risk but historically speaking sound investments in solid funds will over time give you back more money than what you put in. A great way to start investing in through Acorns, this app allows you to schedule transfers (could be your allowance) and invest them into your portfolio. You can check progress on the dashboard and also make purchases through the dashboard and many retailers and get a % of your purchases invested back into your account. If you’re interested you can check it out and sign up here.
Set a Financial Goal
If you don’t have a goal what are you working towards? Having a healthy competition with yourself can be fun! If you are saving for a home, car, sort of large purchase, or just saving for an emergency fund, it’s incredible important to set a goal. I want to save $X,XXX by this date. Make it clear and actionable to make you want to reach it!
Having a goal is going to naturally help you curb unnecessary spending. You might find yourself questioning, “do I really need this?” “Am I actually going to wear this?” “Is this something I will use more than once?” When you start adjusting your current spending lifestyle, and realize that you are fully capable of surviving off a less, then you really are acting on save more, live better.
Shop Around Before You Buy
See something you want and immediately impulse buy it? I’ve been there. Mid range purchases have been the death of me, it’s just $20 right?? Wrong thing about what that $20 bucks could turn into! But what if you actually need to spend that $20 to buy a jacket for your son or daughter, or a new pair of sandals because your only pair broke? Shop around. You might find that same jacket or a better one, for less money. Just because you are being money conscious, does not mean you are sacrificing your comfort in life. There’s always a deal to be found, whether its a different store, brand, retailer, or even with a coupon!
Saving money and living better is about small actions or changes that can add up to a huge profit. Just keep thinking about the coffee example, imagine you’re able to save $1-$3 on everything you buy because you looked for a deal and didn’t just spend the money at the first place? It can add up and guess what? You’re lifestyle didn’t change, you still have what would would have, plus a couple more dollars in your pocket.
Opt for Streaming Services Over Cable TV
Cable is way too expensive for what it is. I stopped paying for cable almost 7 years ago and never looked back. There are multiple streaming options that are substantially less, even with the necessary internet connection, than standard cable. Imagine paying $80 for multiple streaming platforms and internet instead of over $200 for cable, internet, and probably the same streaming networks.
You can save money many different ways, including TV! If we’re talking about living better also, there’s much better things to do then part your butt on a sofa and watch TV. Go for a walk, ride your bike, get your body moving instead of falling into a binge on TV. Think about the money you could save by cutting TV cable and streaming services all together?
Limit the Number of Outings
The definition of outings here is anything where you are going somewhere to do something that is going to cost you money. There are plenty of free activities you can do, explore a local park, spend a day at the beach, hike a trail, or just enjoy reading a book on a park bench to name a few. If you are spending money every time you leave the house, for dinner, activities, shopping, whatever it is, that means there is an opportunity to save money.
There’s no need to never go out and to never spend money again that’s not what we’re getting at here, part of living better is going out and enjoying life. But cutting down on expenses on outings can be a huge cost saver. Even reducing outings to 1x a week or 2x a month can amount to a large chunk of extra change in your pocket.
Think about all the ways your spend money now and how you can revisit some spending habits so you can save more and live better! Little changes really to add up in your wallet, and with the current economic landscape, there’s not better time to start than right now!
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