Happy Tuesday, y’all! I hope you had a great weekend and that your week is getting off to a great start. We had a busy, productive, yet fun weekend. I feel as if I’m finally motivated to start killing my goals for this month and this year!
I’ve already told y’all that one of our goals for this year is to save money with some specific monetary goals in mind (which I’ll keep to myself). But for me, it’s hard to say, “let’s try not to spend money.” I need specific goals—specific guidelines to follow to help me save money and not just a vague goal. So, naturally, I turned to my good friend Google.
My search results yielded a number of results, but only a few of the blog posts and articles provided any helpful suggestions. Most of them recommended cutting out expensive coffees, bottled water, and travel-size toiletries. None of those really apply to me or Ryan.
So, one night over dinner, he and I had a thorough discussion of what WE could do specifically to save money. We also examined what areas of our life we spend the most money in. I wanted to break it down for y’all a little bit and show you how you can make saving goals specific to YOUR life. Really, it comes down to two points:
- Identify your biggest spending points. For us, we spend the most money eating out and shopping. I’ll be honest, I love making quick trips to Old Navy or T.J. Maxx to “see what’s new”, which is where I end up spending small amounts that can begin to add up over time.
- Cut out those spending points or at least cut back A LOT. When eating out, split an entrée between two people. Chances are, you’ll have plenty of food and will finish the meal feeling completely satisfied. Also, drink water when you’re eating out. This might only be a few dollars here and there, but it will add up. (I’m definitely guilty of this. I love to order sweet tea with my meals). And also, don’t shop when you’re bored. Only go in a store when you’re looking for something specific.
I also recommend asking yourself, “do I really need this?” While a $4 bottle of nail polish or a $8 bottle of hair serum might not seem like a big purchase, those little items begin to add up over time. And truthfully, I DON’T need more nail polish or hair products. If I ask myself this question every time I purchase an item, I will save money. T.J. Maxx is a store where I really need to ask myself that question.
Ryan loves to peruse Amazon and Facebook Marketplace and, while you can definitely find some good deals on those sites, you may also find yourself spending money you should be saving. Personally, I love to buy books—used books, new books, books, books, books! I consider it a worthwhile way to spend money, but I also have lots of books that I haven’t read. So, until I read all those, I am not allowing myself to buy any new ones. Not even with the Barnes & Noble gift card I have.
So, taking those two points above into account, I suggest you ask yourself these two questions: What is something you spend too much money on? (AND) Do I need this right now/Do I need this at all?
Find the areas of your life where you spend the most unnecessary money and cut back. I’m not saying you need to deprive yourself of all “treat yo-self” moments, but by eliminating a chunk of your spending, you can “save yo-self” some money.
*One other tip: write down specific things you’re saving for, whether it’s a car, a trip, or something smaller like a TV. Write them down and post that goal somewhere you’ll see often. It’ll keep your goals forefront in your mind and (I think) make it easier to keep your credit cards in your wallet.
*Also, if you’re like us and realize that you spent too much over Christmas, you’re probably planning to begin saving money earlier in 2019 so you don’t feel so broke at Christmastime 2019. Many banks (mine included) offer Christmas Club accounts where you can set up automatic transfers from your checking account into a special account, and you can’t withdraw the funds until somewhere around November (or you’re penalized if you withdraw them early). We are DEFINITELY going to be opening one of these in the next couple weeks.
I hope this helps you and that you can achieve all your financial savings goals in 2019. Also, I’m NO expert on this subject, but this are just a few of my musings.