Mini Ways To Spend Less

Mini Ways To Spend Less

I hate to admit it, but money is a large part of our lives. If I could I would live in a little cottage far, far away, where I still get running water, electricity, and wifi and it would all just magically appear without having to pay for it. But sadly in the real world, we need to pay for things like adults. 

I don't believe I will ever have my financial life in order. For some reason, that’s one thing that always gets out of hand, or maybe there are always a few fourteen books that need to be bought and plane tickets that I need to purchase at this moment if not they'll go up in price. Girl math is a real thing. However I am not one of those girls who thinks, if I have cash then it's pretty much free money. Buttttt, I definitely talk myself into things that I shouldn't. 

What I'm trying to say is that there is no way I am an expert. But there are some things I have learned and do that make my life ten times easier when it comes to my financial situation. Hopefully, they might help you too!

Here we go! Mini ways to spend less!

Mind Shifts

A few mind shifts need to be acknowledged to help us not spend so much money. These are a few I have accepted recently. :D

1. You Don't Need To Spend Money to Have Fun

The past year, I have spent money every single time I decided to hang out with my friends. One thing we all have in common is that we love to eat! So, inevitably we would end up at a restaurant, la Michocana, or maybe Boba Tea was what we needed. 

But no more! Or not as much. We go to each other's houses instead, go for walks, or do many other free things. At least at home, I won't spend as much money on food as I would normally do in the expensive outside world. 

2. Outdoors Instead of Shopping

I used to hate shopping. Now, I have learned to love shopping, and it helps that I have actual money to spend. I can't wait to go shopping sometimes. This has become a pretty bad habit. Wherever I go, especially to Barnes & Noble (Book lover at heart), I end up buying something. And it's usually something I do not need. 

Now, whenever I have the inkling to go shopping, I go for a walk. Whether it's around my office building or neighborhood. I try to get outside, instead of shopping. Feels somewhat the same (at least that’s what I tell myself). I get to see beauty but instead of seeing it in clothes and shoes, I see it in trees and wildlife.

3. Embrace Minimalism

I got into minimalism about 3 years ago. I love the idea. It was definitely the popular thing back then, but now I am still trying to live by it. If you are new to the concept. It's the idea that you should live with only the things you need and not much else. I tend to focus on the things that bring me joy and not just living on nothing. That's a bit daunting. 

Minimalism is just a way of making sure you don't get so much junk in your house, and it truly does bring peace to oneself. Less to clean, more time to do other things. And also not spending money on every little thing just to have it. Give it a shot! Maybe you’ll enjoy it. 

4. Limit Social Media

I fall into this trap once in a while. Where I'm scrolling on Instagram or TikTok and all of a sudden I see this product that seems cool. The marketing is great because the moment I have some interest in a thing, it pops up a million times more. Eventually, I just convince myself to buy it. 

It's a vicious cycle. So, the best way I find to solve this problem of buying things I do not need (That most of the time don’t even work!), is to stop spending so much time on social media.

It's truly a hard habit to break, but it is worth it when you spend more time living life than seeing other people live.  

Everyday Life

So, you ask? How do I save money in my everyday life? Not just broadly speaking. Well, the quickest way I have learned to save money is through these suggestions. They take some time to do, but they truly help in the long run!

1. Coffee at Home

This one hits me in my soul! Especially since the moment I am writing this blog, I am drinking my Lavender Latte at an adorable coffee shop. But one way I do spend less money is to stop buying those $7 coffees from the adorable coffee shops. Or at least not as much.

The way I do it now is I just let myself go to the coffee shop about once a week. That's ten times better than coming 3-4 times a week. Baby steps. I can't give up on coffee shops just yet. :D

2. Cook Large Meals

This one is a lifesaver! I recently became a big lazy bum. I would not cook at all at home. So, what do I do when I am starving in the middle of the day? I go out and buy food. Normally it's not fast food (though fast food is just as expensive now)! But it's expensive nonetheless. In a week, I would spend about $60! Horrible truly horrible!

So, now I started cooking at home, and what I do is cook 2-3 big meals a week. So, I don't have to cook every day. It's so much easier, and I am getting back into a hobby I love. 

3. Repair Clothes at Home

This one is hard since I am not very good a sewing. But thankfully my mom is great at it! At the moment she fixes some of my clothes, and I can do the mini things, like fix a button or stuff like that. But repairing your clothes at home can save you some money since you don't have to spend so much on buying new clothes.

4. Simpler Self Care

I truly believe simpler is always better. But sometimes I can go a bit overboard when it comes to self-care. Seriously, I don't need that new face wash, or that new membership to a gym so I can truly relax. I'm not saying those things are bad, but when you are on a budget. Those things can add up fast. 

So, I keep my self-care to a minimum, but effective. I've gotten pretty good at this the last few years. Perhaps my next post will be about my self-care routine. 

Habits

The only way to truly win with money is to build some strong habits. Habits that will help you keep you from overspending, and know how much you truly do have. Here are some that I do, though I will admit, I suck at some of them.

1. Budget

This is where I suck!  A budget. The most important thing to actually succeeding at being financially free, and yet I put this off so much. I am slowly getting into it, but when you run a few businesses, it's hard to have it all together. 

If I had to recommend a way to do a budget app to help you, Dave Ramsey’s app is a great option. 

I truly hope you are better at this than I am. 

2. Use Cash

The idea is that when you pay with cash, you feel how much you are spending. It gives your brain a feeling of loss, than when you just pay with a card. I truly believe this is how credit cards can get so out of hand. It's just a habit of taking it out and swiping, without truly thinking how much you have spent. 

So, I try to carry some cash around so I know exactly how much I spend on the little things. Food, coffee, and any other random thing. It does help!

3. Make a List

When we actually venture into the stores, whether grocery shopping, clothes shopping, or anything else, it is always wise to write a list. So, you know exactly what you need. This is truly a godsend for grocery shopping. 

Food is so expensive nowadays, and do you really want to be buying things you'll never eat and will end up in the trash? Absolutely not! So, a list is the best way to know exactly what you need for the week, month, or anything else. This habit I truly do have down to a tee! (Now I need to get the budget thing together)

4. Eat Before Grocery Shopping

I can definitely tell the difference between when I eat before grocery shopping and when I don't. We spend a ton more money. Everything seems so good when you are starving that you have to buy everything. But your wallet pays for it. 

I  try to eat before I go grocery shopping. Most of the time I can, but if not I just grab something quick so I don't buy too much. At least!

Hobbies 

Hobbies can be one of the biggest things to overspend on. They are enjoyable, but dang do they need to be that expensive. So, I have compiled a list of new hobbies to try. Or at least add these so we are not just overspending in one area. 

Side note: If your hobby truly brings you joy, I would recommend keeping it, and tightening the belt in another area

1. Exercise

Or more like working out at home. One can still stay in shape, but not spend so much on fancy gyms and classes. I do like the idea of classes though, and if that's the only way you would work out. Stay! Try cutting something else instead.

Health is above almost everything.

2. Thrift Books over Bookstore

This is one I love! I discovered Thrift Books about 4 years ago, and it has saved me so much money on books. This app is a cheap way to purchase used and new books. I love Barnes & Noble and the cute bookstores, but they can get really expensive. So, I cut down on how often I go to them, and instead purchase my books from Thrift Books. I know there are other apps, but Thrift Books is my go-to.

Thrift Books Link!

3. Youtube/Podcast

This may contradict the "avoid social media" but YouTube and Podcasts are a great source of entertainment. They can truly replace Netflix, Peacock, and Disney+. I have my favorite YouTubers and podcasts that I listen to/watch that can be a source of entertainment over the others. Thus, saving me money! ;D 

4. Learn Something New

Well, this can go either way. Learning something new can be expensive if it's an expensive hobby, like rock climbing where you need to buy gear, a membership, and other things I don't know. But learning something new can be cheap, and it can keep you busy so you are not spending money on other things.  

Here's a mini list of things to learn that are cheap.

  • Running
  • Drawing
  • New Language
  • Gardening
  • Cooking/Baking
  • Coding 
  • DIY Home Repairs/Decor

Quick To Dos To Save Money

These are the quick things you can do today to save some money!

1. Cancel Subscriptions

This one is possibly the most mentioned. But it’s a useful reminder because I am pretty sure I am paying Spotify when I truly don't need it. Make sure you double-check, because they are well hidden.

2. Drink Water

I save so much money ordering water with lemon at restaurants instead of a soda or lemonade. It's an easy way to save yourself a quick $4-7 on your next dinner. Plus, water is great for your skin!

3. Consider a No-Spend Week

I do these once in a while. I try to squeeze a no-spend week in every month. It's an easy way to minimize silly spending whenever I am out. I just say I am not spending money this week, and somehow that works. Not sure how, but it does. Maybe because it doesn't feel too long of a wait. So, if I really want the item, I can purchase it the following week. 

Try out a weekend, if a week seems like too much. 

4. No-One Use Products

One-use products are usually bought for convenience, but the other option is usually cheaper and better for the planet. So, perhaps there are ways to switch some of them. 

Here is a mini list!

  • Coffee Pods- Make a pot of coffee or a single serve
  • Cotton Balls- Cotton Towels
  • Air Fresheners- Essential Oil Diffuser
  • Paper Towels- Kitchen Towels
  • Paper Plates- Glass Plates
  • Face Mask- Chemical Face Mask

5. Stop Using Credit Cards

It's so easy to use a credit card on the spot! I do this so much, that I am not considering just leaving the card at home, and bringing it with me whenever I truly need it. Or to get the points, I can pay some bills with it, and then pay the card off. 

Still hard. Hopefully, I can do it soon.

6. Negotiate Bills

This one is truly surprising. My dad is the one who taught me this one. Sometimes, when you call your internet provider, cable company, or even your phone provider, they end up giving you a better price. It's truly surprising.

Conclusion: 

There are so many ways to save money in our everyday lives. I recommend trying a few at a time. Too much at a time can just assure failure. Slowly doing things to improve your financial stance is better than doing too much or nothing at all. 

Let me know what you do to save yourself some money!

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