Money may not buy you happiness, but it certainly gives you options. I know that for me, the thing keeping me awake at night is money. So having a little something extra in your bank can really make a difference. Check out these simple yet effective ways of saving money without it being a downer on your life.
The Issue With Saving Money
The thing is, I’m not a saver. It was never something that was actively encouraged as I grew up. And when I got to university I was so consumed with all the freedom it gave me, that I never bothered to look at the bigger picture. I never thought past those three years. I just assumed that everything would work out. Biggest mistake of my life right there.
Our focus was getting into university, so day after day we sat learning about the Kings of old, how to calculate the angle of a triangle and one day we signed our student loans papers, and off we went into the real world with no clue what so ever.
Of course, it isn’t my educators’ fault that I didn’t think about the future. I was a young adult; I should have known better. But I didn’t. And not just with money. With how I approached my degree and work life also. Which is why I found myself, at 27 years old, Googling ‘saving hacks’. And now I’m sharing my favourite ones with you.
Find A Side Hustle
Statistics show that you only have to dedicate around two hours per week to your side hustle to make an extra $1000 per month. So, although your chosen hustle might require money to begin with, picking the right one should be a good source of income. Blogging, of course, is the most popular option but there are heaps of others out there. Does your favourite product have a network selling option? Juice Plus is a product I use every day, and they have a great franchise option. If you speak another language, could you start teaching it? Passionate about grammar? Proof read in your spare time. Fiverr is a great place for advertising your expertise.
Not only will this help you save money but it will also help keep you healthy. Make it a habit to do a weekly food shop and before each trip, plan all your meals and snacks, make a list of the ingredients and stick to it. Having everything available will stop those random trips to the store or ordering in food.
Find one day a week to do all your lunch prepping. I know taking a packed lunch to work is a bit sucky but so’s not being able to pay for your car repairs. Salads can usually be kept for around three days, and I found that if you use cherry tomatoes rather than sliced, the lettuce/spinach/kale doesn’t go soggy. If you hate the idea of salad five times a week, then check out Pinterest for different meal prep ideas.
I also usually make a batch of soup or mini egg frittatas that I freeze so if I get too lazy to cook I always have options available.
Record Spending Habits
There is nothing more shocking than seeing where your money actually goes so recording every purchase is a great motivator. There are some incredible apps to help coordinate all your finances. My favourite is Account Tracker as it allows you to combine all your accounts giving you the bigger picture of how your finances look.
At the end of each day look over your spends and see if there are any patterns. When and how often do you get coffee and food? Did you raid All Saints whilst nipping to the bank?
Get Creative With Clothes
We all love new clothes, but if you’re going to be a homeowner, some sacrifices will have to be made. This all depends on where you live, but in Dubai we have so many fashion swap shop events. Sure, it doesn’t have the same effect as going to the shop and buying something new, but at least it will give you the opportunity to clear out anything you don’t want and replace it with something different. Plus, you never know what someone is willing to give away.
Remember why you are doing this. Whether it’s to buy your first place, clear credit card debt, or just have a little cushion of money, remember the end goal. Trust me, it’s worth it.