Spending less on your day-to-day life can help you put extra savings away, whether for an emergency account, a retirement fund, or even a vacation. But when it comes to actually saying no to swiping your card or hitting a purchase button online, you may have a harder time sticking to your savings goal.
Before you give up, try out these three easy ways to curb your spending habits. They’re not difficult to implement and you’ll notice a major difference in your bank account when you keep up with them each week and month.
1. Purge What You Already Have
It may seem counter-intuitive, but having a ton of stuff in your home can actually lead to buying more stuff. For starters, you probably don’t know everything you have. Think you’re out of shampoo or conditioner? You very well may have a brand-new bottle crammed at the back of your bathroom vanity. Spend a couple of hours to clear your space of clutter and take inventory of what you already have. You may be surprised by what you find. Plus, you won’t be tempted to buy tons of organizing containers and other supplies because you don’t have any clutter. It can be an incredibly freeing experience while simultaneously leading to better long-term spending habits.
2. Reduce Your Food Spending
Another way to curb your spending is to be mindful of what you’re spending on food and make a concerted effort to slash that number. Start off by adding up everything you spent on food and dining out last month. Even if you reduce that number by 10 to 20 percent, you’ll notice huge savings over the course of a year. You don’t have to be a crazy couponer. Instead, try these simple hacks to reduce your food spending.
Prep Your Breakfast and Lunch
The Internet is brimming with easy, budget-friendly breakfast and lunch ideas that are designed to help you avoid picking something up, no matter how busy you are. You can go all out, making and freezing breakfast burritos for a week, or do something as simple as getting a bag of bagels rather than stopping at the bakery on your way to work.
Leftovers for lunch are always easy (and prevent you from growing a mold experiment in the back of your refrigerator) and it’s simple to keep some sandwich materials on hand. With so many grocery delivery services available, you can do your shopping in 15 minutes online, see how much you’re spending before you check out, and avoid last-minute impulse buys.
Preplan How Often You’ll Eat Out
Depending on your financial situation, you likely don’t need to deprive yourself of ever going out to eat again. If you’re regularly struggling to make ends meet, you may want to take a total hiatus until you regain your financial footing. But if you just want to curb your spending in general, all you need to do is set guidelines for yourself and follow them.
Maybe that means allowing yourself one happy hour a week and one night out with friends. Or perhaps you commit to a single family date night twice a month. Figure out how much you want to save each month and use that number to create your social calendar.
Shop Your Pantry
Chances are, you have some kind of pantry space holding non-perishable food items. Before you do your weekly grocery shopping (remember, online makes it easy!), first figure out what food you already have and use it to inspire your grocery list. Also note what may be going bad in your refrigerator soon, especially when it comes to fruit and vegetables. See how low you can get your grocery list by shopping your own kitchen first.
3. Hide Your Credit Cards
Credit cards make it all too tempting to buy things we don’t need or can’t afford. If you’re really having trouble curbing your spending, hide your credit cards. Stick them in a drawer or go the extra mile and freeze them in a bowl of water. To really do this well, however, you also have to go to your online accounts and delete your saved credit cards (Amazon Prime, we’re looking at you!). That way there’s no temptation whatsoever to mindlessly shop from your sofa while watching Netflix.
Have debt and overspending affected your credit score? Ovation Credit may be able to help. Reach out for a free consultation today.