Saving money can be so tricky. I am constantly making budgets, and picking apart my bank statements ("how did we spend $xx at Walgreens?!" is something you'll hear a lot from me). I'm starting to think that for me, saving money doesn't involve micro-managing my finances. I know people who are able to do this, they know that they have a certain amount of money to spend each week on groceries, going out, clothes, etc. and they always hit that number on the nose. Guess what? That doesn't work for everybody. It's clear to me that my attitude on money is equally influenced by my mom and dad. My mom's known for being pretty frugal, and my dad is a bit more "live in the moment" kind of spender. He won't even think twice before taking me and my friends out to a nice dinner that would take me a month (or 2...or 3) to save up for.
I like that my parents are different with money, because I have aspects of both of them. I love to save & find deals, and I also make sure to save enough that I can occasionally splurge. But now I'm interested in ways other than budgeting to save. I would like to share some of my thoughts :)
- Use the freezer! Oh my god, my biggest expense right now is food (going out, ordering in, groceries, buying lunch at work, snacks, etc.) When we cook food and freeze it for later, we save SO MUCH. First of all, we're not wasting food. And second, when we're so lazy that we want to order out...we just scamper to the freezer and re heat whatever concoctions we can find. The freezer is my friend.
- DE-CLUTTER. Staying organized and knowing where things are means using the things you already have and not buying excess. For me, this applies to almost everythings (clothes, medicine, food, makeup, dishes, etc.) I love how good it feels to get rid of things that I don't use anymore. And on the bonus side - if I get rid of a bunch of clothes, I don't feel guilty about adding 1 or 2 new things to my closet :)
- Make a list when shopping - groceries and otherwise. Try really hard not to stray. This is most difficult for me at Target. Sometimes I won't allow myself to walk in certain areas where my will power is lowest. That usually means I don't go anywhere near the clothing section at Target - IT IS MY KRYPTONITE.
- Direct Deposit! I love that my employer allows me to split up my direct deposit into different bank accounts. That way, I can have a certain percentage of all my paychecks automatically go into a secret savings account that I try not to get into. Whenever I am the middle man in a monetary transaction...some of it always gets spent in the process, haha. So it's better to keep me out - which is why I love my auto direct deposit :)