Peek inside your wallet. Is it looking a little empty?
No judgement here, spending money tends to be more fun than saving it.
But, living within your means keeps financial stress low and lets you prepare for unexpected situations.
If you’re ready to reduce your spending but aren’t sure how, try these three money-saving tips that have real, lasting impacts.
Discover Your Own Budget Habits
If your money quietly disappears in the weeks after payday, awareness is going to make a big difference.
Before you start worrying about big changes, commit to tracking every expenditure for two weeks.
You’ll get a better understanding of your patterns and you might identify a couple good places to cut back.
You can go old-school and carry a notebook to record purchases, or you can check out some of the creative digital budgeting tools.
There are phone apps that turn budgeting into a game, celebrating when you meet your goals.
Check out your bank or credit card’s website–many have developed free budgeting tools to help their customers stay in good financial health.
Price Comparisons for Medications
Medical expenses make up a huge part of many Americans’ monthly budgets.
Many people assume that the cost of their prescriptions is unavoidable.
While your medications are essentials, not luxuries, the resulting bills often look like grand splurges.
You don’t have to compromise your health to trim your medical expenses.
Many of the more costly brand name medications have coupons available through your doctor or the web.
You can also use the internet to shop around. Reputable online pharmacies in well-regulated nations such as Canada often have significantly lower prices.
Check Prices Ahead of Time
When you’re already inside a store or restaurant, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment.
Companies know this and offer an array of tantalizing add-ons, instructing their employees to upsell everybody.
That seasonal special or extra-large meal might cost more than you wanted to spend.
But, when it’s already your turn to order, it’s easy to make a snap decision that’s not in your wallet’s best interests.
It only takes a few seconds to look up those Chipotle prices before you visit.
Whether you’re picking up dinner for four or just a drink, you’re less likely to get upsold if you already looked over the menu and made a budget-friendly plan.
Find a Hobby That Helps You Save
Collecting, traveling, and other fun pursuits have a way of draining your finances. Consider some do-it-yourself vibes that will reduce your costs.
Gardening is a favorite hobby that combines the soothing satisfaction of creating something with time spent outdoors.
The cost of seeds and a few basic tools equals much less than buying produce from a store.
Not to mention, and you’ll get fresher fruits, vegetables, and herbs to enjoy in the kitchen.
If you’re more drawn to active pursuits, try the ones that don’t require a fancy gym membership.
Instead of the weekly cost of a spinning class, see if a friend will sell your their bicycle that’s been gathering dust.
Enjoy exploring the local trails with few additional costs.
Running or walking requires little more than a pair of sneakers.
Saving a Little Every Day
With these cost-cutting strategies in mind, your bank account will start changing for the better.
There’s an important theme that unites all of these tips: Thinking ahead can have a significant impact on your finances.
A few seconds of thoughtful decision making today can result in healthier finances tomorrow.