Little Habits that Help Me Save Money

Money Saving TipsHave you ever stopped and thought “where on Earth is all of my money going?!” And then stopped again to realize you either ate it, put it in your closet or (in my case) on your bookshelf.Spending is something I struggled with. My parents never really had anyone to guide them through their finances and in turn, they didn’t have much knowledge to pass down to me. One thing they’ve always stressed is not trying to live beyond my means, which is why when I had the chance between renting my current studio that came in under budget and a dreamy apartment a few blocks away that was $100 over my budget, I opted for the former.

And I’m much happier for it.

I wouldn’t consider myself a financial guru by any means but over the past two years, I’ve gotten much better about monitoring my spending and saving.

So today, I want to share a few quick tips that help me spend less and save more  without feeling like I’m depriving myself.

Bringing cash for running errands

Especially when heading to Target, aka the most tempting place on Earth. Before you head out to run errands, know exactly what you’re going to get and about how much you’ll be spending. It makes it much harder to pick up a few of those dollar deals near checkout or that new face mask you saw on display. It will also save you time, because let’s face it, we spend more time wandering the aisles of stores to see what’s new and worth picking up than actually focusing on the items we need!

And on a similar note…Money Saving Tips

Never go shopping without a list!

The only the worse than heading to the grocery store hungry is going without a list. You’ll end up with lots of stuff that takes up place in the fridge but may not be what you want or need to actually get through the week. When grocery shopping, I build my grocery list after deciding what meals I’m making for the week. That way I know exactly what and how much I need of everything and don’t waste money or food.

Have savings taken out automatically

Even if you trust yourself to set aside a certain amount of money each paycheck, I recommend automating it. Each pay, I have a certain amount put into savings without even having to think about if it’s there. Since it’s not up to me to put the cash aside, I can always trust that it happens. It makes saving that much easier and likely to happen when you remove yourself from the equation.

Loading my SEPTA card consistently

I walk almost everywhere I go when I run day-to-day errands or go to work, but any other time, I try to hop on the bus or subway more often than into an Uber or Lyft. Each month, I make sure to add money to my SEPTA (Philly’s public transit system) card to make getting around easy. I never have to worry about having money to get places and because I load the card in advance, that money is spent and I’m less likely to spend it on a rideshare.

Delete those tempting apps

Grubhub. Postmates. Caviar. GoPuff.

Living in the city has its perks but the fact that you can get almost anything delivered to your door makes spending super accessible. If you find yourself taking out too often (or developing personal relationships with the GoPuff delivery man who brings your ice cream….) delete those apps and stick to what’s in stock at home.

Change how you buy

As my schedule and work flows have changed, the way I shop has had to change as well. It’s not only helped me manage my time better, but has saved money in the long run. When I’m traveling or have a slammed week, I’ll order groceries and get them delivered instead of trying to squeeze in a rushed store run or (more likely) eating take out for a week. I get some household staples auto delivered from Amazon like dish soap and laundry detergent so I don’t even have to think about it. Making a quick change like this could do wonders for your wallet, too.

How do you track and control your spending? And if it’s something you struggle with, when do you find you’re overspending the most?

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  1. These are great tips! We have gotten a lot better about delivery apps but it is one thing we love about living in the city so we probably get take out once a week. My catch is that if it is within 5 blocks of the house, we walk to get it and avoid delivery fees and tip.

    My favorite hack is to use target.com and my red card (the debit one) for some stuff. The red card gets you 5% off and free shipping and it is literally stupid how much they mark stuff up at the target in store in center city. Example: my face wash is $11.99 in store at 19th and chestnut and online it’s $7.99. So crazy!

  2. Keeping your receipts or otherwise logging your spendings and seeing where you’re spending most of your money is… probably helpful too! I don’t do it myself so I can’t say FOR SURE. Sounds logical tho. But I’m 95% sure that I spend most of my money on food, sometimes meaning solid food, most of the time meaning coffee. Realising where you’re spending the most money is helpful in determining where you can cut back on spending. // I used to use cash all the time because electronic money made me nervous. But one fateful school break I started using my card more frequently, and now I don’t carry very much cash anymore. But using physical money would definitely help from overspending, because you have a visual of how much money you’re spending. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  3. I totally agree with these, especially Target. Last week I bought a butter dish, again, now I have three. They get me every time, especially with that red card, so I may try this! It’s so easy to spend a little extra here and a little extra there! Thanks for sharing!