Hi Friends! It is a beautiful sunny Saturday and I’ve been busy working on a post to give us all some Financial Motivation.
Here are 25 (low cost or NO cost) Tips to help you Change your Spending Habits.
If you’ve been to Compound Dreams before, you’ll know that I am all about changing your daily habits, starting small then working your way up.
I use all of these tips to help me get into a better mindset with saving, changing spending habits and achieving my goals. Hope you find them as useful as I have.
- Write Down Your Goals – You’ve heard this before but I will say it again: You MUST write down your goals. Write it down. Make a plan. See it materialize.
- Distinguish Between Small & Big Goals – Big goals are often long term and require many small goals to be achieved in the meantime. Make sure you know which small goals you can focus on immediately, to guide you to achieving the big ones. You will find that a lot of your goals are linked to finances.
- Make a Monthly Budget – You should understand your monthly budget inside & out. You should know at the top of your head what your expenses are and what income you have coming in. Write it down.
- Review Your Expenses – see where you can make cuts & save money.
- Always Check in With Your Finances – Write them down, keep it in NOTES on your phone or put it on your fridge. Keep it in front of you so you are reminded, each day.
- Have a Motivation Buddy – No better way to achieve a goal than to have someone who is holding you accountable. For sure YOU should be that person for yourself, but it’s nice to have your team supporting you on your journey.
- Wait a Day Before Making a Purchase – Before making any purchases, walk away from the sale, close the browser or get off the app. Give yourself 24 hours to really think about whether or not you need the purchase. In the meantime, go back to #5.
- Know Your Weaknesses – When I started understanding my spending habits I identified my weaknesses as: impulse purchases, sales, and small snack purchases while I was out & about.
- Conquer Your Weaknesses – Still trying over here! Ha. I am still a sucker for a sale, but now with my goals in place it is easier to say NO. I will always do I review before I cash out. “Do I really need a mug that says ‘Coffee until Cocktails'” or “do I really need these chocolate almonds?” The answer is almost always NO.
- Leave Home Without Your Wallet – Go out and enjoy the world. Go to the mall and browse. But go without your wallet. If you have apple pay, go without your iPhone. Wow, now that would really be a different experience.
- Give Yourself a Weekly Cash Budget – I find it easier to only allow myself to spend the cash that is in my wallet for the week. Put the debit and credit cards away. Now, you just have to decide between groceries for dinner or that witty mug.
- Be Resourceful – If you can learn this skill and effectively put it to use, you will solve most of your problems in life 😉
- Shop in Your Own Closet – Feel that urge to buy a new outfit? The need to shop really getting to you? Go to the back of your closet and pull out some of your old favourites.
- Weekly Meal Planning – Planning meals and making a grocery list helps to control those last minute, unnecessary impulse purchases. Oh, and never, EVER grocery shop when hungry. We’ve all been there, right?
- Make a Coffee at Home – This has to be one of the most common tips I hear, and it is the most effective. Buy disposable cups if you just love the feeling of holding a takeout coffee cup in your hand. It will still be worth the savings.
- Learn to Clip Coupons – Find coupons, review weekly deals, get grocery store flyers emailed to you. Be mindful of where you do your groceries. This is where being resourceful comes in handy.
- Shop Around for Best Deals – We understand there is often a need for purchases – big and small. But do yourself a service and shop around for the best deals. It may not always be the cheapest option, but it will be the option that makes you happy and ensures that you will not have to buy the same item again in the near future. Be smart about your purchases.
- Learn to Love “Staying In” – It really doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars to make your living space comfortable and cozy. I still look around our 1 bedroom, basement apartment and love every little section of it. It makes “staying in” that much more enjoyable.
- Plan “Nights Out” at Home – Pick up some popcorn and plan a movie night at home. Or go get a cheap and cheerful bottle of vino and have a nice dinner at home. It doesn’t have to cost much, and you don’t have to worry about a new outfit for your big night out.
- Follow a Finance “Guru” – Find someone who you enjoy listening to or watching. I have my favourite podcast and favourite YouTube videos for when I need that extra push or motivation to stay on the right track. Free financial advice is always right at your fingertips. Use it.
- Take the Bus – We get it, transit sucks sometimes. It is so much easier to pay for that Uber, hop in the cab or even buy a cheap used car. But at $3.25 fare, you can’t beat it. Plus you don’t have to pay for insurance, gas or maintenance.
- Understand that a Sale Isn’t a Save – My favourite line used to be “It was only $5!” or “This skirt? Guess how much? So cheap on sale for $15!” But buying on sale is NOT the same as saving money. Say it with me again “Buying on sale is NOT the same as saving!”
- Get Down with “Netflix & Chill” – If not just for the meme’s, do it for the savings.
- Marie Kondo Your Stuff – When you feel the urge to spend, instead learn from expert Marie Kondo. Organize your stuff, purge your closet and maybe even sell some things online.
- Get Over the FOMO – With your bigger goals in mind, you need to just get over the FOMO. You may be missing out on some fun nights here & there, but you are working toward a lifetime of financial freedom and achieving your goals. The choice is yours.