The only real way to become financially stable is to live on less than you make. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong.
We live in a time of instant gratification and thinking that things are the key to happiness. There is no way to make financial moves and grow wealth if you aren’t making changes toward a more sustainable lifestyle.
There are only two ways you can improve your finances:
- Increase your income
- Change your lifestyle
If you can’t find a way to change your job and increase your income, you’re going to have to change up your lifestyle!
Have you ever heard the quote “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. You’d be insane to think that your finances will fix themselves if you don’t do something about it.
Let’s go over some of the simplest things you can do to change your lifestyle and change your finances!
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Lifestyle Changes That Will Save You Money
#1 – Start Budgeting
This may seem like a no-brainer but so many people overlook budgets because they view them as boring, annoying, and fun-sucking. They aren’t totally wrong. Budgets can be boring, but they don’t have to be fun sucking! The whole point of a budget is to PLAN for what you want, so you just need to plan for the fun you want to have!
Looking for an awesome beginner budget method? The Zero-Based Budget is an awesome way to budget your money because it gets you to create a plan for every penny which means you’re going to have less of a chance to make a mistake!
#2 – Only Use YOUR Bank’s ATMs
This may not seem like a big deal from day-to-day, but using another bank’s ATM can cost you anywhere from $0.50 to $5.00! I’m not sure there is a less intelligent way to use your money because this gives you nothing in return.
It usually isn’t that hard to find your own bank branch AND most places take credit or debit these days anyway! Avoid the fees.
#3 – Shop Around
Most people are willing to look for good prices on huge purchases like cars, or homes but often won’t spend much time looking around for the less expensive purchases.
Is there a certain kind of macaroni and cheese that you buy every week that at some stores is $5 and other stores it’s only $3? I know that $2 doesn’t seem like a huge difference, but switching stores could save you over $100 a year and that can add up!
You should be shopping around for the most affordable groceries, cell phone bills, etc.
#4 – Start a Meatless Monday
Every single time I’m at the grocery store, the most expensive thing in my cart is some kind of meat. I’ll never understand why 4 chicken breasts can be almost $20.
If you have a little creativity in your meal planning you can easily plan out a meatless Monday once a week! This could save you $5-$20 a week depending on the meat you enjoy, that’s almost $500 a year!
If you’re at a loss for good vegetarian meals, definitely look it up on Pinterest. That’s where you can get all of the best creative inspiration when it comes to recipes! Here’s an awesome Pinterest board for all sorts of veggie inspiration.
#5 – Cancel Unnecessary Subscriptions
Have you noticed how many new subscription services are popping up these days? There’s music, television, clothing, shoes, and so much more. It’s starting to get a little ridiculous.
I’ll never tell someone to cancel all of their subscription services because Netflix is my life. I’m watching suits for the 10th time while writing this post! However, I can pretty much assume that you have at least one subscription service that you don’t actually need.
#6 – Start A No-Spend Weekend
Have you ever thought of implementing a once a month no-spend weekend? A no-spend weekend is any two day period where you just don’t spend money. You don’t eat out, you don’t go to the movies, you don’t buy snacks.
If you’re thinking “but wait, what do I do all weekend?”, I’ve got you covered. There’s this awesome infographic from The Wallet Moth that gives you 50 ideas for no-spend weekend activities!
#7 – Don’t Upgrade Until It Breaks
Technology is quick moving but that doesn’t mean you always need to be keeping up with the Joneses. If you took a time machine back 50 years and talked to anybody and told them how people upgraded their phones every year just because they were fancier, people would probably be shocked.
There’s no reason why we need to be upgrading our phones, televisions, etc. every single year. It’s unnecessary and costs you a ton of money in the long run.
Here’s an example: Last year, I really really really wanted a new iPhone. Desperately. I decided not to go for it because I didn’t want to be under another annoying contract. When my 2 year contract was up, my phone bill went from $102 (before taxes) to $45! That’s insane savings.
Just wait. Everything will break at some point, so you can get that shiny new object soon.
#8 – Eat Before You Go
This seems to be a well-known thing for grocery shopping, but it should be true for every event you go to! You may not think about it, but you can save a ton of money if you just eat before you leave the house.
If you’re going to a restaurant, you can either order something smaller (like an appetizer) or you can save half for lunch the next day! Both options saving you a few dollars. Eating before you leave the house will also stop you from wanting dessert after dinner, or needing snacks on the way home!
#9 – Talk About Money With Your S/O
It really hurts my heart to think that people break up because of miscommunications about money. Money is a really important thing in everybody’s life because you literally can’t live without it, and not having honest conversations with your significant other about your money situation is detrimental to your finances and your relationship.
Not only will talking about money save a relationship you’re already in, it can also help you pick a decent long-term partner.
If you meet somebody and think they’re perfect in every way and never talk about money before marriage, you may have a rude awakening when you realize you just marriage 100K in student loan debt and someone who has a shopping addiction!
Talk about money with your significant other at every opportunity you get. You’ve picked them as a life partner, you should feel comfortable enough to discuss these issues with them! Save your relationship, don’t let money break you up.
Changing small things in your everyday life can be a great way to move toward financial security and freedom. Let me know in the comments below if you add any of these things to your life and if it helps your money situation! Also, if you have any other lifestyle changes you think people should make, let us know!
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