How to Save Money Without Sacrificing Your Lifestyle

Introduction

When you’re looking to save money, it’s always best to focus on what’s in your control. However, tightening the reins on your finances too much may make life miserable and impossible to save. So, how do you find balance? That’s exactly what we’re going to show you in this blog. Let’s get started!

Automate Your Bills

Life seems to become more and more hectic as the years go on. Unfortunately, this makes it a lot harder to remember important things like paying the bills on time. This even happens to people who stay on top of their finances. However, we’re fortunate to have the ability to make automatic bill payments, which can relieve a lot of stress. Most banks now have online or mobile apps, which can easily allow you to set up automatic bill payments for whatever bills you have. Typically, you’ll only want to stick to bills that you know are fixed, like cell phone bills, mortgages, rent, and some utilities. Funnily enough, this small change will not only avoid sacrificing your current lifestyle, but it’ll actually give you more time to enjoy life in the way that you want.

Get Rid of Stuff You’re Paying For But Not Using

It’s okay to buy things once in a while that you use obsessively for a few weeks and then forget about them. The reason is that you only pay for the item once and never have to pay for it again. On top of that, you can sell the item back if it’s in good condition, meaning you’re not really losing that much. The same can’t be said about recurring payments. However, most businesses are opting for a membership or subscription business model as the landscape of consumers changes. For example, most TV services are now streaming services. The problem lies when you start piling up streaming services, especially those that you don’t use. For example, if you have three streaming services but only use one regularly, you’re basically just paying the other two companies for nothing. This is a huge downside for anyone looking to save money. If your lifestyle is to watch movies and shows frequently, then work your way through one or two services at a time. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t use a service more than twice a week, then it’s not worth it to keep it.

Find the Best Times to Eat Out

For some people, eating out is part of their lifestyle, and they may refuse to change that. The good news is that’s totally okay, and you can still save money eating out. Throwing away things that you actually enjoy may be more detrimental than beneficial to your savings. It’s best to find ways you can reduce the cost of eating out. For example, you can use coupons from your favorite restaurants to get discounts on your favorite meals. Another option is to ask what days have specials and to take advantage of those specials. For example, I used to eat wings at a restaurant on Tuesdays because they were half off. Of course, another option is to simply reduce the amount you eat out but still reward yourself once in a while.

Begin Using Cheap and Free Entertainment

This depends on what you do for entertainment, but it never hurts to incorporate some of these ways regardless of your lifestyle since entertainment is a major expense for the average person. For example, if you’re a more social person, then consider looking at your city’s website to see if there are any events going on. You’ll be amazed to find out how many exciting things happen in the city that are often free and where you can meet tons of people. An example could be a free outdoor concert at a main park near where you live. Another option could be to use the website meetup.com, where you can find people in your area who form specific groups and have fun together. If you’re someone who’s a bit more introverted, then you could consider things like playing video games. There are tons of free video games on platforms like Steam where you can play without having to spend a single cent. You can also try working out at home with a YouTube video to help guide you.

Lower Your Temperature

This is a low-effort tip that doesn’t change anything about your lifestyle. In fact, did you know that for every one degree you lower your temperature in the winter and for every one degree you raise your temperature in the summer for a 24-hour period, you can save up to three percent on your energy bill? For such a small change, you can gain such big savings. Of course, being slightly warmer or colder can take some time to get used to, but it’s something that you’ll be grateful for when you see the savings start coming in.

Buy Used

There are some things that are best bought new, but if you haven’t ventured into the world of buying used things, it can really help you save a lot of money. For instance, if you love shopping for clothes but struggle to maintain the expenses that come with buying new clothes, buying used instead is a great way to keep buying clothes without having to spend hundreds of dollars. There are tons of amazing clothes at used stores. For all you know, you might stumble upon a designer piece for an amazing price. Another example is for those who like tech. If you have been wanting to get a new piece of technology, consider buying refurbishment or open-box items instead of brand new ones. Open-box items are items that have had the box open but have never been used. My partner ended up buying an open-box MacBook and saving three hundred dollars because of it. The laptop I bought was refurbished and has served me for over four years with only spending $500 on it. These are fantastic options and can give you quality without sacrificing your lifestyle.

Drive Less

A big part of transportation costs comes from driving. The biggest expense, as many of you probably guessed, is due to gas. So the most obvious and direct way to reduce this cost is to simply lower the amount you drive. Of course, this depends on how much you rely on your car. But if you can use alternative transportation or use your body to travel more, then do so. For instance, if you have good local transit, then when you want to meet your friends, use the subway instead of driving.

Make a Shopping List

Since everyone has to shop, this won’t be a major lifestyle change, but it will certainly help you save money. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to throw your money away at the grocery store if you go unprepared. For instance, let’s say you just want to buy a few items, but you end up getting caught up in all the wonderful deals and leave with a cart full of things you didn’t intend on buying. The only solid way around this is through organization and planning through a shopping list. The way I like to make my shopping lists is that as soon as I finish grocery shopping, I monitor my food. Whenever I notice something in my pantry going down, I’ll immediately write it down on my phone. I do this throughout the full week, so I don’t have to put in a ton of effort looking through my whole pantry for things I need in one day. This helps me avoid forgetting things and sticking to my list, so I don’t spend more than I need and don’t have to make follow-up trips for things I forget. If you have kids, have a communal board on the fridge or in the kitchen somewhere so they can write down when things get low.

Bonus Tip: About Your Lifestyle

We all have a unique way to live that we call our lifestyle. However, it’s inevitable that changes need to be made if you’re looking to save money; otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. With that in mind, I’ll share two questions to help you figure out what’s the best way to adapt your lifestyle to saving:

What lifestyle choices make up the most money?

To figure this out, you’ll need to track your expenses. Once you’ve tracked your expenses and categorized them, find out what areas you’re spending the most on. Is it on gas, takeout, or personal purchases? This will give you insight and allow you to direct your attention to the areas of your life that you can either base your savings around or make changes to so you spend less on those areas.

What’s essential to your lifestyle?

You want to find out what areas of your life you absolutely refuse to change because they’re very important to you. This can be having a morning coffee at Starbucks, doing late-night drives in your vintage Corvette, or having a martial arts gym membership. Whatever the case, these essential lifestyle choices are things you want to work around instead of changing. That means finding other areas of your life that you’re willing to change so you can save more money to fuel what you’re passionate about.

Implementing these tips can help you save money while still maintaining your desired lifestyle. Remember, it’s all about finding the right balance and making small changes that add up over time. So go ahead and start applying these strategies to your life, and watch your savings grow!

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