Saving money is hard. It’s probably one of the hardest things ever, actually. Especially if you’re like me and have a hard time resisting the shopping urge. However, as a post-grad turning into a real adult (yikes), saving is definitely a necessity. It became even more crucial having our big trip on the horizon! Saving for a long vacation is no joke. As I’ve saved up for this trip and just in general (Dave finally made me start my own savings account, yay for adulting!), I’ve found that it’s not as hard as I thought. Well, kind of. Cutting back is definitely hard, but I found that I didn’t have to dramatically alter my lifestyle to save. It’s the little things that really add up! Here are five of the easiest ways I found to save money, whether you’re saving for a trip, or just for an extra cushion down the road. I know there’s a million money saving tips out there, but all you really need are these, I promise!
1. Skip your daily coffee.
Honestly, this one is HUGE for me. When I was stuck at a job I didn’t like, the only thing getting me up in the morning was the thought of a latte. Well, that latte usually also came with a sandwich or bagel and yogurt, which sometimes set me back like nine dollars. Not worth it! I cut back to once, maybe twice a week, and I saved so much.
2. Divide your paycheck.
This was another game changer. I put away 20% of each paycheck in a separate savings account, and it’s been like magic. I don’t even notice the money is gone, and now I have a huge chunk of change that just keeps growing!
3. Use the 72 hour rule when shopping.
If I’m considering purchasing something I don’t need, I make myself wait 3 days. If I’m still dreaming of that item in 3 days, I give myself the green light to get it. If not (usually I completely have forgotten about whatever jacket/shoes/top I was lusting over in the store), that’s extra money in my pocket.
4. Eat out less, cook at home more.
You will save so. much. money. if you don’t eat out every night! Get organized and plan out your meals for the week, get all your groceries, and actually stick to your plan. Not only will you save tons of money, but you’ll save tons of calories, too.
5. Put yourself on a bar budget.
The one thing that’s more expensive than going out to eat? Going to the bars. Cover charges and $18 cocktails every weekend are just not practical. Honestly, skipping out on the bar scene has been amazing for my wallet and my body. Not waking up hungover every Sunday has been pretty great! Plus, saving going out for special occasions, when friends come to town, etc, makes it that much more special and fun.