No matter who you are, managing money can be an enormously difficult task, especially if you’re younger or if you have debts that need to be paid off. With prices seemingly always on the rise, sometimes it can feel like that monthly paycheck practically vanishes before you’ve even bought all your necessities, much less anything to treat yourself.
While a lot of people think of avoiding large purchases when they think of financial responsibility, it can actually be the build-up of lots of small purchases and expenses that really drain the bank account fast. Fortunately, by following some simple tips, you can effectively cut down your day-to-day spending without seriously reducing your quality of life. Here are five great tips for reducing spending in your everyday life.
1. Buy Quality Products
When people try to start saving money, one of the most common places they start is by reducing the amount they spend on things like tools, clothing, or other essential everyday products. While avoiding fancy bells and whistles in favor of practical, useful purchases is a good idea, trying to be overly frugal with products you need to use often can actually cost more than it saves in the long run.
For example, trying to save some money by buying cheap winter boots will often result not just in cold feet, but in boots that break and need replacing after just a few months or a year, forcing you to buy a new pair again. Instead, you can actually save money by spending a few extra bucks to invest in a quality pair of winter boots or other necessary products that will last longer and offer more utility while using it too. The same is true for hygiene or skincare products that you use every day.
Cheaper skincare products often don’t do what you need them to do as effectively, resulting in more products being purchased over the long term and more money being wasted. Instead, invest in high-quality products that will last you a long time. A good non-irritating cleanser, hydrating moisturizer, and a specialized serum like a stem cell serum will be much more effective than cheaper alternatives, and you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits for longer too.
2. Make A Budget
However, just because you shouldn’t skimp out on necessities doesn’t mean it isn’t still important to stick to a budget. Having a plan for how you’re going to spend money every month is a great way to find excess sources of spending that you might not have thought about. Write down all the regular ways you spend money in a month and sort them between necessities and non-necessities. Items like groceries, utilities, and rent should go in the necessities pile, while things like eating out, coffee, and subscriptions can go in the non-necessities.
From there, you can decide how to reduce your budget. Maybe you can make coffee at home instead of visiting Starbucks twice a day, or cancel that Paramount+ subscription you forgot you had. By making a budget and sticking to it, you’ll have at least a rough idea of how much you’re going to spend a month, barring any extra purchases.
3. Limit Credit Spending
Speaking of extra purchases, unless your budget is already severely tight, it’s okay to spend money on yourself every once in a while. However, when making purchases outside of your budget, it’s important to be smart about it. A common mistake that often destroys budgets is relying too heavily on a credit card. Credit purchases often don’t feel as serious as paying with cash or a debit card since you have some time in between from when you make the purchase to when you need to pay off your credit card bill.
However, it’s vitally important to remember that money you spend on your credit card is still money spent that you’ll have to pay eventually. If it’s hard to control yourself, consider asking your bank to lower the credit limits on your cards. However, be careful you leave yourself enough room if you usually charge regular purchases on your budget to your credit card. Using too much of your available credit can damage your credit score.
4. Avoid Impulse Purchases
Finally, another good way of reducing your everyday spending is by taking some time to think about purchases before you make them. We’ve all had that experience of walking by some sort of unnecessary purchase, whether it was a gorgeous coat or a speaker set, and felt a sudden urge to buy it. Rather than make an impulse purchase on the spot, however, go home and think about whether or not you really want or need whatever it is you’re going to buy.
If you still decide it’s worth the money after sleeping on it, go for it. However, by taking some time to consider it, you can avoid buyer’s remorse down the line and keep your bank account happier in the long run. After all, reducing your spending isn’t about depriving yourself of all of the smaller pleasures in life. But by taking the time to be more alert to your spending, and making these changes, you can find yourself more financially secure in the long run.