New year, new me? No, probably not, but I can embrace a good excuse for a fresh start. I believe that every day is a fresh start, but let's seize 2017 as the year to SAVE. Last year was an expensive one for me, and in order to get closer to my financial goals, I'm hoping to save more this year. Instead of beating myself up for all the money I haven't saved, I'm looking forward and working towards my goals one day at a time. These tips aren't revolutionary, and I've seen many of them online already, but let's remind ourselves of ways to get our back accounts back on track.
Limit your temptations by unsubscribing to retailers emails, because the 40% OFF EVERYTHING title will suck you in every time. You haven't thought about JCrew in a while right? But when you see their email you'll click right on over to their website and fall in love with the newest fashions. Do your self a favor and right now, scroll through your emails and hit unsubscribe to every last one. I just did this, and it was so satisfying. Also, use a different e-mail account when you shop, so all those tempting emails go the same place and not to your regular inbox.
They're getting free stuff, you're not
I love looking at the Instagram accounts of fashion bloggers or Youtube creators, for fashion and makeup inspiration. However, I have to remind myself that they receive a significant amount of PR packages, or clothes for posts. There's a reason you never see the same outfit twice and that they have the latest makeup collections. I will often click on that cute sweater, jeans, or sunglasses that they provide the link to and think "I need that" only to snap back to reality and remember that... I don't. Distinguish between "need" and "want".
Never pay full price
One of the best lessons my mother ever taught me, was to NEVER. EVER. PAY FULL PRICE. Everything goes on sale (almost everything) and there are coupons out there for you to use. Ebates is an awesome way for you to get real money for purchases made online from 2-12% (or more) cash back with most retailers. Sign up, and then all you have to do is open the website and use it to navigate to your favorite store- thats it (FYI that is a referral link above). Friends were telling me the other day about a google plugin for Chrome that helps you shop smarter by automatically applying coupon codes. It takes the guess work out, so there's no excuses!
I learned from Rich Bitch author, Nicole Lapin, to never buy a new car. I have the hardest time understanding why young people (or anyone for that matter) are paying such high monthly payments. Cars are not an investment. The value depreciates immediately. Cars needs to get you from point A to point B safely. If you're a gear head and would like to tell me to bugger off, by a USED cool car. Buy used books. I have a post coming soon about some stellar finds from thrift stores. If you have designer tastes there are several websites that you can buy verified, pre-owned designer items. Buying used is so much better for the environment, so it's a win-win for everyone!
Have you heard of the saying "if you love it, set it free"? My moto is "if you love it, don't buy it", and "don't drink and Amazon"... Most purchases can wait, and if it's more than fifty dollars, just wait and check back in a few weeks/months to see if you still love it. If you can't live without it, then buy it. Your purchases will feel more satisfying when you wait to buy it. Make a wish list on your phone and set an amount out of your budget money that goes towards items on your wish list.
Avoid buying the same thing twice
Do you ever see a shirt in the store and buy it, but know that it's its almost identical to the one you have at home? Stop buying the same thing over and over. Obviously, you're attracted to certain things, so items that look like things you've already bought will trigger your impulse to buy. Before you buy something, think about if you already own it. Then put it back.
Leave your cards at home
If you have self control issues, then just leave your cards at home and only bring cash with you. This limits you to a finite amount of money to spend. I opened a debit account strictly for fun spending and I use it for all of my eating out/shopping/splurges. When that money is gone, then I can't spend any more.
Give up the mani pedi
I know, the horror! This will save you so much money! A gel manicure is easily $30 without tip. That's $70 a month, plus a pedicure for $40. That's $1560 a year. Ditch it and put that money in savings. I give myself pedicures every two weeks in the comfort of my own bathroom while watching Netflix, sipping wine, and using my essential oil diffuser. When I do splurge for a gel mani (prior to vacations or weddings) it makes it special and it's something I can do as bonding time with my friends. Look at your bank account and find where these incidental costs are going, and maybe "treat yo self" a little less, or make it a less expensive. Reevaluate your beauty costs as a whole. Where do you feel comfortable cutting back? Can you find a less expensive, or low maintenance, hairstyle (or stylist)? Which expensive products can you find dupes for? Cancel your beauty subscription services (think IPSY, Glossybox, birch box) because it's just cluttering up your home and giving you more things to buy. If you do feel like there's expensive beauty products you NEED (or you're a product junky like myself) , make a list and wait for the time of year that Sephora has their annual 20% off for VIB members. Remember to NEVER pay full price, and if you don't have a VIB membership (good for you!) I'm sure one of your friends will, so take advantage of them!
Buy less booze
CJ read this line and told me he would unfollow my blog... Bare with me kids. Alcohol is expensive. Think about all the money you spend on booze, out and at home. It adds up, especially in the city where a drink is $10-12. Buy smarter. Have a drink at home before you go out (pre-game ala college style), or enjoy the beers on your deck instead. Have you friends over and ask them to bring a bottle of wine. Use someone's Costco membership to buy in bulk. I once learned at a wine tasting that an absurd percentage of wine is bought 15 minutes before someone drinks it. That's people on their way home from work or on their way to party and making a last minute purchases. Instead, if you have a favorite wine and that's all you drink, buy in bulk and when it's on sale.
Get a library card
The cost of books used to deter me from reading. I can devour a book in a matter of hours, so spending $15-$20 every time I want a new book adds up. Almost every library has e-books, so you don't even have to leave your house! Library cards also offer perks besides just books. Through the Seattle Public Library you can get free passes to museums all around the city.
Cable is so expensive! We've been living without cable for years and I've never regretted that decision. We use Netflix and Amazon prime which is infinitely cheaper. Netflix is coming out with so many original series that it's rivaling cable, and there's no commercials. I do get a twinge of FOMO when I can't watch the Real Housewives but I've learned to deal. When I go to someone else's house and watch TV with commercials, I'm quickly reminded of how I don't miss them.
Sell your stuff
Instead of throwing things away or keeping things you don't use, earn a little cash by selling your stuff. Download the app OfferUp and upload pics of your stuff to sell.
Limit your ability to impulse buy
DON'T GO TO TARGET, JUST DON'T. If you're not strong enough the fight the allure of Target's dollar bins, home goods isle, and bathing suit section, then avoid it. We've all joked about how it's impossible to leave target without spending $100 on sh*t you don't need, so don't go there! I went to Target several weeks ago and only spend $13, after putting most of my cart back on the shelves. I was so empowered after recogziing that I don't need another t-shirt
Get a hobby, or work more often
Do you know when I spend the most money? My days off. Days when I'm at home surfing the internet, reading blogs, or wasting time walking around the mall. Instead of spending money as a hobby, go to the gym, walk a trail, read a book, or spend some time in the kitchen.
Food for thought-
- Read Rich Bitch by Nicole Lapin. She's insightful and gives great tips on how to save and be smart with money.
- Watch Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix. It will make you more thoughtful about your consumerism.
- Find smaller ways to treat your self. Drink hot chocolate by a fire. Watch a $7 matinee with a friend. It will make a splurge feel more luxurious.
- Go through your monthly bills and see where you can trim the fat. Call your internet provider and ask for a discount.
I hope this post was helpful! Let me know more content that you would like to see surrounding finances in the new year.
I hope you find the good in today,