Learning To Save $$

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save money

Now you might be questioning why I'm writing something that has to do with finances because I am not a financial blogger nor do I have any understanding of finances at all. But as someone who showcases a lot of products (both expensive and inexpensive) for their readers to buy, I think it's fair for me to share what I've learned about saving money. Something you probably don't know too much about me is that I am not a saver. I am a buyer, I buy things just because and I am constantly looking for more things to buy. On that note, I'm not a hoarder as well, I just spend spend spend (and then donate donate donate).

What qualifies me to write about saving money when all I do is spend, you might ask. Well frankly, not that much, but I have learned my lesson when it comes to spending and I've actually managed to save money up. I was the kind of person who maxes their credit card(s) out on stupid things, pay money on it and then spend it again. I was the kind of person who paid the minimum payments on their bills. I was the kind of person who thought just keeping money in their main account was a good idea. I was the kind of person who put more money on their Starbucks card than should be allowed for someone without money. The keyword in all of those sentences is "was" and since that past tense means I've changed, I'm going to share some of my tips with you!

1. Do not think that a credit card is just "extra money"

This has been my biggest downfall out of everything. I signed up for a Visa as an emergency just like everyone else did. But when there were times when I didn't have money in my account, I would spend on it because to me it was money that I could spend. It is not money that you can spend, it is money that you have to pay back with added interest over a period of time. I changed my thought process from extra money to money that I am not entitled to unless I want to pay an added 20% of back.

2. If you want to spend on your credit card, make sure you have the money in your account
I know that debit/Visa is now a thing and Paypal has been something for a while but I'm not someone who uses either. Ordering stuff online requires one of these things in order to purchase items and sometimes there is no flagship store or store around you to buy these items... I get it. But in order to make sure you don't rack up these purchases and max your card out, check to see if you have enough in your bank account to buy it. What I like to do is as soon as I complete the transaction I transfer the money from my account onto my Visa so that it doesn't add to my owing balance. This way there's no interest on your purchase and it's basically like you just used your debit card.

3. Set up an actual savings account
Technically my main bank account is a savings account but I am able to access it whenever I need to. My bank was having a promotion on for unlimited usage but to get that I had to open up a Tax Free Savings Account. This requires me to not only put money away monthly (you can choose however often but it takes days for me to withdraw the money from it. I honestly don't even look at this account as my money, and I when I do withdraw from it I feel terrible doing so... which is an added bonus.

4. Pay more than your minimum payments
On everything! If you realize that you have some extra money left after setting aside a bit of spending money until your next payday, put it on a bill. For example, for my schooling I had taken a government loan out and entered repayment mode 1 year ago. My minimum payments that I was making for about 8 months of this loan weren't really lowering it much. I realized that if I upped my payments by $20 a month I would help lower it significantly and lower the time in which it's paid off, so I did. But you don't have to just do it on stuff like that, you can also put more money than needed down on your phone bill so that you have a credit for the next month, so on and so forth. Credit cards work for this as well, but just make sure you follow tip #1 once you pay on it.

5. Cut out expenses that aren't really worth it
When I was working my previous retail job I was not making enough money to be drinking Starbucks every day, but I did it anyway. My drink each day was $5, I worked 5 days a week and some times got food or bought drinks for others. Needless to say I was spending about $40 a week at Starbucks... $160 minimum a month. I started my new full time job and I don't have the time to run to Starbucks each morning to grab a drink so that's money I now get to keep. Basically what I'm getting at is that although there are days when I leave early to get my hazelnut macchiato, I'm not going every day and I think of it as more of a treat than anything.

6. Budget your paycheck out as soon as you get it
I've been doing this for a while and it's helped me a lot more now that I get paid the same amount each week. I determine which bill(s) I need to pay that week and factor that money immediately out of my pay. Next I figure out what necessities I need for the week and guesstimate how much I'll need for that, then factor that out. I always like to keep a minimum of $20 in my account at all times so that's factored out as well. I'm typically left with a pretty solid chunk and that's when I start divvying it up between things. I normally divide it into 2 parts, with one being the majority of it. The big piece goes directly onto my credit card or even into my savings account. The rest stays in my bank account just as some safety for the week. I do this as soon as my paycheck is handed to me so that I don't change my mind when I go to the bank to deposit it and it doesn't allow me to spend more of it.

7. When it comes to making online purchases, wait 2 days before buying
Yes I know, there's nothing more fun than receiving a package at the door of something you ordered what seems like forever ago. But to really determine if it's something you love/want/need, wait a couple days before taking the plunge. If you find yourself forgetting about it then it's really not worth your hard earned money. If you can't stop thinking about it and you check back every day to see if it's still available (or better yet, marked down) then get it. This is my biggest piece of advice when it comes to online shopping because it's really stopped me from buying so many unnecessary things that I don't even really like in the first place.

8. Sign up for those newsletters and look for "codes"
I hate getting newsletters and promo emails from websites too, trust me, but there's a little trick to these things. You're probably almost always prompted with a "sign up" as soon as you hit enter on that URL you just typed in and it's super annoying. But a lot of these brands/websites offer you a promo code for a certain percent off or some free shipping on your first purchase. Beware that some of these places have an expiry date on the codes so make sure you want to make your purchase that day. The trick to this is make your purchase, use the code and then unsusbcribe if you don't want the emails anymore. If you really don't want to sign up in the first place, look around the website for promo codes which they usually place in their flashing banners. These two things will help you save a ton of money.

I know this might have been boring for some of you but it might also really help some of you as well. Just to reiterate I am not a financial advicer, a super saver, or someone with 0 debt. These are simply things that I've learned over the years that have allowed me to save some serious cash. 

What is your advice for saving money? And do you think these tips will help you?
P.S. Follow me on social media to see what I'm up to today!



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