Curb Your Spending

I Spend too Much Money

I, personally, probably spend too much money. I buy and do things that cost money that I should be saving so therefore, I spend too much money. This post isn’t going to be about how much I spend though, it’s going to be about how much you spend. I have gotten to a point in my life where I am happy with what I am earning and spending and I don’t despair about not having enough money. 

But, what about people who aren’t yet practiced in managing their own money? Affording rent, car payments, utilities, groceries, and your cell phone bill all while saving for retirement, investing, and building up an emergency fund is stressful right?! It doesn’t have to be. Even if you are working a minimum wage job and you know you can’t possibly afford to live right now, it is still in your benefit to at least try to make the best of your situation. 

Cut Down Costs

If you are serious about sorting out your finances (which you should be), you need to find ways to cut costs. You aren’t allowed to complain about not having any money in your savings account when you go out and buy a $5.00 coffee 3 times a week. It really adds up. And it’s not just coffee. It’s clothing, it’s take-out, your video game collection, hair extensions, manicures. Everyone is spending money on something that they cant afford. A lot of the time I find it’s the people that can’t afford extras are the ones who spend the most on them.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever do anything for yourself that makes you happy. What I AM saying is that you need to budget for it and make sure you can afford it. As an adult, you are going to be making your own decisions and it’s likely that there isn’t going to be anyone around to slap your debit card out of your hand every time you try to buy a breakfast wrap before work. This means you need to step up and take responsibility for whatever state your finances are in. 

I want you to seriously think about where you are over spending. In a previous post we worked together to create a budget. Go back. Print it out. Stick it to your wall. Now, I want you to also print out your bank statements from the last two months. Hi-light all of the things that were an unnecessary expenditure. Here are some of the prime culprits

  1. Fast food: Eating out is expensive. You don’t need me to tell you this. If you are serious about saving money you should NOT be eating out. At the very least you should be cutting back. I know how hard it is to quit cold turkey so you can try to quit the spending gradually. If you eat out multiple times a week try to cut it down to one time a week. If you eat out 4 times a month try to pare it down to one. Do you buy lunch at work every day? Stop. Pack your own lunch. 
  2. Subscriptions: what are you subscribing to right now? Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Youtube Premium (is that even what it’s called? I don’t know because I don’t have it). Get rid of them. You do not need any of these things. If you are in debt, an extra 15.00 a month can add up, especially if you have multiple subscriptions.
  3. Online Shopping: It is so easy to just go online and buy. Especially if you have your credit card already attached to your account. I can go on the chapters website and order something without even putting in my credit card information. Isn’t that sickening. If you simply stop buying things online you will likely reduce your spending a lot. Buying things online can also waste even more money because what you order isn’t always what it seems. Clothes and shoes might not fit and other items you buy just might be different from what you expected. Returning things is such a hassle that it’s easier to just keep it rather than take it back. Then it just sits around your house and collects dust and you buy something different and spend even more money. So, just stop.
  4. Gym Memberships: This is a big one, especially if you don’t use it. If you are able to, start working out at your home instead. Chances are, you can probably do some great at home workouts and not pay monthly for your gym membership. If you live in a place that is warm most of the year you could take your workout outside.
  5. Groceries: This is something that I am guilty of. I spend way too much on groceries. I buy for convenience. I shop at a grocery store where the prices are a bit more expensive because it’s usually quiet and it’s a really nice place to shop. I recommend planning out your meals for the week. Don’t buy more than you need and try and cut costs where you can. Meat is something that is incredibly expensive where I live and by cutting out meat I could save a lot of money. Unfortunately, I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t have any desire to eat a meat free diet but I do make an effort to make one meal a week week free. I incorporate other proteins like beans and quinoa. I even tried tofu one time- I didn’t like it but I truly believe it was because I didn’t know how to cook it. I am certain there are ways to make it taste great! I am going to link a meal prep post of mine here because it is a very cheap and tasty stew that you can make. It will last you at least 8 meals if not more. It’s warm, it’s filling, and if you are in a place where you can’t afford to eat extravagantly, this will give you dinners for the whole week. https://struggling20something.finance.blog/2020/01/09/black-bean-stew/

What Are the Essentials

If you are really struggling financially, you need to think about what is really a necessity for you. 

Cell Phone: Do you really need that phone that has 5 GBs of data a month and unlimited texting and calling? That’s somewhere you can cut down. You can try going on a pay as you go plan as soon as your current contract is up. Obviously you won’t have data but there is wifi available now in most places. You could cut your phone bill down from 65.00 to just 20.00 a month. I’m not going to tell you to straight up just get rid of your phone because it doesn’t make sense. In this day, it can honestly be dangerous to not carry a cell phone around for emergencies. 

Internet: Chances are, you could get away with not having internet for a while.Many places offer free wifi so if you wanted to you could go to a university campus, coffee shop, or library. Paying upwards of 50.00 a month for internet isn’t typically necessary especially if you’re a student. I know it’s not ideal to spend even more time on campus but if it is saving you 50.00 a month it could be really beneficial to you. That could be a weeks worth of groceries for you. 

These are just two examples of where you could potentially cut costs. Anything you think you could live without should be cut out if you are really serious about saving money. Cancel certain services for a month and see if you can get by fine without them. 

Negotiate

Another option is to try and negotiate savings on certain services. Talk to your phone company or service provider and see if they can offer you a better deal on your services. 

These are just some of the things that you can do if you are looking to save money. In other posts I can detail more money saving tactics. This is just meant to be a starter post. Thank you so much for reading my blog! If you are interested in seeing more content like this, please subscribe! If you have any ideas for future posts that you would like to see please leave me a comment!

I also have a Youtube video on this topic. Go check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0xYh5YjGak&t=5s

Published by Brooklyn

Just a recent university graduate sharing her love of reading! In my free time you'll either find me reading or working on my novel!

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