Saving money can be HARD. And it's so easy to understand why: spending money RULES.
Trips, new things, clothes, delicious food without any effort--it's all so tempting in the moment. But later, likely while peaking at your bank account with one eye closed, comes the wave of regret and concern. Where did all that money go? Why do I still have no savings?
When nothing changes, nothing changes. For as long as someone continues to live life as they always have--same job, same habits--they'll see no difference whatsoever in their financial situation.
Big changes, however, can be very difficult to enact.
Many simply do not have the financial flexibility to save. Money troubles are the brutal result of underpaid work and necessary costs of daily life.
Others have the flexibility, but lack the will power to live according to a different cost structure than they have for awhile.
One Reddit thread addresses both forms of that big change avoidance. These smaller scale tips and money hacks are helpful tools to turn your savings upward without changing one's life too drastically.
uwrallyx asked, "What is a very useful money saving tip everybody should know?"
Know What You're Buying!
"Track your subscription-based services."
"It seems like nothing but it's Netflix here, Spotify there, HBO Max, Hulu... and you end up spending a lot of money on stuff that you don't really use that much."
Listen to Jay Z
"Just because you have enough money to pay for something does not mean you can afford it." -- Sirnando138
"BOOM. This right f***ing here. I'm really really bad for this." -- RCEMEGUY289
" 'If you can't buy it twice, you can't afford it.' -Jay Z" -- sidekicket
Two Simple Rules
"Don't develop a drug addiction and pack a lunch." -- neil_striker
"What if i pack drug for lunch" -- withoutwax21
"Is that because when you're high on drug you pack a really expensive lunch?" -- philsabuster
"If you have drug, you don't need lunch." -- RonAugratin
"A trick that always works for me is to think about how many hours wages I am spending on something."
"As someone who previously had a huge spending problem, this has helped me realize that I've worked hard for my money, and I'd rather be working my a** off for a stress free life financially than living pay day to pay day buying meaningless sh**."
Seeing is Believing
"Develop a budget and track your expenses. It'll help you really pinpoint where/how you spend and how to best cut back and work to save money." -- BooksRock
"A lot of people are intimidated by the idea of writing a budget and sticking to it. I know I was. But if you take the first step and just start paying attention to what you spend, just map out in a spreadsheet everything you spend money on, you'll almost immediately see areas where you can improve."
"I literally didn't change anything I was doing for a couple of months, and just kept track, and then when I saw where the money was going, I became motivated to make some changes."
"Writing out a budget and sticking to it can be intimidating and overwhelming and failing can make it easy to give up. But just taking the first step and tracking what you're spending can make the next step much easier to take." -- vinbrained
"Order non spoiling food in bulk. I saved so much money just by buying like 5kg bags of pasta and 1kg bags of spices in comparison to the small packages I can get in the supermarket." -- Firevulturez
"Just planning what you will eat for the next week or so will help. It means no unnecessary purchases and you can review the outgoings instead of impulse buying. If you can do it for the entire month within your personal budget then that's out of the way for the month." -- NiceBottleHole
The End of Impulse Buying
"This one I've read somewhere, when you really want to order something, put it in your cart and wait for 2 days, maybe if you don't really need it the impulse would have been diminished by that time. I've saved a lot of money by just not ordering on an impulse." -- iamasedgurl
"If I want to buy something at a store I make sure I walk around with it for a little to make sure I really want to buy it. Also it helps to think of something in how many hours of work it would take to buy it. If you wouldn't work 2 hours for it but it's equal to two hours of your pay, don't buy it." -- abmuld
Take Free Money
"If your employer offers a 401k match, do it." -- TheophrastBombast
"Yes and max out your contribution each year. More contribution = more free money from your employer = exponentially more money in the long run."
"And if you can, start saving as soon as possible. If you're in your early twenties, the money you put in now will accumulate thousands more in interest than the money you'll be putting in ten years from now. If you haven't learned about compound interest, I recommend looking it up." -- silent_shivers
"Never be the guy who owns a boat."
"Find a friend who owns a boat, offer to fill up the boats gas tank when they take you out...and be a good boating buddy."
"Learn to back up the trailer. Always pick up garbage on the beach. Don't get blind stinking drunk. And Always...ALWAYS...be willing to let them throw you off the tube for their amusement."
"This doesn't apply for everyone, but when I got a higher paying job, I pretended I hadn't and socked the difference away until I had an emergency fund that I was happy with."
"That habit ruined me from buying a lot of stuff I wanted, but didnt really need, and now I just dont really desire to purchase stuff just because I can."
"I dont treat my raises the same way, but if you plan on being in a job for a while you can take a year or two and put your raise money into savings and itll be a decent chunk of change."
"If you're at new place without money, you better look where elders buy their groceries. They live here more than you and know, which stores offer most adequate prices." -- ALEXkuznetsoff
"Then I'm doing a good job because the supermarket I go to is so full with elderly people, it's impossible to walk slightly faster than extremely slow." -- MPaulina
"The slower you walk - the slower you spend" -- ALEXkuznetsoff
Consider What Comes After
"Consider everything an investment. Think twice before spending money on something that won't leave an asset in your books (e.g. eating out), is this a reasonable concession to your well-being?"
"Think before spending money on a depreciating asset (e.g. a car), are you getting a good return over its projected lifetime?. Splurge on things that will last you a lifetime or that appreciate in value."
It's Got That Goin' Broke Feel
"People often say 'pay yourself first,' but do it in cash. If it's sitting in a bank account, you can move it around and spend it with the click of a button. Pull out the amount you want to save and store your savings somewhere (in an envelope, in a safe, in a coffee pot)."
"When it's out of your account and out of your wallet/purse, you can't access it on impulse. And when you see two or three months worth of savings physically together, it becomes more tangible how much money you can save and you'll be more likely to not grab the bundle and make it disappear on some purchase you don't really need."
"Physically watching your money vanish is harder than magically swiping cards and watching numbers on screens change."
"The 50-30-20 rule"
"When you get your paycheck, take 30% for savings, 20% for anythings you want (drinks, games, ...) and 50% for your living."
"Only 50% can be hard to manage, especially on low income, but it's a goal, and it give you limits. Same for the 20%, when you have spend it all, you don't have more money to go out, even if the bank account says different."
"Since I've applied this technique I've put a lot in savings, and my life did not become harder or sadder. And buy only stuff that you have money for, never take a loan."
Math Decides, Not Your Heart
"Not sure how it is elsewhere, but in my country the grocery stores put a second line under the price on the shelf, for the price per 100g or per unit. I've saved so much money by checking that second line every time and choosing the product with the best value for money. Seems simple but so many people forget."
"Also, make a conscious decision to stamp out any trace of brand loyalty in your heart - the company is not your friend, even if they're a fixture of your childhood, and you don't owe them any loyalty. A lot of the time you can buy an almost identical version of the product for much cheaper from a less established or store brand."
Automatically Comes With a New Hobby
"Meal plan based on what you already have in your pantry/ freezer/ refrigerator, and consider what grocery items can be used in multiple meals across the week to reduce waste (I.e. carrots can go in the stir fry on Monday, and the soup on Tuesday..."
"...if I buy the family pack of chicken, I can make meals for Monday-Wednesday and still have leftovers to make into chicken taco meat and freeze for later)."
Rethinking A Given
"Don't have kids." -- travelingunraveling
"Dont get married and dont have kids." -- Fellatio_Nelson
"Don't have kids you can't afford. It's amazingly simple yet soo many people voluntarily condemn themselves to a life of poverty by ignoring it." -- Freiheit
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