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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The key to any successful relationship is communication.
The ability to be open and receptive to what a significant other has to say, as well as the ability to be able to convey something weighing on one's mind, can be healing.
But depending on the circumstance, some things are better left unsaid.
Curious to hear examples of what those might be, Redditor FamiliarFarmer8356 asked:
"What's something you wish you could tell your partner without upsetting them?"
If there is conflict, there is a way to discuss and address the issue in a civil and respectful manner.
Things Just Happen
"Every bad thing that happens doesn't require someone to be blamed for it. And that someone doesn't always have to be me."
A Cornerstone Of A Successful Union
"One of the cornerstones of a good marriage, is knowing how to argue. I’d actually say that before a couple get married, they should check how their potential partner behaves in an argument. What are they like when they get angry. It’s important because no two individuals are going to agree all the time. And on those occasions, it’s important to remember not to belittle the other. Deal with the issue at hand. And especially, don’t argue in front of the kids. You have no idea how much lasting damage this causes."
"All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest - never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principles of equal partnership."
It's Not That Deep
"please stop complaining about everything."
"If you keep seeking out reasons to be miserable, you will find them."
"I'm tired of being dragged down with you."
There's no need to get defensive when there's something to discuss.
It's Not About You
"That some days I’m just tired from class and work and just want some me time, it’s not that I hate you my social battery is just running out."
"Her first reaction to something adverse doesn't have to be anger."
In The Words Of A Pirate
"In the wise words of captain Jack Sparrow sometimes:"
'the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude toward the problem.'
It Takes Two To Tango
"That I wish she’d be more independent so she didn’t need my help for everything outside the house."
"That it’s a little disturbing how aggressively he drives when he’s grumpy… heavy on both gas and brakes, zooming in and out of traffic, swearing at people who make mistakes… very unlike him."
Sometimes the truth hurts when talking about members of the family.
A Real Assessment
"That her mother is not a good person."
"I told my husband that it's not that his family is nosy and overbearing, it's that I hate watching him cave and negotiate as if they have a right to behave like this, and I really hate when I'm the bad guy for wanting reasonable limits."
"It got worse, then it got better, FYI."
"His parents are greedy, selfish people and treat him like an atm."
There's definitely a fine line between withholding your thoughts to protect the person you love and being brutally honest.
If coming clean isn't going to resolve an issue, then it might be better to suck it up and deal with whatever frustrations you have about the other person.
It's up to you, but make sure the delivery doesn't come from a place of rage if you do decided to be totally transparent about your negative thoughts.
Every family has a black sheep or every family in its entirety are black sheep.
What is a "black sheep" anyway?
It used to mean a person who brought shame or embarrassment to a family, but it's more often used now to mean the member who is just very different from everyone else—sometimes in a good way.
Redditor Frozen_yoghurt123 asked:
"Who is the 'black sheep' of your family?"
I'm the black sheep or at least I'd like to think so.
"Probably my dad's cousin, who went to prison for murdering his lover's husband."
DW_555Oh My Wow GIFGiphy
"My Dad. He is the only one of 6 siblings who wasn't a huge f**k up. And yet, before my Grandma died she stated that he was her 'biggest disappointment.' He is estranged from his surviving siblings... not by his choice. It honestly blows my mind."
"Toxicity is often a group mindset thing; people don't want you to leave because they are dysfunctionally co-dependent on each other and need each other to justify their own shortcomings in life. A lot of the 'family loyalty' stuff is typically shouted loudest by those who are the least good idea to stay loyal towards."
"My great uncle who stole my great grandfathers identity, stole a couple million dollars, and ran off. No one even knew he was alive until my great grandfathers funeral in 2009. No one has seen him since. My grandma started to cry because she honestly thought he was dead."
"Everyone else just kind of nodded on his direction and went on with the rest of the funeral. I just remember being very confused because I was 9 and I had never met this guy who my dad pulled me aside and told me he was my great uncle. It was a few years later that I got the full story."
"According to my mean aunt, the 'matriarch' in her own mind, it's my twin brother because "he doesn't care about family now that he's a doctor." (He's a resident. Chief resident. He works ridiculous hours and spends the rest of the time recovering from work.)"
"According to my ex-MIL (who still counts because she's Son's grandma), it's me, for divorcing her son."
"According to everyone else, it's Mean Aunt. The rest of us are warm and caring and compassionate. We have our moments; all of us have been accidentally thoughtless or done something selfish once in a while, but we're not deliberately mean and snarky all the time."
"My immediate family are the black sheep of the entire family."
DarthDreganJohn Stamos Cheers GIF by GrandfatheredGiphy
Sounds like everyone has a little black sheep in them.
"By now, my brother for cutting off everyone because he prefers his rude, selfish, paranoid, narcissist wife over all of us."
"My wife is the black sheep of her family in the sense that she's the only one who isn't a rude, selfish, paranoid narcissist."
Lvcivs2311Joe Dirt Brother GIFGiphy
"Me. My granddaddy told me 'I’ve only had the sheriff knock on my door two times in my 80 years, and both times he was looking for you! 'I did some dumb sh*t, caused a little trouble, burned a few bridges but always managed to stay out of jail. Partly because my sister has kept an attorney on retainer for me since I was 16."
"My younger brother (2nd of 4) is a compulsive liar and it got him in a lot of little trouble as a teen, then he told his wife he graduated a big college when we're not even sure if he got his GED because he failed to graduate HS, went to some GED school and eventually just stopped going."
"IF he graduated college, he never mentioned he was going in the 4+ years it takes nor mention graduation or have a diploma. He's not a bad dude, but now family time is super awkward when he and his wife are talking about 'their' college team."
The NOT good girl...
"My aunt's daughter. She’s been in jail for drugs, stolen money from my aunt and other family members to use on drugs and physically abused my aunt. My aunt has tried getting her help, but nothing has worked. She’s just not a good person, and everyone in my family, except my aunt, doesn’t want anything to do with her. I haven’t seen her in 8 years now, and I’m happy about that."
"A former nun - my great aunt - left the religious life and got married. She called herself 'the black sheep of the family' because her habit was black."
Back2BachExcited Julie Andrews GIF by The Rodgers & Hammerstein OrganizationGiphy
Well the black sheep sound like the most interesting family members.
Sex is great, but there are more ways than one to accomplish that euphoric feeling without sex.
There are so many small, ordinary aspects of life that can just send a person and we come across them daily.
A good steak.
A home repair.
The things that make you say...
"I tingle all over."
Redditor OldAboba asked:
"What is the best non-sexual physical feeling you’ve ever felt?"
Adele. Adele live. She sends me.
FloatingRelaxed Exit Strategy GIF by Hannah Bronfman Giphy
"I got a professional full body (everything but my man parts) massage a few years back for the first and so far only time at a spa after the recommendation from a coworker. I felt like I was floating on a cloud for the next few days."
Through your nose...
"Sneezing when you're sick. Then you get that about 20 second feeling of breathing through your nose again and you like ahh that's what I aspire to at the moment."
"Or the very last sneeze of your illness. During a fire drill in high school, I was ambling out after fighting a head old for a few days. The alarm was killing my head which was already throbbing from the sinus pressure."
"I was nearing the field, well away from my classmates, when I cough/sneezed out a huge, green loogie - cleared it about three feet, no icky trail - and by the time I was walking back to the building I was feeling pretty much back to normal. No more head cold after that. Never had something like that ever happen again where there was such an abrupt end to the head cold."
"Right after a migraine goes away. It's almost a spiritual experience."
"This was going to be my answer. I was in the ER one time for a really bad migraine. They gave me what they called a 'migraine cocktail.' When they pushed it through the IV I could feel the cold liquid make its way through my body, up to my head. Once it hit my brain, the migraine was gone. It was pure ecstasy. Even better was that cocktail had Benadryl in it so I fell asleep not long after and slept so good."
"That stretch til you shake when you wake up."
"I once stretched too hard in the morning and got the worst calf cramp ever... it looked like a prune and I thought I would die from the pain. Couldn't stretch in bed for months afterwards out of fear it would happen again."
"When you move over 50, it turns into that stretch til you put your back into a muscle spasm that lasts days."
The ItchScratching Feel Good GIF by 60 Second DocsGiphy
"I had a cast and splint on both my legs for 2 months. When they cut it off, they scratched my legs for me and the itch was just top notch! Yeah."
Itching an itch can change a life.
YUM!Emma Stone High Quality GIFGiphy
"When you're starving all day and devour a bomb a** meal."
Sleep for Life
"When you’ve been up for 20 hours+ and finally get into bed and you just know it’ll be the best sleep of your life."
"But man, after 36+ hours, the body sort of aches and it's hard to fall asleep despite being completely exhausted. Then the restless legs kick in... ugh. I do agree that a 20hr-ish stint is amazing to cuddle into, especially if you don't have to get up at any specific time the next day."
"Makes it better when you’ve been sleep deprived for weeks and know you have NO PLANS tomorrow and can sleep as much as you need."
"When you're absolutely busting for a pee and you can finally go!"
"Apparently there’s a thing called a 'pee-gasm' that people (usually women) have that causes an orgasmic feeling when you pee after holding it for a while! I’ve definitely experienced this and I’ve intentionally waited a while so I could have that good feeling... lol."
I Can Hear!!
"The feeling of water leaving your ear after being there all day."
"I had some impacted earwax for a week in one ear, and when it finally got removed it was the best feeling in the world. Initially it was like having a tv or radio in my ear that only had static, but then I could hear. Good god, I could hear. It was amazing."
"Oh man, and it’s WARM from being in your head, and the warmth makes the sensation of leaving even better."
A Good Restdog puppy GIFGiphy
"Sleeping in a warm blanket in winters."
"Or sleeping in a cold blanket in summer."
I am enthralled by all of those things.
People need to stop throwing out unwanted advice.
And when it is requested, think before you speak.
People with mental disorders don't need everyone telling them they have a fix like "exercise" or "herbal supplements."
Redditor Gold-Ad-2827 asked:
"People with mental disorders: What do you hate being told the most?"
I hated being told to just smile. You smile and go away.
Duhseth meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"It's all in your head. Where else would it?! My colon?"
"Everybody goes through that."
"This saying makes my blood boil. Or the 'I was that age once too ya know' yeah no sh*t you were that age once. And just because you were that age once doesn’t mean we have the same experience."
"They try to minimize it."
"You're worried? Just stop."
"You're sad? Just don't be."
"You're compulsively binge eating? Eat less."
"Thanks for that stellar advice."
"Or even better, 'Just do it!' As if ADHD paralysis can be stopped with a can-do attitude."
"I get so frustrated when people treat the idea of 'holistic medicine' as some kind of woo. How does it escape so many people that the body works holistically? Even a lot of doctors seem to ignore this. It's very frustrating when you have 2 or 3 or 4 illnesses that are all affecting each other, and your 'physical health' is held distinct from your mental health, and nothing anyone is doing to treat you works because no one's looking at the whole system."
"I just got a lecture from a psychiatrist I am seeing about nutrition, and he apologized to me for doing so but I told him, 'No, I appreciate it. Do it for all your patients.' because it told me he's trying to look at the whole picture and actually fix what's wrong. It gave me faith in him."
RelaxCalm Down Golden Girls GIF by TV LandGiphy
"You need to calm down."
"Never is the history of calm down has calm down ever caused anyone to calm down."
Calm down. I hate that one. You calm down.
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"When they try to give me tips on what to do, like bruh as if I didn't already try that."
"You don't look sad. No crap... that's so I can avoid having this conversation. Also depression isn't 'being sad' like people think."
"God, I hate this. It's because saying 'I'm depressed' has been standard for people expressing that they're slightly unhappy about something dumb like not getting enough croutons on their salad or some crap. Now that's just what everyone assumes you mean when you say you have depression."
"'Stop being lazy.'"
“'Lazy' is when you don’t want to do anything at all. 'Executive disfunction' is when you can do everything at all, but that one easy quick thing that you do want to do just makes you and your brain freeze completely days ahead. I’m tired of people not understand that even when I explain and look at me like I’m bullshitting instead."
Ways to Cope
"Maybe you should try praying harder. I did, He prescribed medication."
"Praying is a way to cope for a lot of people, I think. That's totally fine, but insisting on praying in lieu of getting real help or actually addressing the issue is when it is not only unhelpful, but dangerously detrimental."
"Religious people will bypass everyone’s cultures, identity, views, and feelings just to be right and make a point. it’s disgusting. I read somewhere that real so called Christianity is all wrong. The real faith is from the Aramaic history and all the meanings were misinterpreted and the stories and all were made up by Catholics wanting to control their people. Yuck."
'contamination'Disgusted Season 6 GIF by Brooklyn Nine-NineGiphy
"As someone with OCD with a lot of attention to 'contamination', having someone try to explain contradictions in why I'm doing something that is technically unclean when I wouldn't do something that is technically clean due to OCD. There are a few doorknobs that I will not touch no matter how much you clean them in front of me and I know it makes no sense, if it made sense I wouldn't have OCD i'd just be cleanly."
Stop trying to be an armchair therapist. Be empathetic to people first.