Saving money is not easy, but it is not really that hard. Before living the frugal life, I made a lot of impulse decisions that I still regret up to this moment. I work as an Accountant but I was not good with managing my own money. My paycheck wasn’t even here yet but I was already thinking about the things I wanted to buy. I thought I was doing fine and I was living the life I dreamed of but one day, it just hit me. This bad habit made me broke, unhappy, and deeply buried in debt.
One day, I accidentally watched this video on Instagram that completely changed my life (I know this sounds really cliché but it’s true!) I started calculating my monthly expenses and although I already know I was an impulsive buyer, I still got surprised how much my behavior has damaged my finances.
To be able to save money effectively, we just have to be wholeheartedly willing to make a few changes in our lifestyle and we will get there. To tell you the truth, the hardest part was to start this whole saving journey because it was completely new to me. The word ‘saving’ did not really exist in my dictionary–now it is my favorite word!
Here are the 5 things I stopped doing to start saving money…
1. Settling on one income
I used to live from paycheck to paycheck. Every time there is an unexpected expense, it leaves me no choice but to get into debt. It makes me rely solely on my credit cards that takes me months to pay. It makes me feel stuck to this dreadful never-ending financial worries that always keeps me up at night.
So, I started blogging and started doing some freelance work. I worked extra hours that made me realize how hard it is to make a living. Because of this, I started asking myself first before purchasing anything. Is it worth the hard work? Is it worth my time?
My side jobs helped me earn good money and even helped me pay my debts. It’s been 2 years and now I am finally debt-free!
2. Buying things on sale
We want to save money in good deals, there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are only buying things (you don’t necessarily need) just because they are on sale, that, my friend, is a problem. This is what I’m most guilty about.
I used to buy groceries that are off my list if I see them on sale. But as embarrassing as it is to admit, they only ended up rotting in my fridge and get thrown away. It feels like throwing $100 to the trash but that’s not even the worst part. It makes me feel terrible that I am wasting food when there is a million of hungry people out there.
This is a serious issue that needs to get addressed. It is best to ask yourself before buying anything. Do you really need it or is it something you can live without?
3. Not budgeting
Budgeting is one of the most essential things to do in saving money. When you use a budget, you can tell every dollar you make where it needs to go.
This was one of my biggest mistakes. I kept spending and spending, did not keep track of my expenses, and always wondered where all my money went.
So if you don’t have a budget yet, now is a good time to get in control over your money. Get out a pen and paper and start your budget!
4. Making late payments
The worst part about late payments is not the charged fees, but the bad effect it will cause your credit score. In this generation, a good credit score is a must. We don’t want to mess it up by making late payments!
The best way to make sure you don’t make late payments is to list all the bills you owe, set a monthly reminder on your phone so you won’t forget them or schedule your payments through online transfers.
5. Impulse buying
This…is what caused me a financial trouble. This is one of the worst money habits anyone can have and breaking it is not easy. The impulse buys I made really damaged my finances and stopped me from reaching my financial goals.
I gave myself a cooling period where I refrained myself from making purchases for a week, and then came back to see if I need it or I still want it. Later on, I found out that other people do it too and it is called “The Seven Day Rule”.
Do you have any saving money tip to share? Feel free to comment!