This week on Episode 112 of the podcast, we’re taking a look at ways to organize and streamline paperwork, bills, and expenses as a way to get ahead of the game when it comes to boosting and keeping track of our financial health.
But this can be a hard topic to swallow, right? For many of us, budgeting and saving money isn’t nearly as easy as it seems… and what’s worse is that it’s not always a “one size fits all” situation when it comes to taking our financial pulse and figuring out what we need to do to get back on track.
So today, I want to make the discussion of financial health a little less daunting by taking a look at some of the simpler ways that you can save a little bit of money each week… because it’s true what they say, a little bit can go an incredibly long way… And who couldn’t use to save a few extra dollars here and there?!
Have you ever gone to shop for groceries without a list? It’s a little scary sometimes, right? And this is especially true if you find yourself shopping on an empty stomach (which is another money-saving tip: avoid shopping when you’re hungry!).
Suddenly, you’re going up and down the aisles putting everything and anything that looks mildly delicious into your cart… And at checkout, you’re awestruck at the staggering bill you’re left to pay!
Trust me, I’ve been there before… and after the last time it happened, I vowed to never enter the grocery store without a shopping list (and a serious plan) in hand.
That being said, one of my absolute favorite ways to keep my grocery bill in check is to plan out my meals each and every week, usually on Sundays. The best part about this is that if you have others at home to care for like I do, you can get your whole family involved by planning out daily themes…
Themes like Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, and Leftover Wednesday, for example, can be a great way to get yourself (and your kids) excited for the upcoming week, and it’s a great way to narrow down your grocery list to the key ingredients you need for meal prepping!
Not only that, but if you’re someone that loves tools to stay organized… Then you’ll really enjoy using the IWP Meal Planner; it includes spaces to keep track of all of your favorite meals, plan your week ahead, and a grocery list to help you stay on track!
Whether you enjoy meal planning or not, another great way to save a little bit of money each week is by bringing your lunch to work with you each day.
As difficult as it may be to say no to takeout from your favorite lunch spot, the expense definitely adds up and eats into your potential savings each week.
So if you’re looking to get on track financially this year, try making it a point to pack your lunch (even just a few days a week can help!) to enjoy in the breakroom or even at a park nearby your office instead!
Sure, you love treating yourself to an iced latte or frappuccino every morning on your way to work or when you’re out running errands… but have you ever thought of how much money you’re spending as a result?
Look at it this way… If you’re someone who splurges for a $5 coffee every morning, five days a week, that means you’re spending roughly $25 each week before tax… which then adds up to a total of $1300 per year!
Wouldn’t you rather have that extra $1300 in your savings account at the end of the year? I know I sure would!
So instead of taking the extra 10 or 20 minutes in the morning to run to your favorite coffee shop for your caffeine fix, I want to strongly encourage you to consider making your coffee at home and taking it to-go.
Invest in a travel cup that you love and save yourself the extra trip to the coffee shop in the morning! You might be surprised by how much you love having the extra time… and the extra savings in your bank account each week.
When was the last time you purchased something with cold hard cash?
One of the quickest ways that we can lose track of how much money we’re spending (and not saving!) is by relying solely on debit or credit cards to get us by.
To make saving a bit easier, try giving yourself a weekly cash allowance. Tuck your plastic cards away and opt to make your purchased the “old fashioned way” instead! Not only will this help keep you mindful about exactly how much you’re spending each week, but it will also make it easier to say no to frivolous purchases.
If you don’t have the cash you need on hand to buy that sweater you noticed while you were out window shopping, then you can’t spend it! It’s a simple as that.
Anyone else love to shop online as much as I do? It’s so easy, isn’t it?
But if you’re not being careful, then it also becomes even easier to make purchases purely on impulse… And after a while, your checking and savings account wind up taking the hit.
To nip your online shopping habit in the bud while giving your bank account some relief in the process, try pumping the brakes whenever you have the impulse to purchase online…
Any items you put in your shopping cart, keep them there for 24-48 hours or more. This way, you’re giving yourself the space you need to seriously consider the purchase you’re considering.
Do you really need that pair of shoes that looks exactly like the pair you already have sitting in your closet, waiting to be worn? Do you really need to add a sixth bathing suit to your already expansive collection? Probably not!
So when in doubt, keep your online habits at bay by giving yourself a time requirement of 24-48 hours before you’re allowed to pull the trigger on the items you have in your shopping cart. You might be surprised by how well this works to keep your impulse buys at bay!
What are some of the tried and true methods you’ve used to save money? Share your ideas in the comments below… And tune in to Episode 112 of Productivity Paradox this week to learn even more about the tools I use to keep track of my financial health!