Cut Expenses Without Feeling Deprived
Think it’s impossible to save a penny, let alone $100 bucks a week (that’s $5,200 a year)? Think again! The first step in changing your financial situation is to change your attitude. The ACT of saving money really has nothing to do with how much money you make, it has to do with how much you spend. Think of it this way: it doesn’t matter what your income is, if you spend everything you make, you simply won’t have anything to save…
So, how are you spending your hard in cash, and how can you start saving? Check out these Fab & Fru saving tips to help you spend and save more wisely, without sacrificing ALL your fun!
Get Rid of Your High Interest Debt
Between you credit debt, mortgage, and student loans, have you ever calculated the amount of money you are paying in interest alone each month?! Seriously – take a look at ALL of the interest rates you are paying, and focus on eliminating your debt with the highest interest rate first. More than likely, this will be your credit card debt. And while it may take some effort and a little bit of sacrifice, if you can completely eliminate one interest payment alone, you could be freeing up well over $100 per week to reduce your other debt, invest and save as you see fit!
Other ways to reduce high interest rates include:
- Consolidate all of your credit card debts onto one card with a lower interest rate, and work hard to pay off the debt before the rate increases. Do NOT add new charges to your card until you can pay your credit card bill IN FULL each month!
- If you own your home, and plan on living there for at least the next five years, consider refinancing your mortgage to get a lower interest rate!
- Focus on paying off your student loan with the highest interest rate – no matter how little is owed!
Pay Yourself First
Go to your bank and open up a money market or savings account where you can earn the most interest possible on the money you save. Even if you can only contribute $10 a week into your savings account, DO IT. That’s $40 more a month than you were saving before!
Adjust to Your Payroll Withholding Tax
Were you lucky enough to get a big tax refund this year?! Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but that means you overpaid throughout the year – lending the government YOUR money for them to earn interest on it, instead of you! Consult with an accountant to see how to properly fill out your W2′s, and when you see that extra money reflected in your weekly check, immediately deposit that difference into your savings account!
Strategically Pamper Yourself
No one wants to give up their mani-pedis, facials, massages, – or whatever your favorite luxury may be- and we’re not telling you to give it up either! However, do you have to go as often as you go now? Continue to pamper yourself, but CUT your luxe time in half by doing some in home ‘spa-ing’ in between professional visits. You’ll save hundreds of dollars without feeling deprived!
Re-Think Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Eating out is a major money suck, but it is also an important part of our social lives. Don’t stop going out to eat, but try cutting it down by half. There are many ways to do this. If you can’t skip your morning muffin and coffee on the go, try bringing your lunch to work three days a week. Go out for brunch with your friends on Sunday, instead to an expensive dinner AND drinks on Saturday night.
Get creative and experiment to see how much you can save without feeling like your sacrificing your social life. But I guarantee you, that if you make your morning coffee at home, bring your lunch to work more often and have friends over for dinner once and awhile instead of eating out, you WILL save a small fortune each week!
Create a Drinking Budget
There is nothing more costly than going out for drinks. Allow yourself a set number of number of cocktails when you go out, and not only will you know EXACTLY how much you spent that night, you will most definitely thank us in the morning!
Earn Extra Cash
If you are still struggling to find ways to pay off your debt and start saving, find a way to earn some extra cash at night or on the weekends. Babysitting, house & pet sitting, helping out an elderly neighbor, gardening, or selling your crafts, are all excellent ways to make some side money without totally infringing on your day job or your social life!
Stephanie Berenbaum and Brandi Savitt are the creators of Fabulous & Frugal, an online lifestyle and financial magazine for women. Check them out at FabulousandFrugal.com