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Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. With the below tips, you can be well on your way to padding that travel savings account. Below you’ll find money saving “challenges” that you can try for a month or longer or shorter. Plus I finished the list with a few recommendations for an app and money-making software that I love.
Make a G.D. Budget Already
It’s time to face your finances. Before you can even start saving, you need to take a look at where your money is going. Take a look at your finances and create a document that lists all of your income and every single purchase or expense from the entire month. This can be your starting point and you’ll see just where every dollar is going.
Dining In Only
Pack your lunches and don’t go out to eat for an entire month. Stick as close to your regular grocery budget as possible and use up the food in your pantry and freezer. At the end of the month, put that money in your savings.
No New Clothes
Go three months without purchasing new clothing. What do you normally spend when you’re walking through Target and those three sweaters you don’t even need end up in your cart? If there is something you know you need, write it down, add it to a wishlist, etc. and wait until the end of the challenge. You can use that time to find the best deal or maybe determine you didn’t need the item in the first place.
Nix All Non-Essentials
AKA this is a no-spend challenge. You might have to ease into this one after trying some of the others. Don’t spend any money except for the necessities like groceries, gas and regular bills. Every time you’re about to make a purchase for something you don’t need (coffee, gum, makeup) just send that money to your savings account. After you move the money it will be inconvenient to switch it back for the purchase and hopefully it will remind you why you’re trying to save in the first place.
Swipe Your Closets
This is less of a savings, but more of a making money challenge. Go through your closet and pull out all the items you don’t wear or don’t need. Try to sell what you can. I’ve been gifted cosmetics items that I don’t need and never touched and was able to sell them for a pretty good chunk of change. And I always end up buying a few items a year that I barely wear. Try selling on Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist or your local consignment store. Take all that money and put it towards your savings goal.
If you’re a social butterfly, this one might be tough, but go a month without purchasing any alcohol. First you’re going to save money by not spending it on drinks but then you’ll also save money not spending it on drunk/hangover food. Seriously, if I go out it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’ll be getting pizza or Taco Bell to end the night because I don’t have that kind of good junk food at home. So if I stick to water or mocktails, I’m saving lots of cash. If you’re like me you probably have some wine or beers at home. You could have a night in with those and cut the cost of Uber, dinner out, etc. too!
Purchase only non name-brand items for an entire month. You’d be surprised how many store-brand products you can get at stores like Kroger and Aldi. And this isn’t just for food. You can find generic brands for lotion, soap, cleaning supplies, etc. Keep track of the differences in cost and move that to your savings account.
Try a Savings Specific App
My personal favorite is Qapital. The app is really easy to use. You can set up “goals” in the app and add a custom title and image. So if you have a specific location in mind for your travels, you can set up a Paris trip fund with a pretty picture of the Eiffel Tower. The app links directly to your bank account and you can quickly move money into your savings account. They also have many “rules” you can set up, like rounding up your purchase to the next even dollar amount then putting that extra money into the savings account. There’s also an option to add a certain amount on a weekly basis. I found this app super helpful when I was saving for my Europe trip. It’s easy to work with and I love that I can visually see where I’m at in my goals.
Sign Up For Ebates
Seriously, Ebates is my JAM. You can make money back when shopping online. There’s really no catch to it. I was able to make money back on hotels (like $30) and money back on the backpack I purchased (about $20). If you sign up with Ebates now, your first purchase of $25+ automatically gives you $10 back.
What are the ways you save money? Have you tried any of the above? I’d love to hear your money saving tips below!