One of the most common objections to the idea of starting to watch your expenses and save money is that you are afraid of preventing yourself from “ enjoying life” .
But being able to pay bills and make purchases, even those related to hobbies, without having to stress or feel guilty about the balance in your bank account is in itself a great way to enjoy life. And also to approach his daily life much more serenely.
All of this knowing full well that you will have the money you need to accomplish your long-term goals. Not beautiful, life?
To get a head start and start living without financial stress, all you have to do is build a plan and stick to it as best you can. And it is precisely this last step that is often the most difficult.
Because we are often full of good intentions when it comes to saving money on a daily basis . But putting concrete solutions in place often seems much more difficult.
That’s why you’ll find below 5 practical ways to control your expenses in order to put aside… without having to deprive yourself.
1.Clean up your bills
To learn how to manage your money, the essential starting point is to be aware of your expenses.
That’s exactly what a personal budget is for : understanding where your money goes each month, and finding ways to limit unnecessary spending and save money.
If you really want to set aside and start accumulating wealth little by little , changing your spending habits is a must.
How about reviewing your budget and asking yourself which categories are essential, and which are less important or superfluous?
A good, easy-to-implement idea is to cancel or freeze any subscription or service you’ve subscribed to that isn’t absolutely essential. Parting with these small bills will give you a valuable boost of motivation to continue to regain control of your finances and save money.
If you subscribe to services you don’t use, take 10 minutes out of your day to unsubscribe once and for all. A simplified budget will be easier to manage while allowing you to have more money to finance your dreams, even the biggest ones !
This step is especially important when you’re looking to save money on a tight budget .
2.Make the act of purchase more difficult
Today, buying is very easy . Like “buying-an-object-over-€100-in-one-click-on-Amazon” easy.
To avoid impulsive spending (the number one enemy of finances under control), play it old-school and dissociate your credit card and/or Paypal account from all your favorite online shopping sites.
If you want to buy clothes online or order a meal on home delivery, make sure you have to re-enter your card number each time. Because if you have to stop to think about how you’re going to pay, at least you take the time to think.
And go even further: completely remove all shopping and fast food apps installed on your phone. If you really need to buy something (and I emphasize “really need” ), the web version will be more than enough. In the meantime, you won’t be tempted by impulse purchases in the dentist’s waiting room.
3.Save money with your own “Garden of Desires”
It’s one of my favorite systems since I started really sticking to a budget. Both fun and playful, this “planting of desires” system is an ingenious method by which you “plant and grow” whatever you wish to buy.
Of course, we’re not talking about a real garden, but about a technique to save money little by little for the expenses you plan to incur . In short, rather than buying that great new speaker you saw at Fnac right away, you’re just going to plant a seed in your virtual garden, namely your budget.
Concretely, you will create in your budget a category corresponding to the speaker , in which you will deposit money little by little until you have saved enough to finally be able to afford it… or not.
Because the advantage of planting desires is that often, by taking our time before buying a product, we realize that we ultimately don’t really want or need it…
By delaying each of your purchases, you will save money by reducing impulse purchases that you could potentially regret later.
Personally, I grow my garden of desires directly through the software I use to track my budget ( You Need A Budget ), but using a Bullet Journal is another very fun and creative way to plan your next pleasure purchases .
4.Borrow instead of buy
Remember all those books you’ve bought and haven’t read yet, or just skimmed through. A library card would surely have cost you much less while allowing you to borrow a much larger number of books.
I’m using books as an example here, but this principle actually applies to everything . For example, another classic unnecessary expense is DIY tools. Surely today you really need a sander. But do you need to buy a new one and then let it sleep in your closet for probably more than 350 days a year?
Unless you have a new object to sand every week, buying this product new is simply pointless. A few messages or phone calls would surely allow you to find a loved one who would be happy to lend you his sander if necessary. Some online sharing sites also allow you to borrow tools from your neighbors at no cost.
These purchases ruin your budget and clutter your home. Borrowing instead of buying is therefore an ideal solution to save money… while doing a good thing for the planet!
5.Start a “budget fast”
One of the best ways to save money is to take a step back from spending. And for this, an extremely effective technique is to drastically reduce your expenses for a specific period (in general, 1 month is a good compromise) in order to gain perspective on the allocation of your money.
The idea of this “challenge” is to not spend money for 1 month apart from your bills and basic needs in order to break the cycle of unnecessary expenses. When you then resume your usual expenses, it will be much easier to spot the ones that you very easily did without.
The goal is of course not to stay locked in your apartment for 1 month. Rather, it’s about encouraging you to consume and entertain differently. Why not take advantage of the many free activities near you? Or invite your friends over for a movie night instead of going to the movies? Most of your loved ones would certainly be delighted to accept your invitation to activities that are a little out of the ordinary.
You can also adjust your budget fast by deciding to stop only a very specific expense , such as fast food for example. This will allow you to realize how much certain expenses are more of a habit than a real need or want. Once your fast is over, even if you take back this expense by reducing it only a little compared to before, it will already be a big victory.
So, what are the best ways for you to save money easily? Try implementing at least one of the tips above in the next month, and see how much it’s saved you without having to sacrifice.
You will have understood: saving money does not mean depriving yourself of everything . It is above all a question of succeeding in reducing all the useless or impulsive expenses which come to empty our bank account every month.
And it’s all the more important when you have goals or life projects that you want to achieve , but for which you don’t have enough money set aside.
And to help you, we have launched a training course specially dedicated to this subject: Saving without depriving yourself . In this training, we help you to carry out your projects without your finances being an obstacle, but on the contrary, by making it a valuable tool for the achievement of your objectives.