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I like to make money, as much as I like to save it. I’ve lasted through college on money that I earned from babysitting 10 hours a week (at $10/hour). This meant food, gas, and whatever else. I was frugal alright.
I’m sure that my experience is not unique, but it taught me the value of money. It didn’t come easy, as I physically didn’t have time for another job, and I had a tight budget. I’ve carried those lessons with me and I budget my way through life, seriously. In fact, budgeting and saving money are some of the most researched topics on the Internet. People are striving to learn how they can better manage their money. But the spending habit is hard to break. Once you’re accustomed to living a certain lifestyle and feel like you’ve earned the money, might as well spend it.
That’s fair, I don’t disagree. You build your own priorities in how and what you do with your money.
At some point, there may be a need to become more conservative with your spending habits. Maybe it’s a New Years resolution. Maybe it’s a goal that you established for yourself? Or maybe you’re saving for something else?
What Can Change by Saving $5/day?
Small daily expenses, like a cup of Starbucks, may seem invisible within the larger scheme of things like paying mortgage or paying down on your car loan. You probably won’t turn into a millionaire by giving up Starbucks, but there are things that could significantly impact your life if you stuck with it for a year.
Think about it. If you save $5/day for 365 days, that will bring you $1,825 at the end of the year! I don’t know about you, but I’d rather give up my daily cup of Starbucks to get my hands on this money.
What Can I Do With This Money?
Well, $1,825 is a significant sum of money and there are 5 immediate great investments that you can put them towards. Here we go.
1) Invest it back in YOURSELF!
Have you been waiting to take a certification course to grow within your field? Maybe it’s learning a completely new skill, like learning accounting? Be savvy, take your saved cash and invest it into a course that will put you on a path to success. New credentials or educational experience to put on your resume will definitely not hurt. It may actually put you ahead some of the other candidates in the interview process, especially if you’re looking to change you job in the near future.
2) Refresh your home with new wall paint and decorations!
We tend to put off doing any renovations blaming lack of money, or reason to do it. But wouldn’t it be nice to refresh your home? Repaint your living room with a bolder tone, or simply refresh the existing paint. Switch out your sofa pillows and buy a new piece of accent furniture. It will feel like you’re coming to a completely new home!
3) Take a 5-night vacation for 2 in Mexico
Everyone deserves to lay back and enjoy themselves once in a while. Vacations are expensive. But they’re also refreshing. It’ll reset your energy levels, clear your mind, and help take life stresses off your mind. Take a 5-night vacation with your loved one to Mexico and enjoy crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches and unrestricted amount of sleep.
4) Open up a business
Some people think that starting a business must be expensive. It can be, but doesn’t have to (although it does also depend on the type of business that you would like to start. Maybe you’ve been waiting to start an online business by selling things on Etsy, but just can’t find the money to invest into it? Here is your answer. It’s possible that the returns on this investment would bring you hefty revenues and may even grow into something bigger.
5) Splurge on Luxury
You may have been waiting to buy a How about you reward yourself with a nice piece of luxury? After all the bills are paid, we barely have anything left to spend it anything. Luxury? Out of the question. After a year worth of saving $5/day, you can finally treat yourself with the latest iPhone, or a nice Louis Vuitton bag, or even a pair of those Louboutin shoes that you’ve always wanted.
How do I go about saving $5/day?
If this sounds good so far and you would like to join the bandwagon, you’ll need to start with a plan. Firstly, understand that you’ll have to give something up, in order to get something out of it. Secondly, you must stick with it.
And how exactly will I be able to save and what expenses can I get rid of, you mind ask. Well, here are some tips:
Kick bad habits to the curb
Alcohol and cigarettes are some of the most most addictive substances, as well as overpriced items to spend your money. Even that $5 tap beer is overly priced, not even mentioning some other fancy drinks. Even if you have 1-2 drinks out with friends a week, let’s say at $12 (including tax and tip). Then times this amount by 4 weeks, that’s $40-80/month saved! Similar goes for cigarettes (vipes, and whatever else). Get rid of your bad habits and start saving!
Make coffee at home
Starbucks, Starbucks, Starbucks. Getting in the habit of treating yourself with cafe lattes daily? There go your savings. And if you opt in for sugary and milky drinks, there goes your figure too. Ok, just kidding on that one. But to some extent, all that sugar and added calories may impact you negatively. If you are not ready to give up on coffee, why not make a cup of coffee at home with the ingredients that you trust at a fraction of the cost?
I like diversity in what I eat, even thought I am a very (VERY!) picky eater. It’s definitely convenient to pick-up your lunch and not having to worry about what you’ll eat. But the mark-up on food is absurd. It’s in the order of +300%. With a bit of planning and some time for packing, you can have that money back into your bank account. To simplify it further, my husband and I often take whatever that we had for dinner and pack it for lunch. Or, opt in for a chopped salad with whatever ingredients you like. You also have more control about what you put into your food, and know exactly how it was cooked (if that’s at all a concern for you).
Stick to your grocery shopping list
My husband is notorious for buying things that are not on the shopping list. Yes, I do write down all of the items he needs to purchase and in most cases he buys stuff that weren’t on the list, and omits the items that were. Ugh! We shop with our eyes, and when we see something on promotion – we are opt to buy it. Forget the diet, and the exercising, if it looks so good that you start drooling, you’ll most likely buy it.
Make a list of dishes you’ll be cooking in a particular week. So before you leave the house, make it a habit to look through you fridge and pantry to see what you need to make that menu. Stick to your grocery shopping list and do not stray away from it.
Keep your budget separate
Ok, so now you have a nice stash of money saved up and they’re just sitting in your bank making your checking account look so pretty with those extra numbers. It gives you comfort that you have them there, and you may become even more likely to splurge on something before time. Maybe it’s a dress that you saw on Amazon and knowing that you have that money sitting in your account, why not use it?
Keep your budget account separate. If needed, keep it as cash at home. That way, you won’t feel that comfort of having “extra money” in your account that you can spend.
Create a goal, develop a plan and stick to it! Whether you save $5 a day, or even a $1 a day will give you the experience of how rigor it takes to save money. Once you’ve achieved your savings goal, reward yourself and your loved one with a vacation, or invest that money back into yourself. Hard work certainly pays off.
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