If you gals are anything like me, you might be spending more money than you, well, actually can afford to. (Look, I have a hard time budgeting, OK?!) "Budgeting," to me, means waiting until I'm close to overdrafting on my bank account, at which point I pull back the reigns and proceed to not spend any money for a few days.
Since that's not exactly a sustainable way to live, here are five ways to actually save money:
- For one month, track every penny you spend. Knowledge is power and it’s time for you to be well-informed so you can take control. Try to lump expenses together by category (housing, groceries, eating out, entertainment, health, car expenses, etc.).
2. After one month, look at the total amount you spent on each category. Pick a category where your monthly spend makes you feel disappointed/uncomfortable (this gut reaction just means your spending is not aligned with your values).
3. Pick a new target for that category that feels better and calculate what your savings would be. If you used to spend $600 on eating out and you want to just spend $400 next month, your savings would be $200.
4. Put half of that $200 savings into your savings account and budget to spend the other half on your own Exploration Fund (so that’s $100 for your Exploration Fund).
5. Brainstorm an exciting list of things you would like to do more of (or start doing!)... these are your Exploration Fund ideas. Over the next month, commit to spending all of your Exploration Fund dollars on doing things on this list. Make sure you stay on budget with your category for #3 so you don’t overspend.
That’s it! Over time, you can start trimming down your other categories too and putting those additional savings into your savings account, as well. Get ready to watch your savings multiply!