Over and over again you guys tell us that one of your biggest struggles is how to save more of your hard-earned money. So we thought we’d have a quick look at a few of the choices we all have around spending. This is not an exhaustive list but might poke you into thinking about some of the choices you’re making and whether this aligns with your objectives.
“Money spent travelling is money well spent” – I’m sure you’ve heard this or a similar version of it many times. I know I’ve used it and I’m sure you and your buddies have too. BUT is it really true? Only if you enjoy travelling. Not everyone does. Maybe not if you’re travelling for work, or to visit a sick relative, or back to the same boring holiday spot your family goes every year.
If you’re on a quest to save more of your earnings, make sure you’re spending aligns to your objectives. In other words, don’t spend money on rubbish, and use the below thought-provokers to challenge your own thinking and question where your hard-earned goes every month.
A good starting point is to write down everything you spend your money on. This can be difficult to do without a tool to prompt you. Feel free to download the budget tool I use with my clients to set up their own budget before we make big plans:
Everyone loves a good budget 🙂
Time published a list of 10 things millennials will spend money on that other generations most likely will not. It’s interesting – snakes and hot sauce made the cut – but it got us wondering about the choices we make and whether they are based on what the norm is for our generation rather than what’s important to us. If you want to save more, this is a good place to start.
You don’t have to spend according to your demographic’s stereotype. You are allowed to make your own choices. In fact, as a young person, being true to yourself is exactly how you succeed, not only to save more by spending wisely, but in all areas of life.
So here’s five quick choices you DO have. A few ideas on where you can make an upfront decision on what’s important to you as an individual in order to save more of what you earn:
Exercise is key to living a long, healthy life. But is that gym membership an essential? Is exercise outdoors an option for you? I can’t stand the view from our local gym’s treadmill and much prefer fresh air, but we all know there’s massive benefits to having a gym membership if you use it, and it all depends on your goals. Strength training, bulking – probably need a gym. Winter in the middle of Canada, sure, it’s tough to run on icy roads.
It depends on your goals. Break it down, look at what you’re doing at the gym, if you could do it elsewhere, give it a go if you’re trying to save more money.
This is already showing up as a lesser-valued item for our generation than it has for others before us. You can Uber everything these days and for some people that makes sense. Tash and I have tried to look at dropping one of our two cars but with me getting to the beach and visiting clients and her driving to work, and both now needing baby seat/s we’ve made the call to keep them (for now).
Think of the environment. A lot of my clients ride to work now, or use car sharing services. These cars are everywhere now!
Evaluate your sitch and figure it out for yourself. If you’re trying to save more, this is one area that is very popular for a reason.
Is it free? Is the store 5 mins up the road? What else could you be doing with your time? Is it on your way home? Do you work long hours and can’t get to the store yourself? Do you have zero time for running errands and prefer to use any free time you have on your side hustle.
Ever since our daughter came along 12 months ago, we’ve ordered our groceries online and had it delivered every fortnight. We’ll post about this soon as there are some huge benefits, and if we time it right delivery is free. But don’t do it just because we’ve made it work, this has to make sense for you.
Sure, there are plenty of health benefits from eating organic food, but can you handle the price tag?
Do you need to choose all organic items, or just stick to fresh fruit and veg? Can you grow it yourself, or is there a community garden close by?
Studies show that Certified organic food is about 40% more expensive than non-organic. This would cost the average person an extra $1000 a year.
Many common foods e.g. bananas, broccoli, onions and avocado are have very low pesticide use. Don’t bother with buying these organic as the benefit is limited.
The latest tech
Do you need the latest smartphone and all the gadgets? Can you handle the 18 month old laptop, rather than upgrading (again)?
Think about your reasons for any of these sorts of purchases. Is it a necessity or are you just keeping up with your friends. Make a call and stand by it, but make sure you’re doing it for you.
If you’re trying to save more money, but are complaining about goals you haven’t achieved, then remember that you make the choices about what you spend your money on. If you read the Times article, and snakes and hot sauce are necessities in your life, that’s cool, just focus on saving in the areas you don’t care so much about.
If you need help setting your spending plan, start with this budget:
or as a valued reader lock in a quick call with me and we’ll see what you need to do.