I promised that I would check in yesterday to talk about what I do each day to save money and live like no one else. My day got away from me as it tends to do. So, here I am! Back with some more ideas and tips from someone who admits she is not a financial planner but has had good times and bad in her life and has lived to tell about it.
Once I set a budget up in Mint and with my credit union, it was really easy to see where my money was going. Mint even texts me when I am going over budget! Once I really saw where my money went I could see the excess in my spending. So, on a day-to-day basis I was over spending in two categories mainly. Those two categories are food and clothing. I think that once you figure out where you are overspending you really need to think about what is driving that spending. The motivators for me were laziness and anxiety. Let me tell you what I mean by that. The overspending on food was simply me being lazy. I didn’t prepare ahead for having something to eat at work, which led to me eating out most days and then it led to me gaining weight. Now, I plan ahead and having something planned to eat so that I don’t overspend OR overeat. Win, win!
Then, the clothes. I used to like to guy clothes when I was feeling anxious. I know that sounds crazy but I think a lot of people let shopping be a panacea for depression or anxiety. I know for some people there won’t be an easy solution to this but I can tell you what worked for me. I told my self I was just going on a clothing diet. I wouldn’t buy anything new for 90 days. That way I knew it wasn’t forever, only a little while until I could buy something again. It was a little difficult the first 90 days. I really wanted to keep up my spending habits when I had a bad day but I did it. I didn’t buy anything. And then I was proud of myself. I had done it! So then I challenged myself to another 90 days and another. Soon, not buying things was the norm instead of rushing out and buying stuff to make myself feel good. I even started to get rid of things and sell the nicer items online through Craigslist or Facebook. I was making just a little extra money and getting my life less complicated by getting rid of things.
Lastly, I will do the final installment of my money organization series and will tell you the major life choices that changed my financial life and got me on the right path that I am today.