There are so many great, accessible budgeting tools nowadays that can help with savings. Perhaps more rarely addressed is how to take those practical everyday steps that allow you to save, follow a budget, or understand your spending habits/ patterns and maintain them. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite smart spending habits that help me manage my money, in hopes that it can help you.
- Scheduling – I use my calendar as a guide to purchases. I use it to plan out holidays, birthdays, entertaining, vacations etc. in advance so I know what I’ll need to spend for each month, and I can budget out how much to spend. This is a great way not to be surprised by events, while also getting to be thoughtful about them in advance. I’m a big planner, so I love this habit.
- Setting a goal or intention – Before I go shopping online or in-person, I always set an intention. I have a list, I know what I need to get, and I know around how much I can spend. This is a good habit to practice, as it helps keep me from impulse spending and encourages me to have a reason to shop instead of just for fun or out of boredom.
- Direct deposit into a savings account/ separate account that you only use in emergencies – Sometimes saving money is so hard to do manually, I just have to make it automatic. If you’re able to set up your direct deposit into different accounts – it can be a great way to save. Even if I only have 10 dollars from your pay going into a savings – that adds up. This also helps me be less likely to touch the money because it’s automatically accumulating without me doing anything.
- Have planned times of check ins – It’s easy to veer from my goals. Everyone needs that time of realigning. Checking in with my finances helps me see where I’m spending money the most, how much I’m spending, and see what my tendencies are. Check ins make all the difference because I can make small adjustments to help reach my saving goals.
- Cancel + update subscriptions – Subscriptions can be convenient; however, they can get out of control quickly. Regulating them helps me enjoy them for a while – then get rid of them at some point. There are always promotions on subscriptions, but they usually only last one month and then roll you into automatic payments. Beware of these and keep an eye out that they don’t enroll you.
- Think about big purchases for a while – Adding time to my purchase decisions can help me save money. Picking a price ceiling according to my budget helps me set the intention. Then I that number along with an amount of time. For example, maybe the ceiling is $150 dollars on non-necessities, and I think about the purchase for 4 days. This adds some logic to my purchase and helps me think out all the options before making an impact purchase.
I hope that the spending habits I practice can help inspire your own or keep going with the ones you’re already practicing well! Keep at it!