Here’s some quick tips on shaving your spend.
Nowadays, heading to the grocery store comes with a side of sticker shock. Here’s some proven ways to avoid busting your budget:
- Make a list – yeah, it can seem simple, but it’s the best way to keep from walking out with extra bags of stuff you didn’t actually want or need in the first place. Whether you keep the list on your fridge and add to it throughout the week, or write it before you head out, only put down what you need, and make sure to check the pantry, fridge and cupboards first to keep from doubling up on things you already have. Then comes the hard part – stick to it! Don’t be swayed by impulse purchase or ‘sale’ items you don’t actually need.
- Pro Tip – sales flyers aren’t just for mailboxes anymore. If you have a couple different stores in the area, take the time to look at their websites to see who has what on sale. While it may not make sense to go to a lot of different stores to get what you need, knowing who has what you need at the best price can help keep more money in your wallet. Have a ‘goto’ grocery store? Try signing up for their loyalty program for extra savings, coupons, and other deals.
- Plan your meals – it may seem boring, but planning ahead of time will cut down on those impulse purchases and the ‘I don’t remember why I got this’ ingredients you’ll never use. Plus, those sales flyers are a great way to create your meals around saving money – as a bonus, it can be a fun way to try things outside of your normal routine.
Time for a major purchase? Whether it’s appliances, cars, furniture or tech, planning your big ticket buy can help you save:
- Avoid buyer’s remorse, and do your research – make sure you’re not just getting a good deal, but a good product. Remember, don’t just read one review and call it good – taking the time before you buy can help you get the right item at the right price. Make sure to only buy from companies you know and trust.
- Be willing to wait! Try and anticipate your big purchases BEFORE you absolutely need to buy – that will help reduce impulse buys, overpaying, and getting a substandard product. It also gives you time to shop around, spot the sales, and make your purchase on your terms.
- Is it a want, or a need? Know the difference, and be honest with yourself about what category your purchase falls into – while it’s nice to splurge on the wants now and then, make sure your needs come first!
Watch out for ‘spend creep’! Here’s a few ways to cut down on those daily creeping costs:
- Sure, a cup of coffee in the morning might fit your budget and be worth it to you – but what about the second coffee run? Or the third? Take an honest look at how much you’re spending on the little things, and instead of running for a cup of joe on your break, take a quick walk instead – it will help give you a burst of energy without draining your dollars!
- Eating out at lunch every day? Add up what you spend in a week – for a lot less money and minimal effort, you can make your lunches ahead and bring them in. Give yourself one ‘eat out’ day a week (we all need a break sometimes!), but brown bagging it will save you time and money – win/win! Have a fridge in your breakroom? Buy some sandwich or salad stuff and keep it right at the office, to eliminate the ‘I forgot’ excuse.
- Shopping online? Unless it falls into the ‘need now’ category, give yourself a ‘cooldown’ period. Pro tip – go ahead and shop, even put items in the ‘cart’ to help give you that ‘I’m shopping’ feeling – and then delete them and close the site. Wait a couple days and see if you even remember what you wanted to buy – if not, it’s a good sign you didn’t need it in the first place. Consider it the modern-day version of window shopping – all the fun, none of the cost.
Save your savings! The extra money you’re getting by cutting your spend? Put it into a dedicated ‘save’ account and watch it build:
- Pro-Tip -- At TruChoice, you can easily get a free second savings account, and nickname it to help you keep you’re eye on the prize – whether it’s a vaca fund, emergency savings, or a future ‘big ticket’ item, putting the money you save into a dedicated account will help keep you from losing steam on cutting expenses.
- Use our ‘Round Up’ feature to save even more – we’ll ‘round up’ the leftover change on every debit purchase for you. You likely won’t notice the extra cents with each purchase, but over time, they’ll add up – future you will thank you!
- Cut your interest! If you’ve got debt weighing down your budget, you’re not alone – the great news is, we can help. Reach out to us today, and one of our FSRs will help find the best way to consolidate your debt, lower your interest, reduce your payments, and put that money back in your pocket.