Have you ever looked at your bank account at the end of the month and wondered where all your money went? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there. I try to take a look at my bank account at least once a day, but I’m still surprised at the end of the month by how much I’ve spent. Saving money is really difficult, y’all! If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent hours upon hours wracking your brain to figure out how to save money. And I know, I know – if you want to save it, then just don’t spend it, right? But it’s not always that easy.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that in order to save money, you have to be intentional about it. You can’t just sit back and say, Hmm, I’m going to start saving up for that new car now! Well, maybe some of you can, but most of us aren’t so lucky. Our money isn’t going to save itself, and if you don’t have a plan in place, then you’ll have a lot of trouble staying on top of your spending and saving habits. With all that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of five tips and tricks to help you learn how to save money.
Let’s get started!
No More Dining Out
Average Savings: $1800.00/year
Did you know that the average American spends almost $250.00 a month dining out? Crazy, right? That adds up to $3000.00 per year! Now, I’m not going to say that you should never go out for a meal. Cole and I love our weekly date night, and sometimes this means that we’ll go to a restaurant for dinner. Dining out is fine! It’s just that when it becomes a $3000.00 per year financial burden, it’s not so fine anymore. We’ll talk more about budgeting a little later on, but let’s just say for now that we all gave ourselves a budget of $100.00 a month to eat outside the home. (Given that the average value of a meal at a restaurant is $12.75, that gives us about 8 meals.) By doing this and sticking to it, the average American would save $1800.00 per year!
No More Buying Coffee
Average Savings: $1000.00/year
Cole and I are among the select few who don’t like coffee, so this actually isn’t a problem for us. However, the average American worker spends $20.00 each week on coffee, which adds up to a whopping $1040.00 per year! Y’all, I know that you don’t need to spend $4.00 a day on coffee. You can buy a 30-ounce tub of Folgers that makes 180 cups of coffee for $8.00 from Walmart! Regardless of your brand preference, I guarantee you that it’s going to cost you way less to just brew your own. If you add a tub of ground coffee to your grocery list, you’re going to end up saving about $1000.00 in a year. Of course, that’s assuming that you drink one 8-ounce cup of coffee per day. If that’s the case, you’ll only need to buy two, maybe three, tubs of ground coffee per year! If you prefer instant coffee or a single-serving option such as K-Cups, you won’t see $1000.00 in savings, but you’ll still spend significantly less on your daily coffee.
Put $10.00 in Savings Every Week
Average Savings: $520.00/year
This might be the easiest tip I have. Every week, put $10.00 into savings. It’s not very much if you just look at it from a weekly perspective, but by the end of the year you’ll have added $520.00 to your bank account! If you can afford more, then you can put away $20.00 or even $30.00 each week. Either way, $520.00 is nothing to sneeze at!
Create a 30-Day Rule
Average Savings: $1000.00/year (varies)
Impulse buying is a habit of the American people. We are so used to instant gratification, and getting it is just so easy with online ordering constantly at our fingertips via the smartphones that are all but attached to our hands. Sometimes, though, you need a reality check. Even if you just got some money for your birthday or for Christmas, take a step back and think. Take 30 days to consider any major purchase. Do you really need that 4K television? Probably not. Forcing yourself to wait is a great way to see if it’s an item that you need right now. I’m not sure what the average savings for this would be, as it would vary from person to person, but I think that it saves Cole and I about $1000.00 a year.
Try an Automatic Savings App
Average Savings: $300.00/year (varies)
The best thing I did last year was sign up for an automatic savings app called Digit. Basically, Digit creates a secure connection with your bank and periodically pulls money out and puts it away in savings. It analyzes your spending habits to determine how much you can afford to put away without missing it. You can decide how frequently you want Digit to save for you, how aggressively you want to save, and even set saving goals for special occasions. I’ve been using Digit to save for our wedding, and it has made saving so easy! If you’re interested in learning more about Digit, click here to sign up. It’s completely free, and it’s so worth it! Check out some of the screenshots below to see how Digit has worked for us.
Note: We always want to be transparent with y’all, so we want to leave this note about Digit. If you sign up with Digit through our link, we may receive a $5.00 bonus at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting The Dillon Daily!
Make a Budget – and Stick to It!
I’m going to be totally honest: none of these ideas matter without a budget. You can tell yourself to not spend this or that, but at the end of the day, if you’re not paying attention to where your money is going, it’s going to go somewhere. And it’s not going to be into your savings account! There are a ton of different ways to budget. A lot of people just use Excel. Some people try different finance-related software. Some people write out their budget and track it from month to month. Figure out what works for you, then stick with it!
How do you save money? Do you use any of the tips on our list? Let us know in the comments!