Ever find yourself thinking, “if only I made more money, all my financial woes would be over?” Well, let me be the first say that you are totally not alone in feeling that way — not even close.
But along with that realization comes another somewhat harsh one — the truth is, if you were to continue your same spending habits past today, even with a bigger paycheck, you would soon find yourself in the same economic position, despite the fact you have more money.
Yes, sad…but oh so true. If you’ve been living beyond your means with the money you make now, and not earmarking anything for savings or tackling some of your amassed debt, your fate would have already been sealed.
So how do you change your outlook? Check out these five tips you can apply right away that will help you start being frugal, and help you free up some cash to save.
1. Keep track.
Either on your phone or in a little notebook, write down every dime you spend for one whole month to figure out exactly where your money is going. That’s right…every dime. It may sound tedious, but I’ll tell you that I did this once, and it was totally eye-opening to see how much money was going toward lunch and snacks. Which bring me to my next point…
2. Make eating out the exception, not the rule.
“I don’t have time to pack a lunch for work” you say. Well, if you’re reading this, to that I say, “You don’t have the budget NOT to.” If I may borrow the words of the great financial guru Dave Ramsey, “for a little while you have to live like no one else, so later you can LIVE like NO ONE ELSE.” For example, I know that during months where I have grocery shopped and ate something from home 3 times a day, my meal-to-cost ratio averaged less than $3, rather than the $5 to $14 it would have cost me to eat out or have something delivered.
3. Entertain in.
Love hanging out with friends, but don’t have the budget for dinner and drinks? Host game nights with your friends at your place, and have everyone bring a snack. Yes, it requires a little planning, but your wallet will thank you. Use sites like evite to lock down the logistics and stock up on stuff like plates, cups and napkins at the dollar store. You’ll get to spend some quality time with some of your favorite folks and give your wallet a little break.
To view the compete list of 5 Ways to Start Being Frugal, Pronto…check out the rest of my article on the Huffington Post website.