How to Start Saving Money Fast When You Stop Buying These Things (Money Rules + Personal Finance Tips)
When you are not conscious of your spending, your bank account tends to runs on empty. If you want to make progress on your savings goals, start with better spending habits. Here are some things you definitely want to stop buying.
1. Stop Buying Debt
Debt is not free. Debt comes with a monthly fee in the form of interest. If you carry a balance on your credit card, that borrowed money costs you interest every month.
Pay down your debt. The faster you pay down your debt, the less you will pay in interest. Every payment you make towards your debt = paying less interest.
What can you do to stop taking on consumer debt? Consider cutting up your credit cards. Use a cash-only system. Budget! Do what you can to stop buying debt. It’s too expensive.
Free Workshop – Join our free Simplify Money Workshop
The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.
We want to help you do both.
Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt.
What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:
- Hacks to lower your monthly bills
- Hacks to spend less on debt
- Hacks to start investing
- Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)
This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.
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Copy these habits of people who never overspend!
2. Eat Out Less
Food is generally the most expensive item on any budget. Just one stomach can cost over $300/month to keep full. And that’s just going to the grocery store.
So it only makes sense that restaurant food would become outrageously expensive. Dining in a restaurant, you aren’t just paying for the food. You are paying for the chefs, the wait-staff, the space rent, the utilities! Then you throw in a well-earned 20% tip.
Open up your bank statements and calculate how much money you spent last month at restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc. It will do your bank account good to be aware of the cost of eating out.
3. Stop Paying for Unused Subscriptions
A study estimates Americans waste $364 a year on entertainment subscriptions THEY DO NOT USE [source].
Cancel your unused subscriptions, and stop throwing away your money.
Review your credit card statement each month. See if you pay for any subscription service you might have forgotten you signed up for. Cancel those services!
You could be doing these bad money habits without even realizing it!
4. Stop Buying Single-Use Plastics
Naturally, single-use plastics have taken over: plastic sandwich bags, K-Cups, water bottles, grocery bags.
There’s not denying their convenient! But it can do our wallets (and the planet) good to switch over to reusable products.
Head over to Etsy for reusable products so you can save money (and the environment).
Shop with Dosh to Earn Free Money
Before you go and buy your reusable products, check out the free Dosh app.
Simply link your card (debit or credit) to the app, shop at any one of their thousand partnered stores, and cash will find its way into your Dosh wallet.
Then deposit your Dosh cash directly into your savings account.
Install the Dosh app and earn cash back (recent offers ranged from 2-10% from retailers like Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale Club, GNC and Maurice’s).
If you’re struggling to save money because of your income, you need these money saving life hacks!
5. Stop Buying “Stuff”
Look around your home. How much stuff have you accumulated? How did it happen?
Well… it feels really good to buy stuff we like. “Treat yo’ self,” they say. There’s no denying that buying “stuff” is tempting.
That’s not to say there is something wrong with personal spending. But if that personal spending goes unchecked, “stuff” drains your bank account. (Not to mention, “stuff” becomes clutter in your home and causes unnecessary stress.)
Here are two ways to keep yourself from buying too much stuff:
- Give yourself an allowance
- Buy items that serve a purpose
Give yourself an allowance. Set a discretionary spending budget to keep track of your personal spending. Also, let your allowance be a rollover budget– if you have money remaining at the end of the month, add it to next month’s budget. That way you can save for big ticket items.
Buy items that serve a purpose. Before you buy an item, ask yourself a few quick questions. Does the item add function to my life? Does it have a place to be stored in my home? Will it become clutter?
If an item isn’t going to make your life more productive or efficient, that’s an immediate question that you should probably put it back on the self.
When you limit spending to items that are functional, you save money. And your life slowly becomes more organized and efficient. You accumulate tools to help you navigate simple tasks faster and with ease. It’s satisfying to buy items that serve you.
This App Looks for Lower Prices
Just because you’ve decided to buy less stuff, does not mean you shouldn’t get a bargain when you do.
Capital One Shopping is a browser extension that works in the background to see if it can find you lower prices on the things you want to buy.
Once you sign up, Capital One Shopping will find coupon/promo codes that apply to your online order. Best of all, Capital One Shopping works seamlessly and effortlessly 24/7.
Add the Capital One Shopping extension to your browser so you can be confident you are discovering lower prices and legit coupon codes.
6. Stop Paying for Multiple Streaming Services
You have so many choices: Netflix (see our Netflix Hacks), Apple TV, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, ESPN+, and CBS All Access. Individually, they don’t cost much, but together you can pay close to $1,000 a year.
Why pay $1,000/year when you only watch one show at a time? You only need to pay for one or two streaming services at a time. Choose to save hundreds of dollars every year. Rotate your streaming services.
- Related: 5 (genius) Hacks of the Super Frugal
7. Stop Buying Without Money-Saving Apps
There are a few apps and services that offer free money. Here are some of our favorite cash back apps and services (they are all free to use):
- Capital One Shopping: Even when you’re living on next to nothing, you still got to buy stuff online. The free Capital One Shopping browser extension is a great way to save money. Capital One Shopping finds valid coupon codes at check out, and it price-checks other online retailers to help you find a lower price. You can also earn free gift cards with loyalty credits. Get the Capital One Shopping browser today.
- Insurify: Insurify is a free service that compares insurance rates across the top home and auto insurance providers. Input your policy information, and Insurify will scan for similar policies at better rates than you’re getting.
- Scott’s Cheap Flights: Find the best deals on flights coming out of your airpot. Just tell Scott where you want to go. When a deal pops up, an email will be sent to your inbox (deals range from 40%-90% on average). Sign up for Scott’s Cheap Flights to grab your free 14 day trial (and save 20% on a one-year membership with promo code BUDGET20.)
- Dosh: If you want to put cash-back rewards on autopilot, then Dosh is the app you want. Link your credit and debit cards, and you automatically earn cash-back rewards at participating retailers. It truly is that easy. Download the free Dosh app and watch the cash dash in.
- Upside: Use the Upside app is earn free cash back at the gas station. You can redeem your money via PayPal, direct deposit, or gift card. Use the promo code AFF20 to grab a 20 cents-per-gallon sign-up bonus. Download the free Upside app.
- Ibotta: Ibotta is a free app that saves you money at the grocery store. After you snap a pic of your receipt, money gets deposited into your Ibotta wallet. You can redeem it for cash or free gift cards. Download the free Ibotta app now and claim your $20 welcome bonus.
- Rakuten: When you shop online, the free Rakuten browser extension automatically alerts you to cash-back and coupon-saving opportunities. Get the free Rakuten browser extension
8. Stop Buying Processed Foods
Packaged food isn’t as cheap as you might think.
If you want to cut down your grocery bill, try buying whole foods.
Fresh vegetables are very cheap. When you know how to prepare fresh veggies so that they’re delicious, it’s satisfying to eat them until you are full! This strategy is good for your health, and it can save you a lot of money!
Load up on broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans. Cover them in avocado oil. Add salt, minced garlic, and some chili powder. Roast them in the oven for 30 minutes at 425F.
Whole foods sound more expensive, but they are absolutely not. Another way to save good money on chicken is to buy the whole chicken! Individual cuts are priced at a premium. For more tips on whole-food eating, check out our favorite food blog, neutraleating.com.
9. Stop Trying to Buy Happiness
The mind is funny. It tells us it can be happy… just as soon as it gets x, y, and z. That would put you in the perfect position to be happy for the rest of your life.
But the mind is never satisfied. The mind will always place new conditions on your happiness. Realize how easy it is to follow this mirage to the end of your life.
We have to see the mind for what it is. It is a tool. It uses comparisons to help us make plans and solve problems.
But the mind also uses comparison to convince us that we don’t have everything we need to be happy. We see people on social media with all their stuff, and their money, and their special experiences and their “genuine” happiness.
Of course our mental dialog is going to turn on us. It going to tell us that things should be different. That where we are isn’t enough. That we ourselves are not enough. It is this mental dialog is that distorts the happiness that is already here.
So a good way to let your happiness shine through is to shut down destructive mental dialog. Notice your comparison thoughts. Notice the frustration of wanting things to be different.
The best way to quite mental dialog is to bring your attention to present moment experience. Feel yourself breathing. Breathe more deeply so that it is easier to feel yourself breathing. It is this act of bringing your attention to present moment sensation that silences mental dialog.
Every time you train your mind to notice and silence those negative thought patterns, your inherent happiness shines through a little more.
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*Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the Capital One Shopping extension using the links we provided*