I received a few requests from the feedback survey (a subscriber exclusive) for more specific ideas to help people save money. Here are 11 of them:

  1. Unsubscribe from emails that send you deals
    • Do you find yourself shopping online for something because you received an email about a deal rather than because you need it?
    • Maybe that thing you’re now shopping online for wasn’t even on your mind until you received the email.
    • In these cases, I suggest unsubscribing from all emails that tempt you to shop online by sending “enticing” promotions.
    • Remember, everything is 100% off when you don’t buy it.
  2. Challenge yourself to a 30-day wait-before-buying policy
    • The way this works is simple: Any time you think you want to buy something (essentials like food and toilet paper excluded), add it to a note on your phone and put a date next to it.
    • For example, you might add jeans from J. Crew, November 25.
    • Instead of buying the item, wait 30 days.
    • Then, 30 days later, ask yourself if you still want it.
    • This is a good way to measure when you really, really want and/or need something. I think you’ll often find that 30 days later, having that thing isn’t so important to you any longer.
  3. Don’t go window shopping
    • If you’re trying to save money don’t put yourself in situations where you will be tempted.
    • This means you should probably avoid the mall.
    • Don’t go to gift shops when traveling.
    • If you need to go to Target, go in with a list of what you need and commit to not deviating from the list.
  4. Call your current providers and try to negotiate lower rates
    • Set aside an hour or so of time to call your current provides where you might be able to negotiate a lower rate (cell phone, car insurance, internet, cable, etc.).
  5. Pack your lunch during the workweek
    • One way to do this is to meal prep on Sunday, and bring in all of your already prepared lunches on Monday morning.
    • If meal prepping isn’t your thing, try bringing in a loaf of bread, jars of peanut butter and jelly, apples, and some unsalted almonds. This doesn’t require any meal prep. Simply bring in the ingredients and make your sandwich at work.
    • The idea here is to make it easy, so you can’t make excuses about forgetting your lunch or not having time the night before.
    • Maybe even reward yourself with eating out on Fridays if you pack your lunch Monday through Thursday.
  6. Try to make only one trip in your car each day
    • To save on gas and time, try making only one big round trip in your car each day.
    • The idea is that you would go to work and then add in errands, social events, or visits to the gym before you come home for the day.
  7. Stream content already available to you or try MoviePass
    • If you like watching things but find yourself spending too much money at the movie theater, try consuming content you already pay for through streaming services instead.
    • Or, try my new favorite business, MoviePass, which lets you go to one movie in theaters a day for $10/month.
  8. Host social events at your house instead of going out
    • Eating out and going out with friends can get expensive.
    • Try hosting parties at your house (game nights, watching a movie, having a potluck or themed dinner, etc.).
  9. Increase your 401(k) contribution by 1%
    • You likely won’t notice the difference each paycheck, but the long-term impact will be significant.
  10. Sell your stuff
    • If you have items you don’t use but think you could sell, why not try now?
    • I’ve had some good luck with Poshmark and Craigslist.
  11. Use your gift cards
    • Gift cards can be great, but sometimes we forget about them and they end up taking up space in our wallet and go unused.
    • Try to use any gift cards you currently have before buying things with cash.

These are just some ideas. In general, I have found that when I take the time and effort to NOTICE, I then start taking ACTION. By simply noticing what we spend money on, we may notice where we feel we are over-spending and can then take small action steps to start improving.

 


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