I’m not sure about you, but I love to shop! My mom and I go out shopping together and do not come back for hours. I may not necessarily buy anything, but just looking at stuff is fun! However, now that I have gotten older, I have come to realize that I need to start budgeting my money so that I can afford more important things. There are certain costs that we cannot get away from, for example: health insurance, gas, train money, bus money, food, water, etc. However, there are other things that fall into the category of a want, and not a need. One of the main things that I have learned when shopping, is to ask myself; do I need this? If the answer is no, then I do not buy it. For some people, that may not work. Below is a list of practical ways to budget/save your money:
- Make Lists: Whether you need to go grocery shopping or shopping for a special event, make a list and stick with it.
- Do not go to the grocery store hungry: Everything looks delicious when you have not eaten anything before going grocery shopping. Not being hungry will allow you to focus on the foods that you need, instead of splurging on foods that you do not need.
- Make a budgeting spreadsheet: It does not have to be anything fancy, but creating a spreadsheet of your daily or monthly expenses will let you see how much you are spending and where you can cut back.
- Stay in, instead of going out: Stay in and cook, instead of going out. This will save you a lot and allow you to eat healthier, because you are the one cooking.
- Contribute to your savings: Try putting money into a savings account every week or every pay period. You will be amazed and how quickly it adds up.
- Avoid credit cards, if possible: Credit card debt can add up quickly so pay with cash instead.
Written by Courtney Wilkinson, M.B.A.