Most people love online shopping or looking for a good bargain at the mall. And while finding a cute outfit or household item for a steal of a price can feel very rewarding, it is not the best way to handle your finances, unless you actually need the item and went looking for it specifically, of course. Aimlessly wandering through the mall or browsing countless online stores can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars a month in unnecessary purchases.
Pay for your purchases only in cash
Did you know that customers that pay in cash spend on average 30 percent less than those who pay using a credit card, check, or debit card? When you pay with cash, the realization that you’re spending your hard-earned money is much more clear compared to when you’re paying with a credit card, so try to stick to cash for most of your purchases as an easy way of minimizing wasteful spending.
Use an expense tracker to stay within your budget
One of the best ways to identify areas where you’re too much spending money and eliminate unnecessary expenses is to use an expense tracker where you enter everything you spend money on. This can help you identify your problem areas when it comes to finances, plus, when you actually see that your daily coffee or take out food add up to hundreds of dollars a month, it will be easier to eliminate this expense. You can go old school and print out some spreadsheets, use Excel on your computer, or download one of the thousands of apps that help you track your finances.
Bringing a pre-made grocery shopping list is one of the easiest ways to cut down on your food spending. This advice is right up there with never going to the grocery store when you’re hungry. Having a clear list with everything you need to buy can help you stay on track and buy not only less food that you don’t need, but also make healthier choices by avoiding buying unhealthy snacks, soda, chips and other impulsive purchases.
Reconsider your brand loyalty
It’s very likely that you usually buy the same brand every time when it comes to grocery shopping. While some brands are worth sticking to when it comes to certain grocery items, most times it’s a good idea to buy the brand that’s on sale or try the store brand - most time you won’t notice the difference in taste but your wallet will certainly notice the difference in price.
Use coupons to reduce your grocery bill
Everyone knows about coupons but few people use them because it can seem very time-consuming and cumbersome. This was the case in the past, but the time when you had to go through newspapers searching for coupons is long gone. Today, there are literally hundreds of websites where you can find coupons for most grocery items, plus, most grocery stores now have their own apps where you can add a store coupon and use it at check out automatically. Finally, cashback services like Ibotta give you another opportunity to get a discount on goods, the only difference is that first you pay the full price up front and then you get a cashback through the app. When using coupons, you just need to remember the golden rule - never buy anything that you wouldn’t have bought if you didn’t have a coupon, no matter how good the deal is.