As I have shared recently, Max and I are house hunting! And step 1 of preparing for a massive purchase like a house (or even having to come up with first month, last month, and a security deposit for a rental) is taking a good hard look at your budget and spending habits. I am HORRIBLE about impulsive, and mindless spending. I mean how easy is it to walk into Home Goods knowing you need NOTHING and walking out with $100 worth of throw pillows? Don’t look at me like that….. we’ve alllllll been there.
One of my major goals for 2019 is also to be intentional with my spending. Obviously a fun impulse buy happens from time to time. But time to time does not mean twice a week. So here are some of the things that I am doing to avoid mindless spending, or avoid spending money on things that are not on the “need” list. Making little changes can make a HUGE difference in the end.
Use what you have
I LOOOOOVE buying new beauty products. Hair, nails, makeup, whatever. One of my favorite things is changing up my beauty routine. But that also means that not only have I spent an average of $100 a month on new products, my bathroom is FILLED with barely used makeup. SO. I have made it a point to use up every single product I have before buying anything new. Even if that means dealing with something I wasn’t crazy about. So before I order my absolute favorite mascara again, I am going to use up the other 3 bottles of various brands that are sitting in my “eye makeup” drawer.
Same concept… but in your fridge!
We are all guilty of wasting food. And as far as I’m concerned, when you are throwing rotten or stale food away, you might as well be throwing cash in the trash. Make sure to shop your pantry/fridge before going grocery shopping. Make a super specific shopping list and STICK TO IT. Work through the countless jars of pasta sauce, and condiments in your fridge before buying new. Maybe that means coming up with some new interesting recipes! By sticking to this rule, Max and I have cut down our weekly grocery bill by more than half.
Know where your money is going when
Max and I have created a payment calendar. All of our bills are paid with automatic payment so it’s easy to forget what is going where and when. Having a tangible calendar in front of us helps us plan for weeks where we have a little extra cash in our pockets! We’re finding that by having the calendar we are doing a heck of a lot better at putting anything extra into savings and working toward our financial goals.
Creative date nights!
Trying to save money does not mean blowing off date night to avoid spending. If you’re homebodies like we are, here are a few ideas: learn a new card game. Have an at home paint and wine/beer night! You can find a ton of images online, and you can scoop up a paint set on Amazon for under $15. Have a cook-off with what you already have stocked in your kitchen.