5 money saving tips that do not work for me

  • I have tried all the tips for saving under the sun to control my spending.
  • The cash envelope method didn’t work for all of my budget, but using groceries has helped me save money.
  • Instead of obsessing over finding the best price on a major purchase, I waited longer.
  • Read more stories Personal Finance Insider.

Because I’m struggling with student loans and credit card debt, I’ve tried all the hottest savings tricks under the sun to live within my means. After years of tinkering with my budget, I realized that the restriction too many things I love – go to lunch with my friends, my Spotify account, and my gym membership, just to name a few – only triggers more compulsive spending for me.

Much like dieting, I have learned that it is easier to implement budget tips in moderation and not quit old cold turkey habits. Here are five saving tips that didn’t really work for me, and what I did to instead save money.

1. Meal-Prepping

Making it work: work room in my budget

I have a love-hate relationship with Meal-Prepping. Yes, it helped me save $ 700 in six months. But soon after I hit that savings goal, I started indulging in more take-out and dining with friends because I felt deprived during those times.

Most importantly, I started budgeting for restaurant meals, even though I can only afford $ 10. Having this number in mind has helped me stop obsessing about takeout, and gave me something to look forward to.

2. The cash envelope method

What actually worked: Putting money aside for one or two problematic spending areas

The cash envelope method seemed attractive at first, but it quickly became inconvenient to withdraw money from the bank. I started my overuse account when the automatic payments came out, and it cost me more money.

During the pandemic, my fear of food shortage caused me to spend too much money on groceries. What worked in the place, especially during the months of limited income, has been set aside $ 100 in cash for groceries to make sure I do not spend too much in this category.

3. Using automatic bill payments

What actually worked: Being aware when paying my bills manually

Automatic bill payments certainly make things more convenient, but I couldn’t help but feel a pang of resentment every time a bill is presented to my bank account. I took that resentment and ran to the store with it, buying things on sale that I didn’t really need just to feel like I had regained some sense of agency.

Instead of relying on automatic bill payments, I started an adult ritual on Saturday morning. I light incense, sip a glass of tea, and listen to a podcast of personal finances while paying my bills manually. give me the time to sit down with my bills allows me to think, “Do I really use that gym membership? Maybe I’ll call my internet provider and see if I can go back to a cheaper plan. “

4. spend hours finding the best deals article

What actually worked: Waiting longer before making a purchase

Becoming obsessed with a purchase automatically triggers more spending for me. No matter how bad my intentions are, I can’t help but spend more when I’m in an obsessive state of mind.

For example, I once online shopping for a yellow bicycle. I became obsessed with finding the best deal, wasting my entire weekend watching YouTube videos, and becoming a fake expert on all things biking. Ultimately, my cart was a yellow bike, cart, helmet, shoes, shorts cycling, and ten other things because all the content I was looking at me convinced that I had To see her.

Instead of obsessing over finding the best deals, I just wait longer before making a purchase. Usually brands will email you additional coupons if you leave items in your cart. I felt a greater sense of reward when I waited longer to buy the bike, and avoided the impulse spending of the big purchase.

5. Cancellation of my entertainment subscriptions

What I did instead: Ask my best friends to share entertainment subscriptions with me

I know experts generally recommend canceling entertainment subscriptions to build an emergency savings fund quickly. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but life without a good Spotify playlist is just plain bland and boring.

Instead of canceling my entertainment subscriptions, I teamed up with my friends and family to split entertainment subscriptions. It’s cheaper for everyone, and I have to sacrifice any of my shows and my favorite music.

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