How to Save Money When You’re a Spender
You may have heard that in most relationships there is a saver and a spender. Balancing a personality that wants to rain dollar bills with a personality that wants to save every penny is tough. Literally, sometimes it feels IMPOSSIBLE.
You know what is even harder? Um, when you are one person but BOTH of those personalities.
No joke. I feel like I have two people living inside me and one is an excellent budgeter and saver and the other is a free-spending tornado. You know when you hear about lottery winners who blow through millions of dollars in a few months or years? Yeah, I could totally be one of those people.
Through some hard work and determination, I have become consistent and dependable budgeter. But let me tell you, Hurricane Kerri (this is me) still lives here and sometimes that girl comes to visit. Part of my budgeting and saving plan is actually tricking myself into NOT SPENDING money. Left to my own devices I would most certainly fritter away any extra cash I got my hands on.
The worst part of my budget destroying tendancies? I tend to get all stingy about spending money on actual things and then have no problem blowing some serious cash on food. What can I say, I have hanger issues.
So how do I outwit my own bad habit and keep myself on track? Here are my top tips:
1. Make a budget
This seems really obvious, but you do have to start here. Even if you’re actively failing to stick to your budget you are still better off than if you had none at all. It is hard to stick to a plan and it is impossible to stick an invisible plan that doesn’t actually exist anywhere but your head.
So, even if you think you’ll fail or you’ll suck at it, put together a budget. Trust me, give it a try.
2. Open a Savings Account at a Different Bank
When you have all your money in the same bank it is SO easy to transfer cash from savings to checking. Darn you computers for making our lives so easy and convenient. So convenient, actually, that it is easy to shoot yourself in the foot and undo some serious savings work.
So our big savings pot is housed in a separate bank. It takes about 48-72 hour for money to clear into our checking account and that makes for a nice cooling off period. We refer to this as our Offshore Savings Account and with a name like that you get the added bonus of feeling very glamorous and maybe a touch bougie.
If you want more info on how we save in a separate account check this post here
3. Download a Savings Challenge Tracker
There is something about setting a goal that can help settle my wild spending habits. Bonus, some savings trackers have pictures you color in with each step of your goal. Why does coloring motivate me so much? Why is it so soothing? We may never know….
So peruse Pinterest or build your own! Find you a tracker and take it for a spin.
4. Leave All Your Debit Cards at Home
Now this is something I do both on purpose and also on accident. If you struggle to stick to a plan and eat the lunch you packed for work or can’t help stopping at Starbucks a few times a week, listen to me, leave your cards home. Take a couple bucks and your ID and put them in a tiny extra wallet and carry that.
5. Delete Your Food Apps
Also, delete the random apps you have downloaded to pay with your phone. Yeah, I see you Spendy McSpender. I know your loopholes, I know that you have a Starbucks app, a Chic-fil-A app, and a Panera App. So when you’re clear-headed and in a good place, DELETE THAT SHIT!!
6. Take a Social Media Break
Thank you, inventors of Instagram and Facebook, for creating the perfect place to make everyone feel like they need to spend money. For real though, I have a love-hate relationship here. Everything on these platforms is geared to sell you something and they use marketing tactics that are pretty dirty, it’s not a fair fight. If you feel like you’re losing the fight and you can’t stop the urge to spend maybe think about taking yourself completely off for a little while.
An alternative is to fill your feed with fellow budget peeps. On Instagram, I follow a few finance-related hashtags and I’ve begun to unfollow accounts that only exist to sell products. It keeps me motivated to stick to a budget instead of feeding that need for MORE awesome crap.
7. Set Your Direct Deposit to Transfer Straight to Savings
So… it’s very hard to spend money you never even get your hands on, like super hard. So take the temptation away and set your direct deposit to deliver your determined savings amount straight to your “Offshore Account”.
8. Give Yourself Spending Money
Ok, this might seem counter intuitive but hear me out. Have you ever tried to go cold turkey off of carbs and sugar? It was miserable right? So why do that with your finances?
It’s a whole lot easier to follow a budget when you give yourself some breathing room, even if it’s just $20 a week. So give yourself a little free money to play with because life is about BALANCE.
These are the tricks I use to keep myself in line, I’m curious to hear what you think and whether there are some good ideas that could be added here. Truthfully though, the real goal is to never stop trying. Don’t let one spending frenzy make you feel like a failure, because you my friend are a STAR!