People have shared effective ways which they used and were able to save a lot of money while living paycheck to paycheck.
In today's economy, most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Saving has become a far-off thought for individuals when just the basic amenities are emptying their pockets. It seems like an impossible task for many to comfortably live off their salary in the present as well as the future. One Reddit thread is here to help people in this impossible predicament. u/librarysquarian found themselves in a position where they needed to save money. Similar to others, they were also finding this endeavor difficult to achieve. They asked for some suggestions on changes they could incorporate in their lifestyle to save. The answers revealed how the smallest things make a huge impact on the pocket at the end of the day. Though difficult, if applied, these small alterations can change people's future for the better. Here are 10 simple changes any individual can incorporate in their life to get good returns.
Three to four boxes of wines a month were killing my budget. Took months, but I'm finally not craving them as much. u/fatcatleah I stopped drinking due to poor choices that kept me in a perpetual cycle of regret and anxiety. I was floored by the amount of money I didn’t even realize was being lit on fire all in the name of booze. When drinks are involved so too is shi**y food and bad choices. No booze = way more money. u/Any-Cryptographer-83 Avoid buying individual drinks. This includes not grabbing a beer after work, not having a soda with your McD's order, not buying sodas for the house, and not grabbing a latte. The savings have really stacked up and we've avoided a lot of unnecessary sugar and calories. u/Freshandcleanclean
I stopped being the friend who pays for everything. u/Momentofclarity_2022 I never Venmo requested people because I was embarrassed (they should be embarrassed for “forgetting”) and now I just straight up say “SPLIT?” u/Foreign_Walk_3937 This is a big one and easy to not notice. Like, “I” went out for dinner which equals $25-40 in my mind but then you grab the apps and a drink for people and are like wait, how was that $100? u/librarysquarian
For us, avoiding restaurants in favor of cooking at home as much as possible is the biggest thing. The second biggest thing is having a budget for fun money and date money so we don’t spend just whatever we want. Beyond that, we have dramatically changed our shopping habits also over the years. We’re not strictly anticonsumption, but we definitely question whether we need a thing, or need as expensive of a version, whether we can get it used, etc. We buy much less stuff than we once did. u/discoglittering The old saying "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without" has always served me best, especially high-dollar items like phones and cars (though doing without a car and phone is not feasible for most). It also works great for things like using what you already have in the pantry or closet instead of buying more food and clothes. u/SproutSpoon
This is a little bit of out-of-the-box advice, as it’s not about how to stretch things further or get things for less money. The biggest lifestyle change that had the largest financial impact on me was when I started using pen and paper to track my spending and started collecting “buy nothing days” like it was a game. The pen-and-paper tracking method forces me to take a quiet moment to reflect on all of my spending each day. Seeing and holding the physical record of everything I’ve spent makes it so much easier for me to take it seriously and treat it as real. I think there’s a psychological component to using a pen-and-paper tracking method that is extremely impactful on certain types of people. And for the buy nothing days, that’s kind of self-explanatory, I just try to see how many lines in my spending notebook I can write “nothing, $0” on, next to the date. I currently have a $10/day “spending budget” after paying rent so if I have 3 buy nothing days, I could theoretically spend $40 on the fourth day and still be in budget. u/st_psilocybin
Taking advantage of free-to-me things: work snacks and drinks, conference and work freebies like logo hats shirts, and bags; expense lunches and dinners; free neighborhood groups; and swaps with friends. Not being so picky. Limit eating out on my dime. Not being worried about the best or perfect item and living with what I have till it breaks or wears out. While I’m a relative minimalist I’ve wasted a lot of money on multiple items looking for the perfect thing that doesn’t exist. u/fridayimatwork
It's considered risky, but it isn't really as long as you are responsible: Credit cards. I spend only on things I need just like with cash, but points stack up and I end up redeeming hundreds of dollars worth of free stuff each year. u/samhandwich22 We put everything possible on credit cards with rewards. Last year, we got about $2000 cash back and enough airline points for our family of 4 to fly roundtrip twice, plus Costco gift cards for booking our travel with them. u/AnUnexpectedUnicorn
Not a lifestyle change (have been a vegetarian since I was little), but not eating meat. I hear so many friends discuss the cost, or the odd time I grab it for a party or the cottage or whatever, it's so crazy expensive!! Frozen fruits and veggies are awesome! Berries, corn, edamame and peas are always in my freezer.....cheap, and go in so much, and don't need to worry about them going bad. u/LeafsChick booze = ordering pizza, staying up too late, ubering home, feeling tired and lazy the next day so I run late and get drive-thru instead of making food, skipping my workout, performance drags at work, start to catch up on sleep and feel better but then it's Friday night all over again. u/dekusyrup We started eating less meat as a household and our grocery costs are down. We still eat meat 5-6 meals a week but instead of two chicken thighs, it’s one with extra veggies, potatoes, or squash. u/Lara1327
I stopped comparing myself to friends and coworkers. Once I started making decent money I got caught in this trap for a couple of years. Everyone my age, or with whom I worked, seemed to live a better life than me - they had more expensive homes, newer cars, or went out to eat at restaurants every day for lunch. I kept thinking I needed to catch up and keep up. The trigger? Figuring out that many of them were making these decisions against their best financial interests. Example: The coworker who spent three times as much money on his house was spending more than he earned and quickly building up CC debt, had no savings for a rainy day, and wasn't saving for retirement. Epiphany later: Also realizing that spending three times as much money on a house doesn't get you three times as much day-to-day value. u/justimpolite
Moving to the “bad” part of town saved hundreds, maybe thousands, in rent a month. Absolutely housing is the biggest single change you can make to change finances. u/Comprehensive-Tea-69 Really asking yourself questions about what housing and car you really need can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month. u/liberojoe The largest financial impact is going to be reducing housing costs, transportation costs, etc. It's also much more difficult to change those things, but that's where most of your money is going, so that's where the biggest changes are possible. u/constanceblackwood12
For me, one of the biggest is owning a car. Luckily, I no longer have a car payment, and I walk to work so it's a smaller expense for me, but I roughly spend the following on "car stuff" per month: $50 for my home parking spot, $43 on insurance, and ~$100 for incidental parking, gas, maintenance/oil changes. So ~$200/month on owning a car AND if I didn't, I could rent out my space for more than $50/month. Overall, I've reduced most of my expenses over time but owning a car is still the biggest pit. For context, I live and work downtown so it's actually feasible for me to not own one. Other than that, I buy most of my "stuff" used and then sell it when I'm done with it. For example, I'll buy a $60 video game off eBay for $50 and then sell it for $45, so it only costs me $5 and I try not to have a collection of anything and instead am always selling. u/Akito_900