When Should You Save Money?

How do I save money? I find myself being asked this question far too often. Perfection doesn’t exist when it comes to personal finance. If it did then there would be no demand for personal finance blogs. We all make mistakes when it comes to spending our money, and life goes on.

However, I feel there are 5 areas of spending money that we should all focus on improving.

1. Night life/Entertainment.

What’s the point of working all week if you can’t go out on a Friday night? I’ll never recommend any one to spend their weekends confined to their living room. I just strongly urge people to seek cheaper alternatives when it comes to night life, whether it be thinking of something creative or trying something new. There is nothing wrong with throwing a backyard bbq in the summer as opposed to going to a night club and blowing a ton of money. If you insist on going to night clubs every weekend, then you should try to be creative by searching for establishments with cheaper drinks or no cover. Unless you have the money to back it up, there is no point to go to expensive night clubs just to be seen.

2. Cars.

There are so many different ways to save when it comes to automobiles that I could not possibly list all of them. Before buying a new car you should at least consider buying a slightly older car, because the value of your new car will diminish as soon as you drive off the lot. Another option to consider prior to purchasing a car is to seek all the fuel efficient vehicles available. The list could go on forever and I am not a car expert, but you get the point.

3. Food.

Should you eat McDonald’s all day in order to save money? Absolutely not. Saving money on food doesn’t mean that you should consume lower quality food to save money, it is actually the exact opposite. Going to a grocery store at the beginning of each week with a clear grocery list of all the items you need to have a proper breakfast, lunch, and dinner will save you a lot of money. A carton of eggs is so cheap it is not even worth mentioning. Add in some cold cuts, bottled water, fruits, vegetables, and you are set. Not only will you save money but you will also eat healthier (and no Subway is not as healthy as you think).

4. Clothing.

Yet again I mention everyone’s favourite purchase, clothes. I will state this again, you do not have to dress like a scrub, just do not buy every new brand or style that comes out on a weekly basis. The simplest way to save on clothing is to shop less often (usually at the beginning or end of a season) or to just purchase less clothing. If you are inside the local Banana Republic store about to buy 4 shirts, stop for a second and only purchase two of them. Better yet, try not to purchase certain expensive brands of clothing unless they are a job requirement or your income is high enough to dress really well.

5. Non-necessities of life.

This category is so vague that I do not even know where to begin. Pretty much try not to purchase anything that you do not feel will add direct value or pleasure to your life. Do not randomly subscribe to magazines, do not buy 5 different coffee mugs, do not buy the newest technology every month, etc. The list of non essential purchases is so general that it pretty much comes down to your own discretion.

How do I save money? You should know by now.

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