Spending less money and saving more of it is important and a good way to improve financially. However, not every method of cutting spending will be effective for every person.
I tried three money saving moves that were complete failures in my life. Here’s what they used to be.
1. Cut out eating out
One technique I’ve tried in the past to cut down on spending is to eat out less. Like many people, I enjoy going to restaurants, and I also like to try places with higher prices. After looking at my credit card statements, I found that I spend quite a bit in this habit and thought that I could reduce my spending if I cut back.
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Unfortunately, it didn’t work out so well for me. I found myself making excuses as to why I was THERE to try a new restaurant in my area or “forget” that we don’t have food at home and need to get my kids food. In the end, it was a constant battle against my desires and I often found myself losing it.
Because I didn’t want to constantly feel like I was involved in a financial struggle, I stopped. I realized that eating out was important to me and that it made sense to make cuts elsewhere instead of restaurant expenses because trying to cut spending in this category made me miserable.
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I’m not alone in my love of eating out, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that about 44% of all food spending happens on food away from home. And, really, that’s not a terrible thing. Eating out is a time saver, it allows you to try new things, and it fosters many social connections. If you like to dine out, no THERE so it’s something you cut out of your budget (unless you’re really out of control and spending so much that you can’t put any money into savings). Instead, if it’s important to you, look for it OTHERS things to cut so you can keep your restaurant’s expenses at a level that makes you happy.
2. Extreme couponing
Extreme compression is another technique I’ve tried that I’ve since abandoned. I have saved a lot of money on things by using coupons, but rarely the things we want or need. For example, I can always get name brand toothpaste for free, but we prefer to use a type of organic toothpaste that is never sold. Or I might get discounts on processed foods, but not the kinds of local fruits and vegetables from the farmers market that we always try to eat.
I wasn’t willing to compromise my health or my taste buds just to get free stuff through couponing, so I gave up the habit. Instead, I switched to meal planning based on the things I wanted on sale and bought the things I wanted in bulk when they were still on sale. I can still lower my grocery costs this way, but I do it by buying something I want instead of what the manufacturers are trying to persuade me to buy.
3. DIYing home improvement
In the end, every time I tried DIY home improvement, it was frankly a disaster. From stained paint to spending hours trying to figure out how to hook up a new faucet, the savings are rarely worth it because the jobs take so much time and they don’t it turns out just as well when a professional takes care of it. this.
In the end, the truth is, these methods of saving money are not really the right choice for me because of my desire and talents. And that’s okay. I’ve found other ways to cut back on spending that make sense to me because I’m focused on what I value and what gives me the most bang for my buck. And you should do the same.
Take some time to think about what Granted important to you. This should include things like saving for big purchases and retirement — but it can also include your shoe collection or your expensive truck or your restaurant spending. Budget for the things that bring you joy and eliminate the things that don’t. When you splurge on the things you love, making sacrifices elsewhere won’t feel like a sacrifice at all, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your personal financial plan.
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