We live in a consumer-driven society. Everywhere you look, people are posting photos and videos of new things, expensive things, and luxury things. Want the truth? Most people posting those items on social media cannot really afford them.
Some are buried under mountains of credit card debt while others are social media influencers and are offered expensive items for free (that’s a discussion for another time, but it is, essentially, advertising).
If you’re like 99% of people in the world, you probably feel pressure to buy things and keep up with the invisible internet “Joneses.” But here’s a dash of reality for you: without a financial safety net, you’ll be hard-pressed to survive for three months should you lose your job or come across an unexpected medical expense.
So what should you do? Stop spending. Here are some tried and true ways to do it.
- Don’t bring cash with you. For some reason, most people are more reluctant to purchase an item with a debit card as compared to cash. Ever notice how quickly cash gets spent? Just don’t do it.
- Bring your food. Not just to the office for lunch but to school, to the school pick-up line, etc. Pack your bag with snacks so you won’t be tempted to buy some.
- Purchase a very nice coffee machine. If you love lattes and cappuccinos and spend $6 per cup every day (or more than once per day) bite the bullet and buy a machine that brews coffee you love. Trust me, you’ll want a cup from home once you get used to the deliciousness.
- Expect good service. If you book a hotel stay or order an item from a store, make sure to file a complaint if you have a legitimate reason for doing so. Those small refunds, discounts, and coupons go a long way. Likewise, if you get great service, leave a testimonial.
- Consider memberships. Some companies really do offer good membership deals.
- Book outdoor gatherings and playdates. Sure, it’s fun to head to the local kid cafe to meet up with a friend, but you’ll wind up paying for entrance fees and food (and probably a few snacks your child won’t eat). Instead, book a sledding trip, pool meeting, playground fun, or other outdoor adventure that’s free. You can do the same thing with your adult friends - when’s the last time you went to the beach together or just had people over for coffee?
The truth is that there are all kinds of ways to save money. You just have to be willing to set aside the mentality that buying things is the key to happiness. What are your tips for saving dollars? Share with us on Facebook!