1.) COOK YOUR MEALS AT HOME
Cooking is such an underrated skill to master, especially since it will last a lifetime and typically improves over time. I take extreme pride in my cooking skills, which no man should ever be ashamed of!!!! Not too many people I know can touch my Cajun crawfish ettoufee or chicken and sausage gumbo!
Not only will you save tons of money in the long run, but home prepped meals tend to be more caloric friendly than take out and fast food. Think of all the extra money saved from avoiding future doctor’s visits or health related problems because of your daily top-notch nutrition.
Why not cook your meals then?
People are generally lazy and too picky about what they eat. The only valid excuse is time. And I’m not talking about people who have plenty of time, but don’t manage their time wisely. I’m talking about people who have an extremely high dollar value of time, which isn’t the majority of people in this world.
Cooking does take a few minutes, so for maximum efficiency, pick one day out of your week to cook all your meals. My day for cooking is good ole Sundays. I like to think of it as starting my week with a money-saving, healthy WIN!
Yes, you will have to grocery shop in order to do this. But this is why cooking your meals at home is the cheapest and healthiest option. Here are some quick grocery buying tips:
- Make a grocery list (it’s 2018, use your cell phone please) and stick to it.
- Don’t go to the grocery store on an empty stomach. You’ll want to buy every pack of Oreo’s and tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream you see.
- Buy groceries in bulk to cut down on cost per serving.
I highly recommend checking out this study done by Priceconomics.com. They’ve done extensive analysis on the costs of home cooking, eating out, take out, meal prep companies, etc. I’ve copied the results below to show how they varied!
2.) DETERMINE YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS
Taking the time out of your life to think, visualize, and write down what defines your wants and needs has the potential to save you lots of money IF acted upon.
First, you must strictly define what a need or a want means to YOU. Most people go by the following definitions:
NEED: something you must have in order to survive (food, water, air, shelter)
WANT: something you desire but can live without
Most people become financially unstable because of their spending habits on WANTS. People don’t realize that their WANTS are unlimited. You will always want more and more.
Lots of people make quick, irrational purchases based on pure emotion (why Amazon and eBay are doing so well). Wait a few days before making any purchases, and I promise that urge to submit your credit card information tends to fade.
If you’re really serious about getting your personal finances in check, you can incorporate your WANTS and NEEDS into a budget. For example, model the a popular 50/30/20 budget, meaning:
- 50% needs
- 30% wants
- 20% savings/debt
I’m not saying to be miserable nor enjoy your life, but if you have financial goals you want to achieve, determining your WANTS and NEEDS is a must!
If you trim down your NEEDS as much as possible and put away 20% into your savings (assuming no debt), why not go ahead and enjoy the rest of your income on your WANTS!
3.) MAKE USE OF DIRECT DEPOSITS
The best way to save money is by never seeing it. Confused? Let me explain.
Most people spend their entire pay, living paycheck to paycheck, setting them back financially.
Let’s say you have your payroll directly deposited into your checking account. Any extra money you see is money you’ll likely spend on useless junk (a.k.a WANTS).
Instead, split your direct deposits from your pay into another bank account! This money could be used for a 3-6 month safety net in case times get rough or savings for a car/home down payment.
The first step here is to track all your expenses and create yourself a budget (see our recent financial freedom post). Make as many expense cuts as you can, and whatever money is left should be transferred from your payroll into another separate bank account!
If this still doesn’t make sense, don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4.) DON’T KEEP UP WITH THE JONES
Most people in today’s society have been brainwashed into consumerism (a.k.a buying stuff left and right to feel better about themselves), causing most people to “keep up with the Jones”. It takes a complete change of one’s mindset to avoid thinking this way.
When I see someone driving a luxurious car, or living in a mansion, I don’t assume they make a lot of money. The only thing I know for sure is that they spent a lot of money.
Some of the most financially free and wealthy people I’ve met in my life drive basic cars, live in small homes, and wear normal clothes. You can’t tell they’re well off. For millennials, you don’t need Yeezy’s or Gucci purses. Buy used cars, furniture from Craigslist, rent cheap apartments, and shop at the thrift. You’ll have all the money in the world later in life if you incorporate this mindset.
The only thing I’ll ever preach to spend money on is: 1.) experiences and 2.) items used for sitting, standing, and/or lying down.
Money used on experiences make perfect sense, I shouldn’t have to go into much detail. Experiences last a lifetime and can potentially change your life for the better.
High quality shoes, chairs, couches, beds, and recliners are all worth the money, because a.) it impacts your health more than you think, and b.) cheap items will get worn down quicker from all the daily use, thus requiring you to make more unnecessary purchases.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s post! If you’ve missed last week’s post on the birth order theory, click here. Upcoming lifestyle posts will cover my beginner journey into minimalism, and I highly recommend YOU to join me.
As always, don’t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!
“If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.”
Book of the Month: “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki