After coming back from my first solo trip to Europe, I knew I had to go back asap. I’ve never felt a yearning like I did in the weeks after being back home. I decided I would go back in a few months, but that required saving all my pennies. Here are some things I did that helped me a lot in saving $3000 in just 3 months!
#1 Keep separate accounts
I work as a waitress at a restaurant so I end up taking home cash after every shift. At first I would hoard all my money away in my sock drawer because it was satisfying watching my stack of cash grow. I knew, though, that it was incredibly risky because I could get robbed or my apartment could burn down and I would lose all my money. I also knew that if I put my money away in my bank account, I would probably spend way more money on useless impulse buys because paying with just the swipe of a card is a whole lot less painful then handing away physical cash.
To solve this problem, I opened up a new checking account that I could save all my money for travel in. I wouldn’t keep my debit card on me so the only way for me to access that money was for me to physically go down to the bank and withdraw my cash. Since most of my impulse online shopping happens at 1 am in the morning, I ended up spending a lot less money. I kept only a necessary amount of money in my original bank account that I would use for groceries and bills.
#2 If you see something that makes you go “oooh” online, bookmark it!
If a pretty dress or shiny new makeup palette caught my eye online, I would bookmark the page on my browser. Most of the time I would just forget about the thing I thought I really wanted and that was the end of that. If it was something I really really wanted, I would check back a week later and either the item was on sale or sold out, which then saved me money.
#3 Sell something in your closet before you buy something new
I have a section in my closet of clothes I forgot about or that don’t fit or were things I never even wore and just never got to returning. I sell these clothes to thrift stores or consignment stores and get a bit of cash back. You usually don’t get as much money as you spent on the piece of clothing but it’s still money and that’s better to have than clothes that just collect dust.
#4 Limit eating out and cook at home
Eating out is soooo expensive and also so unhealthy for you. Even if you think that salad you ordered is healthy, it probably has more calories than the burger you were eyeing. Everything in restaurants is cooked in a ridiculous amount of oil and butter and other stuff you don’t even want to think about. Cooking at home saves you plenty of money and calories as you know exactly what is going in your body. Even if you make a cheeseburger or nachos at home, I guarantee you that your version is still way healthier than the restaurant one.
What really helped me save money was just stopping to think about what I really valued and wanted. Do I want another eye shadow palette OR do I want money for a train ticket to Versailles? Do I want another pair of shoes OR that cool souvenir from Dubrovnik? Do I really want that fattening, overpriced burrito OR delicious wine in Tuscany? Thinking about my money in those terms helped me realize what I truly desired and really aided in me in saving so much money.