I wrote this back at the start of 2022 when I was pregnant and making $650 a month. It’s now October and I make 2.5x as much, in fewer hours, and with a young baby in my home — so these must be doing something!
Let’s be real — money matters to a great extent.
One of my main resolutions for this year is to start taking better care of my finances. And while I’ve already mastered minimal monthly savings (with some extra money in my bank account each time a new paycheck comes), I haven’t done the most important thing:
Got into the right money mindset. And I can bet that you haven’t, either!
Let me ask you a question. When you find a dollar on the street or ten dollars in a jacket you haven’t worn since last winter, what do you do? Chances are, you feel joyous for a second, put the money in your pocket, then immediately forget about it. If you get paid extra at work, don’t you do the same?
But as with all things that abide by the law of attraction, money, too, only comes if it’s appreciated.
So in this article, I’ll give you an overview of how your financial mindset can help you have more money, but I’ll offer some practical money tips as well.
How to Develop a Money Making Mindset
Start by Being Grateful.
Most of us are used to getting the same amount of money each month. And yet, when we somehow manage to get more of it – be it through some extra work, birthdays, or simply by finding it lying around – we never give it a second thought.
So the next time your monthly finances improve unexpectedly, invoke the feeling of gratitude. Be grateful for the extra money, whether it’s a dollar or $100. If you don’t, you’re likely to spend it recklessly. But if you feel grateful for it, you’ll give more thought to how it can help you, and you’ll be inviting more of it into your life.
Unless you’re making huge money every month, it’s likely you’ll have to let go of a few pleasures every month. That expensive sushi may be amazing, but if you’re looking to buy a home and put a down payment in the next few years, it’s better to skip it. If you need a new jacket, think of a second-hand store before an expensive brand. If you’re unable to let go of some simple pleasures you can definitely do without – aka, master the art of frugal living – you won’t be saving nearly as much as you could be.
Don’t Think of Money as a Fixed Income.
Even if you have a 9-5 job. I do, too (albeit a bit more flexible), but I’ve worked so many freelance jobs in my life I just can’t think of it as fixed anymore. One of the greatest budgeting tips I can give you is – think of something you’re good at and that you can monetize. Nowadays, you can monetize virtually everything. Another idea is to sell things that are just collecting dust. Try to make more income on top of your fixed one, and you’ll automatically have more money-saving options.
Start Tracking Your Expenses.
Most of us who make an average amount of money rarely track every single expense. You know how much you generally have left at the end of the month, and you leave it at that. This is something I’ll definitely look to change this year, especially since the planner I got has some lovely tables for tracking precisely that.
If you start tracking all expenses, no matter how small, you’ll start noticing how much money you’re spending on unnecessary things. $3 here, $5 there, and you’ll understand how much more you could be saving by skipping some small purchases, or getting those things while they’re on a discount.
Plan Your Trips to the Grocery Store.
Do you know how much money a month you spend on food? Neither do I, and yet it’s one of the most important saving money tips. While tracking my expenses will help me get a better overview of it, it’ll likely force me to rethink my spontaneous visits to the nearest (usually most expensive) store as well. Instead, I’ll take 2-3 bigger trips a month, to a store I know has better prices and often offers discounts. Plus, you’ll likely be able to get a store card that offers special member discounts. So far, I have them for a grocery store, pharmacy, even a pet store that’s not the nearest one – but it does have lower prices and a member card.
Best Way to Save Money – On Simple Things
We’re often not aware of just how much cash we could be saving by making minimal changes to our lifestyle. We tend to think in big units, unaware that saving 50 cents a day amounts to $15 a month. Have 4-5 such small saving tricks, and you can easily put $60-$75 a month into your savings account. Still doesn’t seem like much? Even without interest, that’s $720-$900 a year or $3,600-$4,500 in 5 years’ time. And all you have to do is try some super simple money tips like:
- Don’t overuse toilet paper (and be sure to use wet wipes)
- Close the tap when you’re not using water, whether you’re brushing teeth or washing your hands
- Turn off the lights in rooms you don’t need them in, and don’t overuse lights in rooms you do need them in (either dim them or use lamps instead of huge chandeliers)
- Use electricity-saving light bulbs
- Use electricity-saving programs on your appliances, even if it takes them longer to finish
- Whenever possible, purchase appliances with lower energy-consumption, even if they’re more expensive. In the long-run, it will definitely pay off
Money Tips – Bottom Line
The easiest thing we can do is convince ourselves that, since we make an average amount of money, we can’t really save much. But with these few changes, and the willingness to sacrifice some of our pleasure, we can definitely save more than we’re aware.