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Smart Ways to Save Money While Spending Money

It’s always important to treat yourself. Whether in the form of new clothing or other items that will bring you joy and excitement, achieving happiness undoubtedly requires some self-gift-giving once in a while. However, there has to be a balance between buying and saving. Throwing all of your money away at ‘want’ items will do you no good as it will only work to add financial stress to your life. Let me help show you how to achieve this perfect balance to make sure you treat yourself but don’t go overboard! 

Make a List

If you find yourself constantly finding things you want to buy, making a list is always a great idea. Write down all of your wants in a list format and start ranking them from most to least desired. This will allow you to prioritize what is most important for you to purchase. Also, this ranking process might help you realize the true value- or lack of value- things have if they are low on the list; something you would not have noticed while looking at these wants separately. Reviewing them as a group lets you compare items to each other to determine what you can’t go without and the things that you could pass on.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters from Unsplash

Calculate the Costs

When eager and excited about making a new purchase, sometimes we forget to check the price tag or incorrectly calculate all the costs associated with it. It’s important to not only glance at the price tag but also to take into consideration taxes, especially for big purchases as these small fees add up quickly. If shopping online, shipping costs are other fees to take into account when planning to save for an item. Knowing exactly how much money you’ll need to buy something will help establish your financial goal to follow through with the purchase. The next section will discuss how you’ll be able to achieve this goal! 

Woman holding card while operating silver laptop
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The Planning Game 

It’s tempting to be impulsive when it comes to purchasing things you want. But pulling out your credit card the moment you want to buy something can result in debt or a significant loss in money that was meant for other purposes within your budget. To prevent this, it’s important to plan your purchases ahead of time and work up to them. Adding on to the previous step of calculating the costs of a purchase, the next stage is to create a realistic plan of how to save up your money for that purchase. A great way to do this is to plan where all of your money from your next paycheck will go. For example, the infamous 50-30-20 rule is a great way to approach this planning. According to this rule, 50% of your paycheck should go to necessities (such as bills or food), 20% to savings and 30% towards your wants. Over time, by putting away 30% towards these wants, you will work up to the purchase. This gives you something to work towards and look forward to while simultaneously preventing an impulsive buy that will cause debt or impede your ability to pay for necessities. 

person holding assorted clothes in wooden hanger
Photo by Becca McHaffie from Unsplash

The Waiting Game

One of the best ways to save money while spending money is by taking advantage of sales and discount codes. Unfortunately, this usually means that you have to participate in a waiting game. Especially when items are new arrivals, it is worth it to wait a little until they are no longer fresh on the shelves and thus often become a little cheaper once it loses its spotlight. There are also various times throughout the year that there are big sales that will help you save money on your purchases, such as Black Friday and end-of-the-season sales. Honey is a great extension to add to your browser to save money when shopping online! This application automatically scans the web for any and all discount codes that could apply to your purchase as you are checking out, helping you save money without you having to lift a finger! Some patience will come with financial advantages if you are willing to hold off for a little while before pulling out your credit card! 

Sale Signs
Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Unsplash

Pass the Phase Stage 

Taking these extra steps to prepare for a purchase before following through with it also assists you with ensuring your desire is not temporary. Sometimes, our interest in purchasing an item is a phase and we find ourselves uninterested in it at a different time. For this reason, waiting a little before purchasing helps confirm that you aren’t wasting your money on a short-lived joy, but instead on an item that you will be satisfied with. Fight impatience and impulsivity! It’ll be worth it in the long run! 

Woman with shopping bags
Photo by freestocks from Unsplash

Although these tips require much more time, dedication and consciousness, this process will pay off by preventing regret after purchases and maintaining financial stability while also treating yourself to some gifts. Restraining your spending and financial freedom can be frustrating, however, these steps can help you find the motivation to save while also obtaining things you want!

Megan Weise

York U '23

Through its many forms, writing has always been my outlet for expressing myself and my thoughts. Through my contributions to Her Campus at York U, I'm excited to share my passions and ideas with others!
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