Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a working professional, or you’ve just graduated college, taking charge of your finances will help you achieve your long-term goals. But if you’re channeling the lifestyle habits of the women from Sex and the City, you’re unlikely to be stocking much money away. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional shoe splurge or a night of cocktails with the girls, but it’s important to keep these things in check. Use these tips to more effectively boost your savings.
1. Double-Check Sales
The sign in the store window may scream, “Sale!” but you shouldn’t take its promise at face value. Before pulling the trigger on any deal, research the item online to see if you can find a better price. You might be surprised how often that “deal” isn’t really a deal at all.
2. Cut Spending
Write down all your expenses for one week, then look at the results. If you’re swinging by Starbucks every morning or you’re buying a round of drinks for friends every Thursday night, the long-term costs can take a toll. You don’t have to eliminate this type of spending completely, but you should budget for these “extras” and cut yourself off when you run out of cash.
Also, be conscious of what you throw into your grocery cart on a whim. It’s easy to “treat yourself” to a new lip gloss, nail polish, or a magazine when you’re out and about, but they’re probably just piling up at home. These minor expenses may not break the bank, but they do add up in the long run.