By Savy Kroop, Buffalo Exchange HQ
It’s one thing to make a resolution to save more money, but actually doing it can be a whole different story. If I’m being honest, I’m definitely guilty of giving up on my New Year’s resolutions by February 1st (if not sooner…). So, to keep myself on track, I came up with some easy ways to save money and some tips and tricks for sticking to my budget!
Write Down Your Budget
My first suggestion? Write down your budget. This might seem obvious, but being able to visualize your spending habits can be a wakeup call! If possible, share your goals with a close friend or family member – it’s always good to have someone who can hold you accountable, keep you honest and encourage you. For example, the last time I made a budget, I estimated $40 a week on eating out. My roommate just shook his head… we both knew it wasn’t true. If you’re looking for some easy ways to save money, it’s important to start out by being honest about your spending habits!
To get started, write your monthly income at the top and, below that, write down how much you’d like to save this month. Remember – any savings is good savings! Next, start listing out all your necessary expenses (groceries, rent, etc). You can distribute anything left over among your unnecessary expenses like shopping, eating out, going out with friends, health and beauty, and so on. The goal here is to end up at 0. If the amount is negative, cut down one or more of your “unnecessary” categories. At the end of the month, be sure to reevaluate – it can be hard to accurately budget at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it!
Treat Yourself – at Home!
If you’re looking for easy ways to save money in the “going out” category, this is the resolution for you! I think we can all agree that treating yourself and spending time with your BFFs is important for self-care. However, going to the nail salon, getting brunch every Sunday or going out for fancy cocktails with friends can get expensive. I’m not saying to cut these things out of your life in 2019 – just choose to treat yourself at home every now and then! This year, I plan to organize weekly “treat yourself” nights with my close friends. And, since we all know that Sunday brunch is the best part of the week, I plan to organize weekly brunch potlucks!
Easy Ways to Save Money on Clothes: Shop For Free!
Lastly, my absolute favorite thing to do at the beginning of the year is a wardrobe overhaul! I love to start fresh with my closet, but without spending a lot of money, so I clean out my closet and then head into Buffalo Exchange to trade in for some new-to-me finds. I always find a lot of pieces there that spark joy (thank you, Marie Kondo, for the tip!).
To start, really try to pinpoint your style – reflect on what you see yourself wearing for the new year and, once you have a clear idea, begin going through every item in your closet (yes, I said EVERY item). Begin sorting items into three categories: keep, sell and donate. Try only holding on to items that you truly love. Like Marie Kondo would say, “Keep only those things that speak to your heart”. Once you’re done, you’re ready to head to your local Buffalo Exchange!
You really can’t beat the prices of shopping secondhand, especially if you sell your closet cleanout and put the trade you receive towards your new-to-you finds. Talk about easy ways to save money (not to mention fun!). Phew! Finally, a New Year’s budget resolution that I won’t have any trouble keeping. If you don’t live near a Buffalo Exchange, you can always try the Sell By Mail program. Just request a bag online, fill it up and mail it for free via UPS. Well, that’s it from me – I’m off to plan a “treat yourself” Sunday brunch for me and my friends. Happy budgeting!