7 Steps for How to Save a Lot of Money and Not Spend it on Useless Things
Wondering how to save a lot of money? Are you’re a big spender, with too many things that you bought for almost no good reason?
You’re not alone!
It’s normal for an average teen to spend a lot compared with what they make. It’s not bad to want things, but it is bad to buy things “just to have it” and with no purpose.
The good news is that you CAN control your spending habits. Follow these steps below for how to save a lot of money not spend it on useless things!
Step 1. Put money aside FIRST
Putting money aside sounds pretty easy and it can be if you know how to let go and pretend it’s not there. When I say “put money aside,” I don’t mean to use for later. Keep it in a safe place and let it grow! Put away a dollar a day or 10-20% or more of your earnings somewhere safe in your home or in a savings account. It’s never too late to start saving! The earlier the better, and you won’t regret it.
One trick for how to save a lot of money is to “pay yourself first,” which means that before you spend money on anything else, make sure you put money aside or in your savings first.
Step 2. Set goals
Set reasonable goals for yourself on how much money you want to save. If you need a laptop for school, save money and set a goal to reach the amount you need to have. With that said, I’m sure you’ll still want to spend — but think carefully about what you want to spend your money on.
The worst thing is walking into a store and automatically thinking you need everything you lay your eyes on. Make sure you purchase something that’s worth having! If it’s just a phone case you want but yours is still in perfect condition, you’re fine without another one – resist and use discipline. You can do it!
Step 3. Be realistic!
Be realistic about your goals and what you want to buy. You see a beautiful pair of shoes and you want them so badly! Do you need those shoes so much that you’ll die for them? If your answer is yes, then you’re going to need to change your mindset, because nothing in any store is worth having that much.
Remind yourself of all the times you bought the little things you just had to have – a new shirt, electronics, an expensive meal, a collector’s toy and the list goes on….those little things all add up!. Be realistic as to whether they were worth it in the long run. Probably NOT.
Step 4. Track your expenses
The next step for how to save a lot of money is to track your expenses. When you’re young, you don’t care about saving. I get it. You want the best and only the best, regardless if you can really afford it. One way to curb your temptations is to track your expenses.
Keep track of what you buy either on paper, a spreadsheet, or on a budgeting app. You might think you’re not spending a lot but wait until you see the big picture. If your parents give you an allowance, show them you know how to save and maybe they’ll give you a credit card. Maybe, maybe not.
Step 5. Ask yourself these 3 basic questions
- Why do I want this? If it’s something reasonable like you need a sweater for the cold weather, then sure, get it.
- How often will I use it? A sweater can be used all year round, so still a reasonable purchase.
- Can I live without it? If you have a lot of sweaters already then maybe you can live without it. But if you need a good sweater and it’s affordable then yes, get it.
Be smart about it. Have more reasonable answers than just “it’s cute” and “it’s in.”
Step 6. Learn to appreciate what you already have
Nowadays, it’s easy to become materialistic with everyone wanting the latest trends or hottest gadgets. We always want the best of things in life and that’s fine. But as soon as you grasp the concept that you ALREADY have great things, especially when compared with teens elsewhere in the world, you will learn to appreciate your current possessions more rather than be obsessed with every new thing.
If you can discipline yourself to live without upgrading your iPhone, buying the similar shirt you already own just in a different color, or eating at the Cheesecake Factory every Friday night, then you’ll live happily with what you currently already have.
Now, I’m not saying avoid buying things you absolutely need like a new toothbrush, or shampoo and body wash! This step in how to save a lot of money requires that you distinguish your needs and wants.
Step 7. Last but not least, train your brain to wait
Train your brain to wait when buying. When we shop around, we make impulse purchases. Stores are designed to make us buy junk. It’s not fair; they really know what they are doing!
If you walk by something you want, remember to ask yourself the 3 basic questions from Step 5 above and also see how long you can go without it. Try to force yourself to walk out of the store, even if you know you are going to buy it no matter what. After a while you might realize that you don’t want what you thought you needed so badly.
Keep it up, and soon you’ll be sitting on some fat stacks or a nice balance on your bank statement thanks to your improved spending habits!
Kristen Marquez graduated with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts from California State, University Northridge with an emphasis in Television Production. She is a social media coordinator by day and a content creator by night. With her great imagination, she knows she will create the next big thing whether it’s a script, a product or a simple idea that will fill people’s hearts with joy and entertainment. She blogs for a hobby and loves spending time with her golden retriever Lily.