Life is easier when you've got shitloads of cash in your wallet. We're not going to deny that.
But money-saving doesn't always have to be about cutting back, tightening your belt, and living like a character from Angela's Ashes. Making some smart savings in the right places can allow you to live your best life – and not run yourself into financial ruin at the same time.
Here are seven simple tips to get you started.
Oof. You didn't want us to start here, did you? But really, this is the key to living the high life without having to make any major sacrifices.
Even if you tuck away a few euros here and there, it really does make all the difference. You won't even notice it right now, but when the time comes – whether it's to splash out on a holiday, or (gasp!) save up for a house, it'll be there, ready, waiting... and even gathering interest!
2. Budgeting – good for the wallet, and good for the soul
It may seem daunting, but it really doesn't need to be. All we're talking about here is a simple in-versus-out system.
Work out how much money goes out 'regularly' each month (rent, bills, gym membership, maybe even savings), work out how much you need for groceries and living expenses each month, subtract them from your income and hey presto – you know what you have left to play around with. This means you know where your money is going, AND you won't suffer anxiety every time you go to the ATM or hand your card over the bar.
3. Spend when you need to, but choose your battles
Money is always fleeting, so don't beat yourself up too much for spending €50 in a single night – especially if it's one of those spontaneous, out-of-nowhere CRACKING nights.
But, definitely beat yourself up about it if you do that every weekend. And whatever you do, don't splash the cash on those dull, routine Friday nights on the town. Keep it for a time you'll remember, and make those hangovers worth it.
4. Eat out when it really matters
Similar logic here: cut down your meals to once a week, and develop a list of places in town that you need to hit up – you will 100% enjoy them more if you've been savouring them for a while, and you'll appreciate the experience all the more.
5. Learn a few killer recipes that you can make for less than €3 per serving
They may not be the most palate-pleasing morsels ever to hit your plate, but they're nutritious, simple, quick and most importantly, cheap. If you buy your ingredients wisely and cut your spend to €3 per meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, five days a week, then that's a saving of around €30 – money that you can spend far more fruitfully in other walks of life.
6. No risk, no reward
The big problem with living a 'frugal' life is that people overdo it – a bit like dieting, they save themselves to the point of misery, then feel a need for a big blowout every few weeks that undoes all the hard work.
Don't be that person. Cut your spending in the areas that don't matter, increase your spending in the areas that do, and you'll genuinely find your financial situation gets better all the time.
7. Download that bank/credit card app!
This is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable for your spending. Check to see if your bank or credit card has a mobile app and then download it. You can easily check your statements, pay your bills on time, and budget your weekly spending.
It is one of the best pieces of advice I can offer you when you're trying to grasp some kind of reality on your current financial situation.
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