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Recently I read the quote “You aren’t going to change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
Ouch. That hit hard. I wanted the success. I wanted to work from home. But, when I was tired after working two jobs for other people. The last thing I wanted to do was work on my own blog and my own dreams. I knew that I had to reconsider what I was doing daily and if it matched up with my goals. Shocker, it didn’t. I was working every single day and paying off debt, but I wasn’t getting anywhere on any of my other goals. Bartending is not my calling and I don’t want to be there the rest of my life. I needed to make a change.
Remember that your daily habits aren’t going to change overnight. They are small intentional things that will take a little bit of time to change. If you haven’t read S. J. Scott’s Book, Habit Stacking: 127 Small Changes to Improve Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness, I STRONGLY recommend this book!
I also began applying this to my finances. What things do I do daily that match up/ don’t match up with my financial goals. There were a ton of things that I do daily, but thinking of how they affected my financial goals was eye opening. I started implementing SMALL daily changes. I started with one or two of these habits and have worked up to doing more of them as time progresses.
13 Daily Habits That Will Change Your Bank Account
1) Making coffee at home or at the office
It is no secret that coffee is crazy over priced. If you can get into a habit of making your coffee at home daily instead of swinging buy Starbucks to get it every day, your wallet will thank you big time. Any coffee shop usually charges $3-6 for a cup of coffee. Even McDonald’s “McCafe” drinks are $3+!
At one point I figured out the math that with the purchase of a Keurig ($60-100), the Descaling cleaner ($10), and 72- Bulk K-cups($36), you will still save money purchasing all of that before that pack of K-cups are gone. And Keurigs are the more expensive way to go. You can get a basic coffee maker, filters, and coffee grounds all for less than $40. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that at $3 a cup, you can save money pretty quick even if you have to purchase all of the stuff at the beginning.
2. Leave your wallet at home.
Stop taking it places that you aren’t planning on spending money because not having it with you makes it impossible to spend money that you weren’t planning on. I leave my ID tucked away in my vehicle, but I have started leaving my wallet on my dresser. When you don’t have your money, it is harder to spend money. This is a very beginning habit that helps your budget A TON. I still do this pretty regularly. I do not do this if I am leaving my city limits, just in case of an emergency, but when I am just out and about in town, I have no problem leaving my purse/wallet at home!
3. Track your Spending
Write down EVERYTHING you spend money on. When you start writing it down, it triggers a whole different area of your brain than just spending the money. If you are writing down every single penny in and out, even on a notebook piece of paper, it will change the way you spend your money. Promise. I started tracking EVERY single penny at the beginning of 2018 and I really do feel like it has changed the way I spend and how much I am willing to spend!
I got a Commit30 Planner and have absolutely loved using it to track every single penny that I spend this year. It has bullet journal pages in the back that I use for budgeting to make sure that everything is accounted for!
4. Cash Shopping
If you are going to the store, only carry the cash that you have budgeted for that store. When you go inside, throw your wallet with the rest of the money in the backseat under a blanket (because it is the midwest here at its -12 degree windchill, so everyone should have blankets in their cars) or under the seat of your vehicle. If you only take that budgeted $30, you won’t be able to reach into the other envelopes for more money. Check out my guide to never going over your grocery budget again!
Stop refilling your envelopes and stealing from other envelopes. You can live without something for more than 4 days. If you are out of grocery money, and you really do need more money, it should come out of entertainment, eating out, or another “fun” money category. NOT your debt repayment money! If you aren’t using cash envelopes, check out my ultimate guide to setting up your own Cash Envelopes!
5. Spare Change
When you are cash shopping, you have change everywhere. Decorate a cute container and get excited about saving your change. I have an old glass milk jug that I put all of my change into. When it is full, its about $100. That handful of change may not seem like much, but with patience it can take you a long way. If you are doing most of your spending in cash, it probably won’t take you very long! If you are still using your debit or credit card, apps like Stash or Acorns are great for rounding up the spare change! Get $5 when you start investing with Acorns today!
6. “The best place to go when you are broke, is to work” -Dave Ramsey.
If you don’t have enough money to cover the things you want in your budget, you better head to work for some more hours! Working means not spending money. Picking up more hours at work is the best way to cover expenses and getting a second job can do great things for the size of your snowball. It is easier to say “I can’t go out because I have to work” than trying to explain to people that “it isn’t in the budget.” Both statements might be true, but other people are more likely to accept that you have to work without a second thought.
Picking up hours is the best way to earn extra money and avoid extra spending! I have been working a ton of extra hours at work and my budget is definitely showing it!
I brag about Ebates on so many of these lists, but I love it. Check out my full review of Ebates here, but it is a website that gives you cash back on a lot of your online shopping. Almost anything you order on line comes with a little bit of cash back! It may not seem like a lot, but when you get that cash back, it really does feel great! I’ve earned over $100 in just a few short months. There are a whole bunch of different financial apps that you can check out for your debt free journey!
8. Cut out the Window Shopping and Extra Trips!
Some people end up going to the grocery store 3-4 times a week. Every time you go to the store to “just get milk,” you usually end up spending $10-15 extra dollars. If you get organized before your big shopping trip, you will be amazed at the money saved!
Limit yourself to going to the grocery store once per week. If you forgot something, find a way to do without it or push that meal for the next week and find something else to eat that night! If you don’t go to the store/mall, you won’t accidentally purchase something on impulse!
9. Turn off the lights
This really goes with all electric stuff. Turn off the lights, lower the temperature in your home by even a few degrees, unplug things! Whatever you can do to lower than electric bill just a little bit.
10. Walk when you can
Obviously, this one is more applicable to some than others, but if you do have the choice between walking (or walking a little further) and paying, choose walking. If you can park somewhere for free, but it is 2 blocks farther, it makes sense to park.
If you can walk to a store or a park, walk and save your gas for other trips. This also applies to combining your errands in one major trip instead of leaving the house every single day for something different!
If you work outside the home, BRING YOUR LUNCH! Some people spend $100+ on eating out every week for lunch at work. Think about it. The average lunch out is anywhere from $8-15. Five days a week adds up QUICK.
When you are out and about for a long period of time, bring snacks. It will help a ton to know that you have snacks available. It will prevent extra grocery purchases and stopping for fast food along the way! I have been known to have snack packs in the back seat of my car for whenever I need food. I keep bagged pretzels, protein bars, and fruit snacks in my car or I will bring something along in my purse if I know I am going to be gone! Snacks have been strategically placed all over so I don’t ever worry about fast food because of poor planning!
12. No Spend Days
Having a few days where you specifically set out to not spend any money can be a HUGE budget saver. If you can go into the mindset daily that you aren’t going to spend money, it is easy to say no! Signing up for No Spend Challenges can be a great way to save a ton of money!
I have done a few No Spend Months and they have been great, but if you don’t think you can do a month, start with 3 days. Being intentional about finding free things to do and eating at home can be a daily game changer.
13. Pray about it.
I haven’t gotten too religious here, but seriously. Pray about it. God has all of the glory on this journey that I have been on because there is no other way I could have done it. He has given me opportunities that I shouldn’t have had and a ton of great experiences. He has connected me with people. Some days I will be close to crying and simply praying or listening to K-Love has been enough to get me through the next minutes after that.
Praying about it can completely change your mindset. Dave Ramsey even said, “Pray about it like it all depends on God, Work like it all depends on you.”
I will never forget the first day of Sophomore Geometry with one of my favorite teachers that I ever had. He started the class with a quote on the board.
“You are what you repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act, but a habit.”
Thanks Mr. Barnard. This quote comes back often when I need it the most. These little daily habits aren’t going to change your whole budget overnight, but when applying them over a long period of time, you would be surprised at the extra cash you find on hand!
What are your daily habits that changed your budget?