A Former Shopaholic's Guide to Saving Money

3:55 PM

As a teenager, I was never good at holding on to money. I was constantly spending the little money I would get on trendy clothes at the mall and fast food. The thrill of spending money gave me a false sense of empowerment. It wasn't until recently that I was tired of not having a safety net. I rarely would have money for unexpected expenses or for spontaneous dinners with friends. I knew I needed to make a change before I landed myself in extreme debt. This is why I actively made a change to start saving. Below are three ways that any shopaholic can use to manage money.

1. Making A Budget
Set aside the time to give yourself a tight allowance is the first step. I calculate how much money that I typically earn each month along with estimated my expenses. Right now I'm using the 50/20/30 rule. Which means I set aside 50% of my monthly income for fixed expenses, 20% for savings, and 30% for flexible spending. If my income is $1,000 in January, I can assume I will earn around $1000 in February too. Which means I'll set aside $500 for bills and subscriptions, $200 to be saved, and $300 set aside for groceries or small trips to Sephora. Physically seeing my limitations has helped tremendously with staying on track. The 50/20/30 can always be adjusted to fit your lifestyle. Ratios like 60/10/30 or 70/10/20 can work as well. 

2. Shopping Smarter
I can't even lie, I will always be a shopaholic at heart. I just really love retail therapy. These days, I just make better decisions before I swipe my card. Whenever I shop for clothes or makeup, I buy things that are actual investments and will benefit me in the long-run. Questions like "Is this dress really worth the $100? Do I actually need another foundation? Do I really need two platters of sushi?" run through my mind before I blow money on things I don't even need. This is why I shop for online deals whenever possible. 
Shopping online allows me to contemplate all of my options from multiple stores at once. I have the chance to look for quality dupes for super trendy items and look at product reviews. I highly suggest signing up to your favorite store's newsletters so you can always know when their sales are going, when free shipping is available, and for countless coupon codes. Unidays.com is great place to find codes for student discounts as well.
 Another thing you should think about before going shopping is finding cash-back opportunities. There are so many cash-back or frequent shopping apps/websites that you can use to earn money while you spend money. Currently, my favorite apps to use are Ibotta for stores and Ebates for online.

3. Automated Savings
To avoid the pain of actively taking money out of my checking account into my savings sccount, I like to use automated savings. Recently, I have been using Digit.co to help me save small amounts throughout the week. The website measures your spending habits and saves money accordingly when you connect it with your checking account. The money is stored in a separate FDIC-insured account and can be withdrawn and deposited at your discretion with easy text instructions. I've been using Digit for about one month and I have only experienced quick and reliable customer service. 

For more money savings tips, I highly suggest checking out Tonya Rapley's blog My Fab Finance :)

Photo Courtesy of Google

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  1. These are great tips! I wonder if Digit.co will work in the UK?

    / O.R.R. - Life & Style Journal

    1. Thank you! I think Digit.co only works with US bank accounts. They're still a relatively new company so this may change soon.