As busy women, we’re on the move every day. From organizing our home, caring for our families, doing our work, and practicing self-care, our days fly by! Bottom line: we’re busy! On top of everything else, we also want to take charge of our money and save some extra cash. It’s tough! Saving money is difficult because it requires focus and self-control. Add life’s pressure and stress, and saving money feels harder than doing calculus while riding a bicycle, folding laundry, and winging eyeliner …at the same time. So how to busy women save money? Below are three easy ways to save money. You can pile up your pennies while dealing with the chaos of life.
Ways to Save Money Idea #1: Shift Your “In-The-Moment” Mindset
The most critical question you can ask yourself is the following: Do I need to buy this, right here and now?
The Marketing Siren Song
You need to understand: marketing professionals spend the majority of their budgets getting you to buy on impulse. Ah, impulse shopping! That impulse can feel especially powerful when you have the item warming up your hands browsing through a department store. The US and the world economy rely, in part, on shoppers’ impulse buying to keep the party going. But does it help you save your money? Absolutely not.
So how do you slow the pulse of impulse shopping?
Consumer Mindset Shift
You have to shift your “in-the-moment” mentality. Ask yourself if you need to buy the item right here, right now. These days most products are available online at a lower price since the websites selling them don’t have to pay rent or hire sales staff. Could you put the item down, head home, and give yourself a little more time to research costs? If you need the product, chances are, you’ll do the research and find a good deal. If it’s an impulse purchase, giving yourself time and space to process your decision might keep your cash in your wallet.
“But it’s just a little lip gloss!” you think, looking at me sullenly. “What’s three bucks, anyway?”
Well, you’re right. You could only be saving a couple of dollars. But, here’s the kicker: the real benefit is that you’re walking away from an impulse purchase playground. You’re stepping outside of the cleverly designed space created by a marketing professional intended to lure you away from your hard earned dollars. By shifting your “in-the-moment” mindset and asking yourself this question every time, you will not only save your money in the long run but also you will become a more savvy consumer.
Ways to Save Money Idea #2: If You Don’t See It, You Save It
If you work for an external employer, check with your company, supervisor, or HR director to see if they can directly deposit a part of your paycheck into your savings account. If your company can’t do it, instruct your bank to auto transfer a certain amount per month when your paycheck is deposited. Most banks have this option, and it just needs to be set up online.
(Do hearing the words “direct deposit” or “auto transfer” make you break out into a cold sweat? It’s okay! Remember, that there are professionals out there to assist you. For your direct deposit, set up some time to chat with your work’s human resource representative. For auto transfer, make an appointment at your bank and ask to speak to an account specialist.)
The Beauty of Direct Deposit
What’s the benefit of doing this? There are a few! First, money in your savings account may be harder to spend partly because it’s harder to access. Second, if you want to access this money, you need to make a more conscious decision to do so by transferring it back to checking or withdrawing money at an ATM. And that time it takes to make a decision? Yep. That time is critical for curtailing impulse spending.
Hopefully the less money you see in your checking account will result in lower spending. However, if you don’t scale back your budget to align with what’s in your checking account, this tip will not work. Just like any other money-saving venture, self-control is at the center of this tip’s success. And how do you practice fiscal self-control? The first and most important step is to establish and follow a rock solid budget. Click right here to grab a free budget template to organize your home finances.
Ways to Save Money Idea #3: FSA, All The Way!
What the heck is an FSA? An FSA, or a flexible spending account, is available through most employers. With this account you can have a pre-tax deduction from your every paycheck deposited in an account managed by the FSA administrator.
Pre-Tax? Heck Yes!
And why does a pre-tax benefit matter? The real kicker here is that you do not get taxed on these funds! With an FSA account, you are using 100% of your earnings rather than the 95% to 70% you would get based on your tax rate.
Effectively, with FSA, you’re saving money by losing LESS of your income to taxes. Get it?
Uses for FSA Accounts
During the calendar year you can use this money for childcare or medical costs, by either using a FSA debit card or requesting reimbursements online by providing any necessary invoices. The online portion of the reimbursement is very easy and takes only a couple of minutes. A check will arrive unless you select other methods of reimbursement.
With some simple planning, you can use this money for a lot of everyday costs. For example if you go to Walgreens to buy Band-Aids or saline drops, you can use the FSA debit card to pay for these items. What you need to look for is the FSA word next to the item as you are checking out. Need new glasses? Yep, that’s FSA too. Going to the dentist? Use your FSA. All of these things can be paid for on pre-taxed income.
What’s Your Challenge?
So, there you have it! Three super easy ways for you to save a little extra cash while you’re on the move. Because living a comfortable, cozy, and beautiful life requires managing home finances with simplicity and purpose.
In the comments below, let me know — what’s the biggest challenge you have when it comes to saving money?