Anytime you have to set money aside, it is a tough thing to do. There is always that new toy you want or some guy selling magic beans that look interesting. Life will always be full of hard choices, it’s just how it goes, but saving money shouldn’t be a struggle.
One big thing that I think people don’t understand is that saving money doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, it just means you don’t get to have certain things. You have to make choices on what is important to you and what is not. For instance, I love online gaming and internet activities, I will gladly sacrifice eating out once a month for $40 to get the best internet package I can. Fast internet is not something I can live without, it is part of my lifestyle.
Now, let’s say internet isn’t your thing, it doesn’t quite tickle you in all the right places. Let’s say eating out is your thing, so, you have to cut out other things in your budget to make room for it. It’s seriously as simple as that, find what you love doing and cut out the things that aren’t as important. Yes, yes, I can already hear you screaming at me, there are other things you can do like go to happy hour and eat for cheap or use Groupon to save money. That is true, totally true, and I highly recommend you do it, but you are missing the point here. I’m not saying don’t try to stretch your budget to do more of the things you love, I am saying find out what you love and cut out the things you don’t need.
A good way to kinda find out what you need and what you don’t is to see what you actually do in a month that you enjoy or need in your life. Other than the obvious items like Rent, water, etc. There are things that you pay for that you really may not use that much. So I suggest keeping a list of what you actually used in a month and how much you used it. So like, let’s say you have a Netflix subscription, I know that it doesn’t cost much but shush, the principal is the same. You just take a note on your phone or whatever every time you use it that month. That’s it. That simple. And at the end of the month, if you didn’t use it much, stop paying for it.
But, keep in mind the things that matter to you. If you only ate out once that month, but it’s something you love to do, keep it. Budget for it by doing what I just wrote about and try to make room from it. It’s important to budget for your life and not your wallet. Money is nice, but your happiness is worth far more in the long run.