Even if you don’t have much financial sense or have a hard time getting ahead financially, it’s likely that you’ve at least found a way to ensure that you’re paying your bills each month and somehow making ends meet. However, most people don’t feel like this is necessarily the best way to live. To find happiness—or at least contentment—in life, it’s good to have some of the things you want rather than just the things that you need. Luckily, there’s almost always a way that you can make some of those wants accessible to yourself, even if money’s tight. To show you how this can be done, here are three tips for saving money for fun, non-essential purchases, whether it’s a vacation to Hawaii with your family or a new utility vehicle to tool around your property in.
Learn How To Say “No”
Before you can start allocating some of your money to “fun” purchases, you first have to learn how to not already have spent that money on other things. To do this requires that you learn how to say “no” to something while simultaneously saying “yes” to something else. According to H. Jude Boudreaux, a contributor to Time Money, being able to do this all comes down to knowing exactly what you want to be spending your money on and keeping that goal in your mind. If you can always remember that you’d rather be spending your money on something big that you’ll get at the end of the year rather than something smaller that you could have right now, it suddenly becomes much easier to say “no” to that immediate thing that you might have essentially wasted your money on.
Pay With Cash and Save Your Change
Setting money aside for a savings account can be challenging. To make this a little simpler on yourself, NerdWallet.com recommends that you start paying for things with cash whenever possible. By doing this, you’ll be less likely to spend more money than you initially intended, since it’s emotionally harder on you to see physical cash dwindling and you can’t spend more cash than you actually have. And when you have any change from using your cash, immediately put that in a jar so you can add it back into your bank account once a week or once a month. All that spare change will soon start adding up.
Automate Savings As Much As You Can
Arguably the easiest way to make sure you’re always saving a little money for your “fun” purchases, according to Lauren Welch, a contributor to Investopedia.com, is to make this saving automated. If you can set up an automatic transfer from your checking to your savings account each month, even if it’s just a small amount, you’ll soon have saved up the money you want without even really noticing that you’ve been saving in the first place.
If you have some fun things that you want to be able to afford but haven’t been able to make it happen in the past, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you save for these exact purposes.