Use Some Cents and Save

Are you an avid spender? Try these tips for saving your cash!


Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Sophia Spicuzza, Staff Reporter

I have not always been frugal with my money. Any penny that would hit my piggy bank would go straight into the hands of a cashier. I would walk into Target and immediately walk out with 25 items that would sit in my basement untouched until they found their way into the donation bag three months later. In short, I was a spendaholic (can I make that a word?). 

But it all changed once I became aware of the beauty that comes with saving money. I didn’t start saving money until around seventh grade when it became “cool” to go out and get Bread Co. with friends, to the movies, or walk around the mall. My parents told me that they wouldn’t pay for me to go out and eat with friends, or purchase the new fads every week (remember slime and fidget spinners?). Only being 13 and having no source of income, I needed to get creative with my money and find ways to not run my piggy bank dry. 

I have adapted to not going out to eat when there is “nothing at home” (yes there is, get creative) to making food at home. I’ll go to the grocery store once a week and find food that I enjoy eating instead of buying fast food everyday. Plus, a report from Journey Foods says that home-cooked meals cost $4.31 per serving, while eating out costs $20.37 per serving- just saying you’re saving. 

I adopted three strategies for saving money: if you see something you want, wait a week, and if you still want it, buy it; go into stores knowing what you need, and declutter your space and make a list of things you still need. Now you might be thinking, how is decluttering your space-saving money? Well, that’s strategy number three. 

Starting with number 1: if you want something, wait; if you still want it, buy it. Often I find myself seeing something in-store, or online and automatically thinking that that’s the thing that is keeping me from having it all. Normally these impulsive buys turn out to be things I neither use nor absolutely love. So, my solution to overstuffing my closet and draining my bank account is to take a picture or screenshot the item. If after a week I still remember the item- I’ll buy it (if I still have the same attachment to it as I did before). Sometimes, I’ll think about it two months later and it will be on sale and I’ll buy it. But most of the time, I forget about it, and it gets lost in the sea of screenshots and random pictures. 

Number 2: go into stores knowing what you need – don’t buy to buy. It’s so easy to walk into Target needing mascara and walk out with 25 things that aren’t mascara. (I’ve found that pretending like I have $20 in my bank account helps me not purchase the excess things that I “can’t live without.”) Don’t get me wrong- I love to shop! So if I really want to buy a new pair of sweatpants that are a little expensive, I’ll skip on buying the top that I’ll never wear. 

Number 3: declutter your space and see what you REALLY need before buying anything. If you like Pinterest, make boards of “your aesthetic” and see what type of things you like. Or if you’re a normal person, clean out your room and see what you really wear. If you like black clothes, next time you want to buy a shirt ask yourself if you’ll wear it more in pink or black. I’m not saying don’t buy stuff just because it doesn’t match your color pallette – but if you don’t fall in love with it, skip it and buy something you’ll 100% wear. I find that decluttering my room makes me realize that I don’t need more random stuff. I know that I need a pair of jeans, a rain jacket and a pair of heels, and then spend my money on jeans that I love (and need) and not on leggings that I don’t need, and then spend double because I still need to buy the jeans after. Plus, knowing what style I like helps me to avoid impulsive buys. I know that I like a certain candle brand, so instead of buying from a new brand, I’ll stick to what works. Again, I’m not saying restrict yourself from purchasing things just because they don’t “fit your aesthetic,” but if you’re like me and regret buying things just because you like the swipe of the card, this method helps me to save a little cash. 

Whether it’s saving money by physically putting it aside, or not buying extra stuff, saving money is achievable. Although it can be hard to restrict yourself, saving money here and there is helpful in the long run. By not purchasing the extra items, you’ll be able to save up for something you’ll truly enjoy. Not to mention, you’ll feel better next time you want to shop and you can buy that big item because you worked to save for it.