How to Save Money - Part 1: Short Term

Welcome to the first part of a new series: How to Save Money.  I know this is mainly a fashion blog but let's face it - fashion isn't free!  So technically this does relate.  Plus who doesn't want a few tips on how to save up some extra cash?

The holidays are over and the end of season sales are winding down.  My bank account is taking a sigh of relief!  It is hard to resist all of those great deals, but when you buy a bunch of stuff 75% off you're still spending quite a bit!

I have always been very conservative with money and would consider myself someone who is "good with money".  I'm not saying I'm an expert, but I am saying that I've never been in debt and I think I can offer up some knowledge if you're someone who feels money burning a hole in your pocket.

Part one is going to focus on the short term; i.e. saving up for something specific.  I know a lot of my readers are like me and are anxiously awaiting the April 19th launch of Lilly for Target (follow their Instagram for sneak peaks!).  And while these items are rumored to be more budget friendly, five $30 items means $150!  I know I don't just have that lying around to spend frivolously.

So whatever it is that you've got your eye on, keep reading for my tips on how to save up!

First things first.  You can't save money if you don't have money.  Well any one of any age is able to get some money - if you're willing to work!  Ask your parents if you can do some extra chores for cash.  Crafty?  Make something and sell it to friends - or if you're feeling really ambitious start a shop on Etsy!  My cousin offered to mow his neighbors' yards for a much better price than the professionals and saved up quite a bit.  You can even clean out your closet and take clothes to Plato's Closet or sell them online through Poshmark (use code HUCJB for $5 when you sign up!) or Twice.  There ARE ways to make money - just be creative and willing to do some work.

So now you have some extra money.  Any time this is the case it is so tempting to run out and buy that cute cardigan from Target!  This brings me to my first saving tip.

1. Deprive yourself.  No one wants to hear that, I know.  But the truth is this is the ONLY way to save!  You have to tell yourself NO.  You likely have a whole closet full of clothes but still want something new.  Well too bad.  Sorry for the tough love but next time you reach for that new top remind yourself of your end goal.  What is it that you are saving for?  You could even go as far as keeping a picture of it on your phone to look at whenever temptation strikes.  Saving money is pretty similar to being on a diet.  You want to eat that piece of cake but you have to deprive yourself.  And luckily for short term savings, your deprivation is only temporary!

You really have to commit to step one or all of my other points are moot.

2. Get a piggy bank!  Sounds childish but its actually a great way to save!  And you don't have to actually get a piggy bank (for that matter you really shouldn't - those things can be expensive!).  I use a plastic cup.  You could get a cheap mason jar and decorate with ribbon (I feel a tutorial coming on...and here it is).  Basically some sort of container to sit in your foyer or room.  Every time you come home or clean out your purse, put your loose change there.  It adds up faster than you think!  And if you live with others, ask them if they wouldn't mind giving you their loose change, I bet they'll be happy to!  Especially if they're your parents ;)

3. Sales and coupons.  Whenever you are saving you are likely still going to have to spend to survive.  You'll have to continue to buy food, toiletries, and the occasional necessity like new tights for a dance recital.  So whatever you do buy, use coupons or buy what's on sale.  Milk never really goes on sale and a few other things you'll just have to pay full price for.  Stock up with BOGOs at Publix, clip coupons in the Sunday paper, take advantage of CVS' extrabucks offers.  And if the Chips Ahoy cookies aren't on sale this week, just go without - I bet they'll be on sale soon!

4. Make a graphic.  Saving is all about motivation.  You have to be motivated to succeed!  So make one of those thermometer charts and fill it in as you reach milestones - be that every $10 or every $100.  Depends on how much you're trying to save.

5. Treat yourself.  What??  Yep, again saving is like dieting.  You have to give yourself a treat once in a while or you will end up binging on an entire bag of chips out of desperation!  Maybe that cardigan your had your eye on went on sale this week - consider getting it, you deserve it!  Just make sure you aren't rewarding yourself too often or too soon.  If you've only saved $15 so far, maybe you shouldn't get the $15 sweater... logic people, that's all you need!  Now head to the dollar spot and pick out a cute notebook instead :D

6. Track your money.  Sounds easy enough but the results may shock you.  Write down EVERYTHING you spend money on - be it a drink from the vending machine or groceries for a week.  You probably drop a few bucks here and there more than you think.  I've created an easy spreadsheet you can use.  You can print it out by clicking here.  Seeing that on paper and adding up how much you spend each week will help you think twice before you pay $1.50 for that candy bar at the register.

Well that's it!  Most of these tips apply for long term or short term saving.  Either way just remember "Good things come to those who wait!" - my mom told me this my whole life and it really is true.  I'm going to start following my own advice and hopefully by the time April comes I can be first in line to snatch up all that Lilly!!

What are you saving up for?  How do you do it?  Share with me in the comments!

I hope you liked this post and if not a new outfit post will be up soon!

Don't forget to sparkle (and save!)
XO ~ Katie

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