If earning more money is one of your goals this year, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are tons of opportunities both online and offline that you can take advantage of to earn more.
That being said, it’s important to realize that earning money is only half the equation when it comes to improving your financial situation.
You also have to spend and save your money wisely no matter how much you earn. Mismanaging your money and sinking into lifestyle inflation will only flush all of your hard-earned extra money down the drain.
When you start earning more money either through a side hustle, online job, or side business, be sure to become more intentional with how you manage your earnings and commit to saving as well.
Here are 5 easy ways to save money once you’ve given yourself an income boost.
1. Stop Dining Out
Dining out and ordering takeout is one of the worst habits to have for your wallet. Buying ready-made food from a restaurant is convenient but can cost a ton compared to purchasing your own food at the grocery store to cook at home.
I struggle with eating out sometimes, but I find that when I’m busy and working a lot or just have extra money, it becomes more of a temptation. Instead of spending all your extra money on food, set a grocery budget and plan out your meals so you can purchase ingredients from the store.
Start bringing your lunch to work.Batch cook your meals so you aren’t cooking every night. I always prepare big meals in my crockpot purposely so they last us a few days.
Meal prep also works wonders and you can prepare many of your meals for the week on one day then freeze them for future use.
2. Buy Used Clothes
Whether you’re a fan of thrift stores or not, you probably can’t deny that used clothes are super cheap compared to department store and name brand clothing.
Some people don’t realize how much they spend on clothing each year especially if there are kids in the household. My son grows so fast so I see no need to buy him brand new jeans when he will be in a new size a year later.
Plus, some used clothing is still good quality and that’s the kind I buy. When I need clothes, I’ll look through clothing at stores like Goodwill, Once Upon a Child for my son and Plato’s Closet for myself to find what I need at a super cheap price.
You can also shop online at ThredUp for good-quality, gently-used clothing for an affordable price.
3. Become a Fan of Frugal Entertainment
You don’t have to adopt a full-blown frugal lifestyle to embrace frugal entertainment. After a long, hard week there’s nothing wrong with wanting to kick back and enjoy yourself.
However, sometimes it can come at a high price when it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of saying yes to every invitation and spending a ton of money on activities you don’t really value, you can invite friends over instead, attend free events, take your kids outside, visit national parks, and so on.
I like to get out and have fun, but I’ll admit, I enjoy myself more when I know that I don’t have to fork over $35 a ticket or $20 for a drink. Check with your local library, park district, or online to find frugal entertainment options when you need to relax and have fun.
4. Avoid Impulse Spending By Waiting It Out
Impulse spending is the worst. It causes you to make unplanned purchases based off temporary emotions and pure impulse. Many times, impulse buys are unnecessary and leave us regretting the purchase later when the money could have been better spent elsewhere.
To avoid impulse purchases, wait at least 48 hours after you think of buying something in a store or online. Retailers may try to create urgency with sales and promotions, but you need to ask yourself if you really need the item and if it will add value to your life.
If not, then you’ll have your answer. Try to unsubscribe from mailing lists from stores you frequent and avoid going into your guilty pleasure stores if you have to.
By getting rid of those little, pesky impulse purchases that add up, you’ll save quite a bit of money over time.
5. Focus on Properly Managing Your Earnings
If you’ve earned extra money through securing a raise, a new job, or a side income opportunity, be sure to focus on properly managing that extra money so it doesn’t go to waste.
Think back to your initial reasons for earning more money. What do you truly want to accomplish at the end of the day?
I doubt it’s flashy clothing, takeout pizza, and a new lamp for your living room. Go back to your budget and set your sights on spending and saving your money intentionally in ways that align with your goals and values.
That way, you’ll be putting the money you earn to good use and improving your financial future.
How do you manage any extra income you earn? Have you ever mismanaged your money after you knew that you were earning more?