How To Spend Less Money (And Save) – 6 Easy Tricks

well dressed woman with many shopping bags - how to stop buying things to save money

well dressed woman with many shopping bags - how to spend less money

You are not a stupid person.

You know that you are spending too much yet can’t seem to stop. Sound familiar?

When you are on the hunt to learn how to spend less money you can be bombarded with tips on cutting cable, meal planning and not eating out.

But it’s not as simple as that is it?

You know what you should be doing, and you do some of it, some of the time. But still you shop too much and wonder where your money has gone.

I’m here to help you find out how you can defeat your overspending habit, without living on rice and beans alone or feeling like you are being deprived.


How To Spend Less Money (And Save) – 6 Easy Tricks

To be successful in training yourself to spend less money you need to understand what drives you to spend too much.

And you need some simple tips that will help you to change your behavior so shopping is not your go to option.


Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image for how to spend less money


1. Changing Your Mindset

The starting point in learning how to spend less money is to understand what drives you to spend too much.

Your mindset – how you view money and your life, is responsible for many of your spending decisions, at a subconscious level.

After all you know you need to spend less money, indeed you know how to. Don’t spend. But it’s never as simple as that is it?

Willpower is your secret trick to help.


It’s the same when you want to lose weight.

You know, I know, we all know; to lose weight you need to consume less calories than you are burning so you are in deficit.

But how many of us actually struggle with our weight? Too many. And it’s not because we don’t know what to do.

It’s because of our mind and our willpower.

Some people have oodles of willpower. I have a friend who eats cake every day and is as slim as a wand. She’s not lucky with her metabolism though.

She just has great willpower so her slice of cake is a small slice and she does not consume excess calories.

You need to look deep inside yourself. Find out why you are spending too much money, what is it that is making you go to the store and spend when you know you shouldn’t?

Are you mad, bad or sad at that moment? Emotional spending is huge. It’s the same as emotional eating.

And it doesn’t even make us feel better because once you have spent that money you then have a different emotion kicking in – guilt!

We do make things hard for ourselves don’t we?

Focus on your mindset and be determined to change your shopping ways. If you are an emotional shopper (I know I am) then stay away from the shops when you are feeling low.

Focus on why you want to spend less money and keep that at the forefront of your mind.

Create financial goals or savings goals you want to aim for. When you have a plan for your money you are less likely to overspend.

Because you know directly that overspending stops you from achieving the things you are striving for.

This is your why – don’t lose sight of your why.


white keyboard with gold perfume bottle on white background


2. Be Kind To Yourself

Spending too much money is often about trying to make yourself feel better.

A cheap trick to help you stop yourself from spending money is to practice positive affirmations. And it’s such a simple trick.

Every morning stand in front of your mirror and compliment yourself on something. It can be about your looks, your personality or even your beliefs.

Choose something different every day. These are some of the affirmations I use:

  • You deserve to be happy
  • Your hair looks great today
  • I love your eye color
  • You are a good friend
  • You are a caring person
  • Today is your day to shine

They feel a bit weird to start off with because when you are practicing affirmations you are basically talking out loud to yourself. But subconsciously, hearing you compliment yourself really does help reset your mindset.

Top tip – practice saying your affirmations out loud whilst looking in the mirror.



3. Create New Habits

If you are in the habit of browsing online when you get home as a way to de-stress then this needs to change.

You are tired, you’ve had a hard day. You are vulnerable to the school of thought that tells you to buy something because “you deserve it”.

As you know, buying stuff isn’t the answer because you have to pay for it and you want to spend less money, not more.

You need to change your habits so that spending money is not part of your daily routine. You need to train yourself to spend less money, to help you realize you can live better with less money.

Try having a no spend day or two. They only last 24 hours so not an impossible challenge and they help you to press pause when you are being a bit too loose with your cash.

Don’t browse online if you end up on your favorite stores website.

Don’t go to the mall as a leisure activity even if you plan on window shopping. It doesn’t work out like that does it?

When you do go shopping, on a need to basis, not a want to basis, use mental blinkers. Don’t start browsing the aisles. Stick to your intended purpose.

Another trick I now employ is to keep my head down so I don’t see too much. I don’t need to see everything that is on the shelves as I walk past so why tempt myself?

And always use a list to focus your shopping. Sticking strictly to a list you can go in and out like you are on a mission.


Learn To Say No 

We are back to willpower and mindset here. It’s OK to say no to yourself and others.

If you are offered an upgrade on something for a few dollars more, just say no. If you had wanted the upgraded item you would have bought it anyway.

When you see something you impulsively want, say no. You will thank yourself later.

Use the 30 day rule for potential impulse spends. If you still want it after 30 days, and you can afford it, then by all means buy it. But I bet you won’t.

Top tip – always review whats in your basket before you get to the checkout. This is your opportunity to make good where you may have failed by putting in extras.


open notebook with learn to say no written in


4. Track Your Spending

When you have to account for every dollar you have spent you will end up spending less. Recording everything you spend, and I do mean everything, makes you think twice about some of your purchases.

I know it sounds slightly bizarre but when I track my spending I think twice about popping out for ice creams on a hot day.

After all, maybe I should have planned further ahead and bought them from the grocery store where they are half the price of my local shop.


5. Have Fun Money

Don’t make your life miserable and one of deprivation. As much as you need to be thinking about how to spend less money, you don’t need to stop spending altogether.

Long term that is not sustainable and leads to miserable life. Even if you have to stick to a tight budget, allow yourself some guilt free fun money. Money you can spend just because you feel like it.


woman sat at desktop on laptop


6. Find Alternatives

We often shop when we are bored, or when we feel like getting out of the house but haven’t thought of an alternative.

But those alternatives to shopping are the way to stop spending and start saving instead.

When you change your mindset to that of a saver rather than a spender, then you will be keen to find things to keep you busy that you enjoy but don’t revolve around spending money.

There are a million and one things you could do which would either be free or low cost. Here are a few to get you thinking:


How To Spend Less Money (And Save)

These 6 simple tips will really help you master the art of spending less money. 

  1. Change your mindset
  2. Be kind to yourself
  3. Create new habits
  4. Track your spending
  5. Have fun money
  6. Find alternatives

Simple but effective.


pinterest image for how to spend less money

How To Be Successful With A No Spend Challenge

girl with piggy bank and floating bank notes

girl with piggy bank and floating bank notes

Do you wonder what all the fuss is about having a no spend challenge?

Can completing a no buy challenge for a day, a week or a month actually make any difference to your money situation?

That depends. On you. On whether you can successfully cut out your spending.

But that is why I am writing this. To help you be successful in any no spend challenge you choose to do.


So What Is A No Spend Challenge?

I think you know the answer already! But to reiterate, it’s a period of time where you challenge yourself to spend no money, other than on contractual obligations and absolute essentials.

Let’s be honest. No-one can really go without spending any money at all for anything longer than a few days in-between auto-paying bills.

But what you can do is set yourself a financial goal to spend nothing other than on essentials. And that can be very hard to do if you are an unconscious spender.

The types of bills and essentials you would still pay out for during a no spend challenge could include:

  • mortgage/rent
  • utility bills
  • cell phone/mobile monthly plan
  • insurances
  • childcare for working hours
  • other monthly contractual commitments

You will note I have NOT included groceries in the list above, for good reason which I will explain more later.


Why Take On Any No Spend Challenge?

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

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Take Back Control Of Your Budget

A budget is key to successfully managing your money but is it working perfectly right now? I think not.

Otherwise you wouldn’t be seriously considering a no buy challenge.

Cutting out all non-essential spending will give you back control of your budget. You will see what you are NOT spending on.

And you can decide at the end whether these are things you want to spend on or whether they are removed from your budget forever.


Break The Paycheck To Paycheck Cycle

When you are spending all your available money every paycheck you have no wriggle room left, even if you are paid a reasonable income.

Living paycheck to paycheck isn’t fun as there is always the potential to be worrying about money. Especially if you haven’t got yourself a solid emergency fund.

Cutting out all non-essential spending will show you how much of your paycheck goes on the non-essentials and give you pause for thought.


Confronting Bad Habits 

It is very easy to form bad habits in all aspects of our lives. From bad posture sitting at your desk, to ignoring your spouse when they talk about soccer, to frittering away $5 here and there – because it’s only $5.

When you challenge yourself to not spend any money you are forcing yourself to confront your existing spending habits. They might be perfectly acceptable habits but are they the habits you want to encourage?

Do you actually know what your daily/weekly spending habits are?


Understand Your Spending Triggers

We all have spending triggers. Whether it’s because you are sad, happy or influenced by what others are buying. Your decision to spend is not an isolated decision, it is influenced by much around you.

As you can’t or won’t spend money at these times, you will be able to analyse why you would have spent money at that point if you weren’t doing your challenge.


pretty notebook with be unstoppable written - no spend challenge


What Will You Gain From Challenging Yourself?

Savings Lump Sum

Because you have set yourself a target of no spending, you will be determined to achieve that target. As a result you will spend significantly less money and have a decent lump sum at the end of your challenge.

If you’ve been living beyond your means recently then achieving your target will help you get back in the black for the first time in ages.

But it’s not just about the money you will save.


Breaking Bad Habits

We all fall into bad money habits. This is your opportunity to expose these habits for what they are and make a conscious decision to change them.

If you are doing a 30 day challenge, which is tough let’s be honest, then you will not only expose your habits you will be ¾ of the way to creating new, better money habits by not spending.


Eliminates Excess Spending

Spending only on necessities by default means there won’t be any excess spending. Indeed you are likely to find there are many days when you spend no money at all. Because it isn’t necessary.



More Frugal Lifestyle

It might not be your primary motive but many frugal people focus on conscious spending. Becoming more conscious of your spending will help you adopt a more frugal lifestyle if you so choose.


woman with coffee cup and open notebook - no spend challenge


4 No Spend Challenge Ideas

You can do a no spend challenge for any period time, it is entirely up to you but here are 4 different challenges and why they can be useful.


Have X No Spend Days Each Month

When you are in the habit of spending money every day without fail, setting yourself the challenge of having a certain number of no spend days (NSDs) can be a challenge in itself.

This challenge is less about not buying non-essentials and more about changing the habit of daily spending. Nicola at The Frugal Cottage challenges herself every month to a certain number of NSDs.


The No Spend Weekend Challenge

This challenge is a great one for families or couples who tend to spend a lot at the weekends on entertainment and enjoying themselves.

It’s not about not enjoying yourself of course! It’s about finding free activities to do at the weekend and to encourage children to understand that money is not the answer to everything.


The No Spend Week Challenge

If you unconsciously spend money multiple times a day then a week is a very long time to not spend any money.

For me, this wouldn’t be a big challenge as I never spent money on a working day anyway – primarily because I am a frugalista who always packed her lunch, snacks and teabags!

If you usually buy coffee in the morning and lunch whilst at work then this is the perfect no spending challenge to get started with.


The 30 day No Spend Challenge

This is the big one. The no spend month long challenge. Not for the faint-hearted but if you are up for it, you will make big savings and learn a huge amount about your spending habits.

Not spending any (non-essential) money for 30 days is tough when you are used to whipping out your card on a regular basis.

No more picking up a snack (chocolate!) from the local store as a little treat. No more pizza take out because you are too darn tired to cook tonight.


woman writing in a notebook - no spend challenge


Your Challenge, Your Rules

Of course you have to set out your rules. These will be different for everyone but the key thing is they should take you out of your comfortable spending zone.

Your rules should be about separating your wants from your needs.

  • You need food to fuel your body. But restaurant food is not a need, it’s a want.

  • You need to buy fuel to use your car to get to work. But extra fuel so you can take a drive into the countryside is a want.

You get the picture.


Non-essential Spending To Consider Eliminating

  • Activities
  • Restaurant meals
  • Shop bought coffee and lunches for work
  • Takeaway food
  • Beauty treatments and hair cuts
  • Shopping
  • Clothes (new or thrift store)
  • Gas for non-work trips
  • Taxi’s, Ubers or Lyft
  • Groceries – see below



This category needs some flexibility. If you are having a 30 day no spend challenge then chances are you cannot eat a healthy diet purely from the food you currently have in your cupboards.

You may want to consider a small allowance for perishable items such as milk, fruit and vegetables. But don’t make it too easy on yourself.

If you’ve got frozen or tinned stuff, consider using these before using that allowance.

I don’t advocate stocking up before a non spend challenge because it defeats the object of your challenge. Your challenge is to make you think about every purchase.

Throwing $300 worth of food into your freezer to keep you going is not in the spirit of a no buy month or week is it?


don't give up written on a notebook


Success Tips For A No spend Challenge

Be Prepared

Check your calendar for upcoming events during your challenge period. If there are birthdays during it, get these in advance.

Check your cupboards and ensure you have more than just 20 bags of wholemeal flour (I bet you do).


Raid Your Pantry

To keep your grocery spending to essentials you need to utilize all that is in your cupboards. The best way to do this is to do an inventory of your food cupboards.

Then create a meal plan based on the ingredients you already have. Aim to use as much as possible without shopping even if it means you have some quirky meals.


Have Fallback Options

If eating out or getting a takeaway are something you tend to do when you are tired, be prepared for those tired days. If you haven’t got meals prepared in the freezer then consider the really quick & simple meal options.

Toast dinners are perfect for ‘too tired to cook’ nights:

  • Scrambled eggs on toast
  • Toast pizzas
  • Sardines on toast
  • Cheesy beans on toast


Accountability Partner

Having someone do the challenge with you is perfect. Alternatively have someone know what your aim is and keep them updated on your progress.

Your accountability partner can be your spouse, your kids or a friend. Share how you are doing and they will help you during the difficult times.


Consider Fun Money

If you are worried that you will fail when you try not to spend money every day then you could consider having a very small buffer.

It’s more of a mental buffer so that you don’t consider yourself to have ‘failed’ if you spend $4 on a coffee once. Better to use your buffer than to give up completely.

Of course I would encourage you keep your buffer small, say $10 for a no spend week challenge and $30 for the 30 day no spend challenge.

And it goes without saying that your challenge is to not spend that buffer either!


Track New Non Spending Events

Keep a diary to record all those times when you would have spent money if you weren’t doing your challenge. This will give you a great insight into where your money usually goes.

Record what you would have bought and why.


Get Busy Living

The last thing you need is to feel like you are twiddling your thumbs because you can’t spend money.

Create a to do list of jobs that you’ve been putting off or activities that you keep planning to do and never get round to it. Things like:


Future Purchases List

To help you achieve your challenge even when you see something you desperately want to buy, create a future purchases list. This is a list of all the things you see during your challenge that you might have considered buying.

I’m not suggesting you buy everything on the list as soon as you have achieved that challenge though!

Review your list at the end of your challenge and consider whether, really, do you still want or need that item. Chances are the moment has passed.

You can read more about to do this successfully in my post on the 30 day rule.


Now You’re Ready For Your No Spend Challenge

With 4 no spend challenges to choose from and a bunch of tips to help you succeed there is no time like the present to get started.

Choose your no spend challenge, set your rules, set your start date and look forward to the savings you make and the understanding you will gain.

Good luck!


pinterest image for no spend challenge
The best no spend challenge tips and motivation you need to succeed. Try the 30 day no spend challenge, or go extreme for a year. Ideas and rules on how to complete your challenge to fit your week or month of frugal living.

10 Of The Best Financial Goals You Should Have

this is your year notebook and laptop - financial goals

this is your year notebook and laptop - financial goals

Can you succeed in life without setting financial goals?

I think not.

Without financial goals you have no plan for your money.

Without a plan for your money you have no direction.

Without direction you will spend without thought or focus.

Goal setting is crucial in many aspects of your life, whether that’s life goals, career goals or financial goals.

Today I am focusing on financial goals. Because your money and your plan for it impacts on all aspects of your life both now and in the future.

Financial goals can be short term, mid term and long term.  

For me the key to thinking about and creating your goals is to aim high. When you stretch your aspirations to do more with your money, you will achieve more. I love this quote:

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right” – Henry Ford

Your thinking can limit your achievements. Always believe you can. Because you can!


Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

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Why Have Goals?

Financial goals give you a target to focus on over the months or even years. They give you a sense of direction, keep you on the straight and narrow when temptation rears its head.

Knowing your goals helps you focus your spending on what you value.

When you value your goals and what life will be like once you have achieved them, then that value will trump buying pizza on Friday night because you felt like it.


SMART spelled out - financial goals


Always Be SMART Goals

Make them SMART – I personally detest this acronym because my employers over use it, in situations that can’t always be SMART. But ignore me, SMART is good (when used the right way).

Used in the right context, SMART really helps you define what you want and when you want it by. SMART means:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-based

Your financial goals must mean something to you to make them real. They need to be a specific thing, not just “save more money”. That’s a weak goal asking not to be achieved.

Whereas if you were to set yourself a short term financial goal of saving $3,000 dollars in 12 months, that could be SMART. It’s specific, measurable and time-based.

Only you and your budget will know if it’s achievable and realistic.

If you create unrealistic goals – and it’s so easy to do – then when you fail them, because they are unrealistic, you are reinforcing a negative. That you are crap with money.

You are not, but you might need to work on getting better at creating financial goals!

ACTION – Think about where you want to be next year, in 5 years or even 20 years time. What do you want to have achieved financially?


Key Actions

When you create your financial goals you also need to think and be clear about what the key actions are for those goals. Key actions are the steps you will take in order to achieve your goals.

Using the above goal of saving $3,000 in 12 months, what key actions can we create to ensure we achieve our goal?

How about:

  • Reduce grocery budget by $60 a month
  • Reduce utility bills by $10 a month
  • Cut your clothes budget by $50 a month
  • Earn $100 a month extra
  • Have one takeout a month less, saving $30

Each month you will know if you are on track to achieving your financial goals by checking how you did on your key actions.

Your key actions help you stay focused on your goals. You know why you have a smaller clothes budget and everyone month you will remember that why.


10 Of The Best Financial Goals You Should Have

(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more here)


bags with 1, 2 and 3 written on them


Live On Less Than You Earn

To achieve any of your goals you need to live below your means. When you always live on less it means you have money left over for your future, savings, retirement and paying off debt.

Use the 30 day rule to limit impulse spending.

Want to know what rich people do? They always live below their means!

Living within your means  protects you from the curve balls that life throws at you.

As someone who has been frugal for a long time I cannot recommend enough the long term financial goal of always living on less than you earn.

Living a frugal life gives you peace of mind and money in the bank. Check these frugal posts out for more inspiration:

How To Be Frugal in 2019: 155+ Best Frugal Living Tips To Try Today

The Best Books On Frugal Living You Need To Read

18 Fundamental Items In My Frugal Home You Need To Have



Educate Yourself Financially

If understanding debt, 401k’s, ISA’s, investing, shares and pensions are not your thing right now, then resolve to change that.

Information is power!

When you know the right information you can make and informed choice.

There are plenty of books that are aimed at beginners that won’t frazzle your mind.

My top 3 books to start your financial education are:

The Simple Path To Wealth

The Millionaire Next Door

Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover Edition

Related post: The Best Books On Frugal Living You Need To Read


Pay Yourself First

Your future self needs you to save some money now, so you can spend it later. As in many years later.

You do not want to be reliant on social security nor do you want to have to work until you are in your 70’s.

Do your future self a favor, start saving for you today. Create a clear goal to set aside a set amount every payday without fail. 


notebook with planning written across it


Create A Financial Plan

When you set yourself mid term and long-term financial goals you are effectively building a strategy for your money. But it’s only part done for those goals.

Finish your strategy by creating a financial plan for the rest of your money. A key part of your financial plan is your budget.

A budget helps you make your money work for you. It guides your spending, helps you know what you can spend your money on and when you need to stop.

These posts on budgeting will help:

How To Live Fabulously On A Budget (And Save Money)

How To Budget And Save Money Like A Frugal Ninja


Pay Off Bad Debts

Credit card debts and high interest loans all impact your ability to live your life and spend your money today. They can take up a huge chunk of your paycheck.

So make it your goals to get rid of these debts once and for all.

Oh, and don’t add more debt as you pay the old ones off – just saying!

Related posts: How To Pay Off Debt Fast And Still Have A Life

A Debt Story And 21 Things You Can Do To Become Debt Free


Don’t Finance Anything

Make it your mission this year to not take out credit for any purchases. Save up and pay in cash/on your debit card.

If you don’t have the cash, don’t buy until you do.


Declutter Your Finances

Get your finances organized and in tip top shape. Be determined to reduce your expenses so you are paying the best rate on every bill.

Negotiate with existing providers or switch to another company who can provide the same service for less.

There is no customer loyalty reward from companies. In fact they often reward new customers and hike rates for existing customers.

Review your insurances to make sure you are paying for the right level of cover. Remember when you renew to always search the market.

Check out all the tips in this post: Cut Your Budget With Tips From The Experts


roses on white desk with coffee cup and notebook


Always Buy Used

When you buy used rather than brand new, you can save yourself thousands. Never buy a brand new car, you lose money driving it off the forecourt.

But I’m not just talking cars, you probably already have that sorted. I’m talking tools, toys, clothes, decor and anything else.

We live in a society where many people buy new and chuck out their old on a regular basis.

Be different, buy things used via online websites like Facebook, Craigslist and Ebay. Check out your local thrift stores, charity shops and yard sales.

Top tip – Check thrift shops in prosperous areas.  My local charity shops aren’t great but 10 miles up the road is an expensive market town where the charity shops stock some fabulous bargains and quality brands. 


Build Your Emergency Fund

If you don’t already have one then please set this as one of your priority short term financial goals. Aim for $1000 to start with.

Once you have achieved that, then aim for 3-6 months of your survival budget.

Having this amount of money will give you peace of mind and stop you worrying about money and the what-ifs of losing your job or having a health scare.

These posts will help: How To Kickstart Your Rainy Day Fund When You Are Broke

Emergency Fund Examples: 23 (Unexpected) Reasons Why You Need One


don't give up note on notebook


Have A No Spend Challenge Or Two

A no spend challenge is a short term financial goal where you literally freeze spending on anything other than essentials.

What I like about no spend challenges is that they help you to press pause on your spending.

It gives you pause for thought on what you spend money on and why. A brilliant goal to reset your money habits and focus on all your savings goals.

You can start small with a no spend days challenge and work your way up to a week, a month or longer.


Spend Time Outdoors

It might not seem like a money goal but it is in its own way.

Spending time outdoors has many health benefits which will help your finances in the long term.

Time off sick costs money as does medication. Spending time outdoors is also a free activity. You can spend days without spending any money when you go camping and hiking.

Why not commit to getting outside on a hike or a bike every week for 3 months?


The Secret Tip To Achieving Your Financial goals

As important as taking the time to think about your goals, is to write. them. down.

Writing down your goals commits them to memory and to paper. When you write out your commitment to yourself you are much more likely to achieve those goals, however long term they may be. 

This post explains the importance of writing down goals, have a read to get inspired with creating and writing down your own thoughts.

So please, once you have created your money plan, write down those financial goals of yours, keep it somewhere visible. And get cracking on making them become a reality!



pinterest image for 10 financial goals


11 Simple Things That Rich People Do (And So Can You)

white desk with pink accessories - what rich people do

white desk with pink accessories - what rich people do

Did you know that rich people really do have a different mindset to poor people? And I’m not talking a spendy mindset either.

What rich people do is often quite different to what you expect them to do. And I should know.

My extended family is extremely diverse, wealth wise.

Among my extended family I have bricklayers, care workers, Queens Counsel barristers, solicitors, SAHMs, American corp VP’s, teachers and those with an inherited private income.

Yep, you read that right, there are still people in this world who inherit an ongoing annual private income.

I don’t just read about how the other half live, I can see it when we have big family gatherings! And it makes for very interesting conversations and people watching.

I can be as nosy as the next person but I don’t like to go asking these distant relatives how much they earn or inherited, how they got rich and the like.

Of course I’d love to ask though!

No I go people watching instead and love finding out snippets from our conversations about every day life.

I’ll be honest, having been frugal for so long, starting out as a teenage single parent, seeing others with much more money than I will ever see in my lifetime takes a little getting used to.

What I have found fascinating is the mindset of my more wealthy family individuals. They just don’t think, work and live in the way that I, as a poorer person, expected them to.

So what are these differences? What do rich people do that poor people don’t?


Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

(This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more here.)

pinterest image of what rich people do


11 Simple Things That Rich People Do 

If you are looking for magical answers that prove that you can never be rich then I am going to disappoint you.

Because every one of these habits are things you could start doing today. And every day thereafter.

They are not the preserve of the rich and famous. They are habits you could adopt if your choose to.

The question is, are you willing to do what rich people do in order to become wealthy?


Long Term Goals

Goals and targets are very important to wealthy people. I’m not talking just about financial goals either, although they are very important.

I’m talking life goals, life expectations for the family and targets they want to achieve within certain time-frames.

When you set goals you are also creating a plan on how you are going to get there. Because you have those long term goals you do what you need to do in order to achieve them.

Without goals you have nothing to strive for, nothing to make you stretch your comfort zone.

ACTION – Take some time now and draft your long term goals.

  • Where do you want to be in 5 years time?
  • What financial situation do you want to have achieved in 20 years?
  • How much money do you want to have saved for retirement in 10 years?

Review your goals every quarter or monthly to check progress and plan how to achieve them.


a note saying set goals on background of cell phones and calculator


Budget & Prioritize

Whether you like it or not, a budget is truly a wonderful thing and rich people know this. A budget organizes your money.

What rich people do with their money is to make sure every dollar is accounted for and every bill is paid on time so no charges are incurred.

They use sinking funds for those bills and insurances that don’t come every month.

When you budget your money you prioritize how your money is going to be spent.

Spend it wisely, according to your long term goals and you will be building wealth.

Be determined, disciplined and dedicated to your budget and you will reap the rewards of this habit.

ACTION – if you haven’t already, set your budget and monitor your spending to make sure you are true to your plan.



Don’t Spoil Kids With Material Goods

As a parent I have always budgeted for Christmas and birthdays, trying hard, in my mind, to not spend too much.

Knowing that many families around me (both with and without money) think nothing of spending much more, as in hundreds of dollars more, on each of their kids at Christmas.

Buying presents is one area where the habits of the wealthy vs the poor are often starkly different.

My wealthy family members really don’t splash the cash on their kids at these times. 

Indeed they might only get 2 or 3 presents in total and not to the tune of hundreds of dollars.

In fact one Christmas it was remarked upon how many presents DD2 had received – oops! I had tried so hard to stay on budget but I also tried to ensure she had a number of presents to open.

This year she had loads, they were on the cheaper end so I hadn’t completely blown my Christmas budget!

ACTION – consider using the 4 present method at Christmas:

  1. Something they want
  2. Something they need
  3. Something to wear and
  4. Something to read


Focus On Self-Improvement

Rich people utilize their spare time to improve their knowledge on many different things.

They read books from many different genres, including business, finance, economics and self improvement. They keep up-to-date on world affairs through more than just the nightly TV news.

When you have the right mindset, you understand that learning is a lifelong endeavor. Not something you leave behind when you finish college and start working.

Indeed rich people treat self-improvement as a hobby, as something they want to do and as a treat to themselves.

The more knowledge you have, the more you understand the world around you, the more you can utilize this to help you increase your wealth.

ACTION – Visit your local library and take out 2 recommended books in different sectors such as self-Improvement and personal finance.


boy watching tv


Don’t Watch TV

Having read the above self improvement habit, you might be thinking – but I don’t have time for all that.

Yes you do.

Time to improve yourself can easily be found through not watching TV. Many of my family members do not own a TV, nor do they watch via live streaming or anything else.

They just do not watch TV.

They value their time too much to spend it watching TV. They would rather spend their valuable time on things that benefit them and their family in the long run.

According to Wikipedia, the average American watches 4 hours of TV every day. And it’s almost the same in the UK according to The Independent.

That is 4 hours every day that you could spend developing your knowledge and applying it to your life.

ACTION – Start to value your time. Have a TV ban. If you watch it daily, start with 2 nights a week and fill your time with learning something useful for long term personal growth.


Choose Investments Over Cash

The best form of money is money that is working for you to make more money. Rich people don’t save money, they invest it.

If you have been wondering how you can get rich without working, then this is it. Get money working for you so it makes you money.

What rich people do with their money is to invest it for the long term as this is how money makes money. They might have a cash buffer, but not much. Just enough for their emergency fund

Invested money takes time to grow. Save when you are young and you will benefit from many years of compound interest. Which is where the interest you earn, earns interest itself.

Through the hours they have spent on self improvement they have researched investments and spread their money across multiple sectors.

I have been saving money for our future for a long time but I spent the first 10 years or more saving money into cash savings.

Yes, it’s nice to see that money grow (slowly) but these days it doesn’t even keep pace with inflation so you are, in effect, losing money.

Money makes money by being investing in stocks and shares worldwide. In real estate both in funds and bricks and mortar. And in businesses.

Start out small, investing in shares through an index tracker or individual stocks if you have done your research. And keep building your investment base from there.

ACTION – Use your newly found self development time to up-skill yourself on investments. Where can you start investing your money?


graffiti of keep learning - what rich people do


Prioritize Education

A good education is key to a successful career, a great education is even better.

Wealthy people recognize the power of a good education so will prioritize this over many other things.

They will live in crap digs in order to pursue their education. They will go without many things in order to save enough money for their kids to get into a decent school or college.

A family friend sent her kids to private school (a UK private school = one you pay thousands for) and didn’t have a single holiday or getaway weekend for 8 years.

Not with the kids or without them. Because their money only went so far and education came first.

ACTION – Consider what steps you are willing to take to get the best education for yourself and your future children.


Buy Quality

Have you ever bought something only to find it disintegrates after a few uses? There is a saying “Buy cheap, buy twice” and unfortunately it’s true.

When you buy quality items this doesn’t happen. You might pay more initially (or you might not) but quality items last.

I am fed up of buying white goods when they only last a few years. My washing machine is on its last legs.

When it finally goes, I will be buying the quality brand which comes with a 20 year guarantee. I will pay double the price but it should last 3 times as long.

ACTION – Buy less but buy quality. Do your research, don’t impulse buy and buy items that will last.


Buy Used

A brand new car loses almost 10% of it’s value as you drive it off the forecourt. Rich people understand value for money and a brand new car is not that.

When you understand the value of your money and recognize what you can do with it then you will want to ensure you stretch it as far as possible.

ACTION – When you are in the market for a new item, do your research to find it used and marvel at the savings you make.

Sites like Ebay, Craiglist, and Gumtree are good starting points. Get to know your local thrift stores/charity shops for new to you quality clothing.


notebook with planning written across it


Pay Yourself First

When you have long term goals, you have one eye on your long term future. In order to make your future goals a reality, you should prioritize the future you.

The future you (and kids) need you to be saving your money today, for them tomorrow.

If you spend all your money now you cannot invest, or improve your situation.

ACTION – set up an automated payment into a savings account today for the future you. Then do your research on where to invest this money longer term.


Don’t Conspicuously Spend

Rich people do not splash their cash. They are not conspicuous lifestyle spenders.

Indeed, reading the descriptions of the millionaires, how they dress and the cars they drove, in Millionaire Next Door you would be hard-pressed to identify any of them as rich, never mind millionaires.

Because rich people don’t dress rich. They dress quality but the clothes they wear might be 10+ years old.

I don’t think any child born into the wealthy side of my extended family has ever had a brand new cot.

Nor have they had many brand new clothes. Because hand-me-downs are very much a tradition of wealthy people.

When there are perfectly serviceable baby items hanging around the family, it makes money sense to use them. Why spend money for the sake of it?

And what do rich people eat? Very often reduced food, just like me!. I have wealthy family members who make a beeline for the reduced aisle of their grocery store every time. And yes, it is Waitrose, the upmarket store, not Aldi or Asda!

Wealthy people will also use coupons just as much as you or I. Why not use a coupon if you have one? You are leaving money on the table if you don’t.

ACTION – only spend on necessities. Things that move you towards your life goals.


11 Simple Things That Rich People Do (And So Can You)

Seems to me the habits of the wealth vs poor are actually one and the same. Nothing mind blowing in these habits is there? In fact you probably know you should be doing most of them already.

But are you?

Are you actually focused on your long term goals? Focused on improving your life and spending wisely?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of the wealthy ones and it took me a long time, too long, to learn some of these habits.

And no, I haven’t embraced them all. I still watch TV (damn you boxsets and dramas) and I really struggle with the quality vs. cost habit on expensive goods like washing machines and clothes.

What I can tell you is that taking on some of these habits has made a significant difference to our wealth.

We are not wealthy but we paid off our mortgage 10 years early and we have savings and investments. And we’ve only ever earned modest incomes – no six figure salaries here, not even half!

ACTION – What rich people do, you can too. Take note of these habits. Determine that you will do some or all of them starting today.



pinterest image of what rich people do
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The One Thing That Will Change Your Money Life For Ever

white background with gold coffee cup and wire basket of books

white background with gold coffee cup and wire basket of books

If I told you that doing just one thing would save you more money and make you rich would you believe me?

It’s a bold statement so I understand why you might not. But it is true.

Doing this one thing will save you money every day for the rest of your life and make you rich.

As easy as that.

Except, in reality, nothing is ever that easy is it? Or is it?

Hint – it is totally doable and you already do it in many different situations.


Our Having It All Lifestyle

We now live in a world where we can have whatever we want, whenever we want, immediately.

Shops are open 24/7. Decent coffee can be bought in a million different places. You can get food to go, whenever you want and get immediate transport via an app.

You can shop from the comfort of your home, buy anything and have it delivered immediately or the next day.

We don’t even need to wait for the weekly installment of our favorite TV drama now as it is released as a boxset from the get go.

We have an instant lifestyle and expect instant gratification – as long as you can pay for it.


Paying For An Instant Lifestyle

(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more here)

Instant gratification comes at a cost. The more you want instantly, the more money it will cost you.

And money is something you don’t have in abundance.

Because you are now so used to this instant lifestyle you keep spending money when you don’t have it and end up in debt.

You don’t save money for your vacations, you put it on a credit card.

You don’t save money into an emergency fund. Instead you keep your fingers crossed than an emergency doesn’t happen.

This is no way to live a happy life and certainly doesn’t help you become rich with enough money to feel safe and secure.

What you need to do is the one thing that will make the difference.



The One Thing

It’s is such a simple thing and something you already do daily. Unfortunately not for the instances which will help you have more money.


There, how easy is that?

You already say no daily. No to your kids demands, no to the sales assistant trying to up-sell you on something you don’t want. And no to your boss when he asks you to work late tonight for free.


Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

Pinterest image for saying no and changing your money life


Why You Should Say NO

There are times that you need to say no when you currently don’t.

To say no, so that you can say yes to:

Unless you are a millionaire you cannot afford to say yes to every spending opportunity.

If you look at what rich people do, they don’t say yes to everything, they quite clearly say no, on a regular basis.

You need to say no. You need to do it more often.

And you need to be comfortable saying no.


1.Because the future you deserves to have money

Who is the future you? It’s you in later life. The future you doesn’t want to have to be paying off debt because you spent too much in your 30’s.

The future you wants to be able to retire and not be reliant solely on social security.


2. Because deep in your heart, spending too much money does not make you happy

The things you buy and do, make you happy momentarily but not long term.


3. Because you don’t want to be forever overspending

I don’t know anyone who would say they actively want to spend too much now and have to pay it all back when they are in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.


4. If you spend it now you pay for it doubly

In interest and your debt repayments stops you from enjoying the money you do have. 

Why would anyone want to spend $500 a month on debt repayment?

Better to have that $500 working for you in investments, your house repayments or building up your vacation fund.


white desktop with open book, pink flower and cell phone - say no


Tips To Say NO

You already say no on a regular basis so in theory it should be super easy to say no to those times when you currently say yes.

You could just outright say no when someone asks you to part with money you haven’t got.

But you were brought up to be nice and thoughtful of other people. Saying no can feel negative and you don’t want others to think you are negative.

It would of course be great if we could learn not to worry about what others think of you – so freeing.

But that’s a very hard one to learn.


1.Propose a less expensive alternative. If friends are asking you to join them for an expensive meal out, try suggesting an alternative. The cheapest would be supper at your house.

Or you could find a different restaurant, one which is offering a 50% off coupon. Groupon is great for deals like this.


2.Say that unfortunately it’s not in your budget this month but thank you for thinking of me.


3.Be brief. Don’t pad it out with a long, convoluted excuse. Because that is what it will sound like. And it doesn’t sound good.


4.Don’t delay. Don’t say you’ll think about it hoping the other person will forget. I’ll think about it is not a no. Just say no.


5.Find a creative alternative. If you can’t afford the vacation you dream of, find something cheaper. You don’t need to go without. Downgrade your accommodation or holiday nearer home to save on flights.


Things We’ve Said NO To

Having more children. In my family it is normal to have 3 kids. All my siblings have 3 children and my brother-in-law has 4. But we stuck to 2 and money was a big part of that decision.

Having expensive vacations every year. We still had vacations but they were on a budget. And a fabulous time we had too!

A bigger house. In fact we downsized in order to reduce our mortgage in our 30’s.

Lifestyle inflation. As we have earned more money, getting promotions at work and pay rises, we have not increased our spending. We saved the extra money instead.


pens, coffee cup and blue flowers - saying no


Other People’s Lifestyles

You need to carve out your own path towards a richer future. And to do so you must be sure of your self worth.

You are worth investing in. That is money being put away for your future. Money put aside in emergency funds so you don’t need to worry about money.

Your finances will always be different to others around you therefore you should not be trying to spend like others.

If you cannot afford something proposed by a friend, say no.

If you don’t have the cash to put towards your dream vacation, say no.

When your budget doesn’t have $100 a month for take out coffee, don’t buy it.

We feel a lot of pressure from social media, adverts and the lifestyles of the rich and famous. The pressure to do it now because, you know, YOLO and all that.

But you will likely live to 80+ and you don’t want to be scrimping for money then.

Instant gratification promotes FOMO – the fear of missing out. You see it in adverts – ‘sale ends in just 3 days’, and, ‘buy it now before it’s gone’.


The Impact Of Not Saying NO

When you say yes to all the demands on your money, you end up with not enough money to do what you think you should be able to do.

You feel restricted because your money situation is stopping you from doing these things.

Even worse you are spending money on things you don’t necessarily want to do, you just couldn’t say no.

You end up with credit card debt because that is the money you resort to spending when you have nothing left in the bank.

You don’t save for vacations, for emergencies or for your future self.


It’s Also About Saying YES

Saying no is really more about saying yes. Saying yes to the things that will build your wealth and help you to live a richer life.

Say yes to:

  • Learning new skills (increases your earnings and decreases your reliance on others)
  • Enjoying time with family
  • Getting free exercise (reduces future health costs and can extend your life)
  • Enjoying frugal meals
  • Saving money for your future happiness
  • Living within your means


white desktop with white keyboard and pastel colored chocolate eggs


Things We’ve Said YES To

  • Having fun on a budget.
  • Saving for our future selves.
  • Reducing hours at work to re-skill.
  • Enjoying the challenge of paying off our mortgage 10 years early.
  • Having a financial goal to retire 15+ years early (whilst only earning a moderate income)
  • Eating delicious home made food at home


Build Your Willpower

Your willpower and your ability to say no will increase the more often you do it. 

Saying no isn’t always easy. If it were, you wouldn’t have debt and little in savings.

Building your willpower impacts positively on other aspects of your wealth and getting richer.

It helps to build strength of character to do your own thing regardless of outside influences.

To live in the right size house for your family, not the biggest house the bank said you could afford (you can’t).

To learn traditional skills that give you the satisfaction of a job well done, a reduced reliance on others doing things for you and money saved.

If you want more help in developing your ability to say no then these books will help:

You can buy The Art Of Saying No here


you can buy The Power Of NO here.


Say No And Yes To A Richer Future

Saying no doesn’t restrict you. 

It frees you.

Free from the burden of debt. From the expectation of others.

It allows you to choose the right lifestyle for you and your family both now and in the future.

Choose your best life – SAY NO!


pinterest image for saying no and changing your money life



Emergency Fund Examples: 23 (Unexpected) Reasons Why You Need One

red piggy bank with train of coins to a house

red piggy bank with train of coins to a house (emergency fund examples)

Who needs an emergency fund? You do!

You know you do, but still, you don’t have one. So this post is for you. Read it carefully and understand what an emergency fund does for you.

These 23 emergency fund examples are here to get you thinking about why you need to save money.

A key part of getting to grips with your finances is having money put aside for unforeseen events. Having an emergency fund, a pot of money you can dip into in a crisis, is a financial goal you should aim to achieve.

But not everyone sees the priority to do so. These emergency fund examples are solid reasons to get your fund up and running now, if you haven’t already done so.

So what constitutes an emergency to justify dipping into your precious savings?


Examples Of An Emergency Fund In Action

A friend of mine recently had a stroke of bad luck. Her husband is self employed. If he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid nor is he entitled to any sick pay.

Like many men he still loves to play football (soccer) despite his somewhat more mature years! You guessed it, he damaged his knee playing football one evening, resulting in the doctor saying he needed 4 weeks off work.

I was so happy when my friend said they had a 12 month emergency fund. So many people don’t and I had feared the worst. Having that security meant they weren’t worrying about money during those 4 weeks.

And more importantly, he didn’t go back to work too soon due to money issues and cause himself further, long term damage. 

This is just one example of why you need an emergency fund even if both of you are working.

So many families these days rely on 2 incomes to make ends meet. If they suddenly found themselves having to live on one income the family are in real trouble.

Emergency cash and living below your means and being frugal are ways you can insure yourself against future problems.


Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image for emergency fund examples


23 Examples Of When You Need Your Emergency Fund

I really hope you already have money set aside for a rainy day but just in case you haven’t quite got around to it yet here are 23 examples of when your emergency fund will save your bacon.


Emergency Fund Examples At Work

Losing Your Job

You may think you have the safest job in the world but do you want to bet your family finances on it? Some people lose their job overnight, without warning.

It can take months to get a new job and your emergency cash will see you through the job gap.

I worked for the UK Civil Service – the safest job you could have, right? Wrong!

A colleague transferred into our department only to be told that the location he had transferred to was closing down within 2 years.

Worse, he would be expected to travel 90 minutes into London after that if he wanted to keep his job. Instead of the 20 minute walk he had, dropping his child off at school along the way.


Job Relocation

See the example above! Companies and employers have a habit of upping sticks and moving location, or closing down branches and expecting staff to relocate.

If your company did this a) they might not finance all the costs involved in moving and b) can you afford a house in the new location and what about your partner’s job, schools etc?


Losing Regular Overtime

For many people their base salary is not what they are used to receiving. Far from it. Compulsory and ongoing, regular overtime can bump up your salary very nicely.

What if your employer cut all overtime out overnight? Could you adjust your finances downwards immediately?


piggy bank with glasses on surrounded by calculator, and paper charts


Unexpected Tax Bill

One of my blogging buddies recently wrote about an unexpected tax bill they got due to a one off bit of work they did.

They got it covered but could you? If you got a tax bill for £2,000 could you cover that and write a check for it without going into debt?


Retraining Costs

OK, not exactly one of the best emergency fund examples of why you need a pot of cash. If you hate your job or want to get a different, better job it takes money to retrain.

Mr2p got to a point in his carpentry career where he was very unhappy. He decided he had to do something different to keep sane. He dropped to a 3 day working week and retrained in environmental conservation.

We could afford to do this because we had emergency money as a back up. We didn’t want to use it but our budget was very much reduced during this time.

We knew we would likely need extra money in an emergency whilst he was retraining as there was no spare money in our new, tight budget.



Unexpected Illness

You might be the fittest person in the world so illness is not something you are used to. But you cannot take your health for granted.

What if you were in car accident? Or diagnosed with cancer or a life changing health condition?

Could your finances cope with you being off work for say 6 months or not being able to return to full time work?


couple holding hands near beach


Family And Relationships


Being pregnant, expected or unexpected, brings with it some costs. They may be minimal with costs limited to things like travelling to ante-natal appointments or maybe some test costs.

However not every pregnancy is straightforward and complications can mean extended time off work, unpaid.



According to The Street, it can cost up to $233,000 to raise a child to 17 in the US. And it’s up to £230,000 in the UK according to The Telegraph.

Whilst I would dispute those figures for most families on a modest income, there is no doubt that children cost money. Much of which you can and do absorb into your everyday budget.

But what if you were planning and banking on a return to work after maternity leave but you had twins? Could you afford childcare for 2 babies?

Or what about those children who get into all sorts of scrapes, ones which as parents you have to pay out to rectify? Emergency money is extremely useful and necessary when you’ve got children – believe me!


Ill Relatives

When a close family member falls ill you want to be able to drop everything and be there for them. Can you afford to do that?


family picture of man, woman and child (emergency fund examples)


Cheating Partner

Not something I would wish on anyone. But a relationship breakdown, especially one you didn’t see coming, can be very costly.

If you discover your spouse is cheating and that signals the end of your relationship, can you afford to separate?


A Secret Addiction

Many people have addictions, which, left unchecked or unresolved, can destroy marriages and finances. If you or your spouse are addicted to gambling, drugs or alcohol, money will very quickly become a real problem.


Escaping An Abusive Partner

On average those living with an abusive partner will try to leave 7 times before they are able to successfully leave that relationship. Having a pot of money that you can use to fund that escape is therefore essential. 

For further information and help:

In the UK contact Refuge

In the US contact The Hotline 



You can never foresee when you will want to need to attend a funeral. Local events need not cost much but relatives don’t always live locally.

Last minute flights and accommodation always cost more than those planned months in advance. Your pot of cash will help you during these difficult times.


Pet Illness

Pets are family and so you will do whatever you need to do in order to make them well. Which can often mean a large vet’s bill.

One of our cat’s developed a limp. We paid £800 for x-rays, anesthetics and tests to try and locate the cause. Needless to say they couldn’t find anything and he stopped limping after 3 weeks.

He costs us a lot of money every year due to his inability to stay away from a fight!


piggy bank, stacks of coins and a house


Emergency Fund Examples At Home

Rent Increase

Or a large mortgage increase if you own your own home. You don’t usually have the luxury of having fixed housing costs so rent increases can and do happen.

Having enough money to cover the increase until you can do something about it, like move or re-mortgage to a better rate, stops your budget from being blown.



Landlords can choose to evict their tenants for many reasons and doing the right thing morally isn’t part of the equation. You often only get 2 months notice of eviction.

Trying to find a new place to live that meets all your requirements is difficult and there are always extra costs involved. 


Boiler Replacement

Planning to have your boiler replaced in time is one thing. Having it forced on you just as the weather turns really cold is another. Especially if you hadn’t planned for it.

New boilers are a major expense, likely costing upwards of £4,000.


family of 4 walking along the beach shore line


Miscellaneous Emergency Fund Examples

Stranded Abroad

Over the past few years there have been a number of airlines who have collapsed into administration. The most recent one in the UK was Monarch Airline which left 100,000 customers stranded abroad.

If you are stranded abroad you need money to get back, no matter whose fault it is.


Identity Theft

You hear all the horror stories of people having their identity stolen and huge loans taken out in their names. It gets sorted, eventually, but in the meantime your access to credit may dry up.


Cyber Theft

We are in the process of buying a house at the moment and our solicitor has made it very clear cyber theft is a real problem now. Cyber theft often takes the form of criminals intercepting your emails and impersonating others.

I have seen reports of house buyers losing their entire deposit as criminals intercepted their solicitor emails and the buyers ended up transferring money to the wrong account.


Dropping Your Computer/Phone In Water

Thankfully not something I have done but I do know someone who has! When you rely on your laptop for your work or business then you need to replace it fast. A mac can set you back a pretty penny so having emergency cash is helpful.


1950s car on the road


Car Repair Bill

Cars are very reliable these days but when they go wrong, they can go horribly wrong. To the tune of £1,000 or more. 


New Car Cost

If your car needs repairing but it’s not cost effective to pay out for them. You end up with an even bigger bill – a new (to you) car. These days you don’t get much reliability for less than £3,000.


How Much Emergency Cash To Save

How much cash you save into your emergency fund will depend on a few things. Firstly, as a minimum I would encourage you to save at least $1,000/£1,000. 

But that won’t get you very far in a real, long term or costly emergency. It won’t get you a new car. Or keep you going whilst you find another job.

In the ideal world you should aim to save between 3-6 months money. Now that’s not 3-6 months of your actual income.

More 3-6 months of your survival budget that you know you can survive on until you are earning again or the emergency is past.

When you hit an ongoing emergency like losing your job, you won’t carry on spending like you do when all is good. Nope you’ll be on that super tight budget you already had worked out just in case.

Here’s what my normal budget and super tight budget looked like a few years ago:

table of 2 different budgetsOur budgets have changed since then because we no longer have a mortgage.


Top Up Your Emergency Fund

I hope with these 23 emergency fund examples that I have convinced you to either start saving into a separate pot or to top up the small pot you already have.

I know when you are living on a tight budget it can be hard to see those savings just sitting there. But these examples show you just why you should leave the cash alone ready for when your own emergency happens.

I hope it never does.



pinterest image for emergency fund examples


33 Ways You Are Wasting Money [And How To Stop Right Now]

coffee cup with whole coffee beans - wasting money

coffee cup with whole coffee beans - wasting money

Did you know you are wasting money? For sure.

By how much and on what can change depending on your current spending habits.

But the fact remains – you and I will be wasting money, somewhere, right now.

We all like to think we are great with our money but we can get into bad money habits and don’t always realize we could save more money.

When you are struggling for cash it makes sense to take a fresh look at the things you may be wasting money on.


How To Avoid Wasting Money

Learning how to avoid wasting money is all about taking a step back and re-thinking your spending habits.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I need this?
  • Can I afford this?
  • Am I spending too much money?
  • How can I stop spending and start saving?


We all waste money at some point in our lives. When I didn’t know better I used to buy my breakfast on the way to work every day.

That’s 5 days a week, month in month out. And it wasn’t a healthy breakfast either.

Wait for it…. my breakfast in those spendy days was a diet coke and a 125g bar of milk chocolate!

And this was at a time when money was so tight for me – if only I had made better choices.


Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image for 33 ways to stop wasting money


Why We Spend

Unless you live on an island without internet or TV, chances are you are being bombarded by adverts.

On public transport, billboards, websites and TV, it’s difficult to not be exposed to them.

Adverts sole purpose are to get you to spend your money.

Because your spending isn’t planned, it often means you are wasting money on things you weren’t intending to buy.

The key thing is to find the right balance so that you spend your money on those things you actually plan for and want.

And stop the impulse spending, the unnecessary spending.

And then there is the sheer volume of choice that you have everywhere you turn.

Grocery stores are huge, shopping malls are huge. And they are stuff full of things you could buy.

Temptation when you look around you, when you see adverts for some sweet new thing, is the main reason you end up spending too much money.

Related posts:

How To Stop Spending Money You Really Don’t Have

How To Stop Living Beyond Your Means In 10 Easy Steps

7 Inspiring Tips On How To Be Good With Money


We’re Not Perfect

I’ll be honest, we still have cable TV (shocker I know!) so I haven’t included it in the list of things to stop wasting money on. 

I know it’s a waste of money (to me) but Mr2p loves his sport and wildlife programs.

So for the sake of matrimonial harmony Cable TV stays and is deemed to not be a waste of money in the Tuppenny household.

On the other hand I think I make up for the spendy cable TV  by being extremely frugal in other ways.



33 Things To Stop Wasting Money On

1.Too Many Shoes

It never cease to amaze me how many shoes some people have. You have one pair of feet so can only wear a single pair at a time.

Choose wisely with shoes that serve more than one purpose.

At an average of $50 a pair, every pair you don’t buy is $50 saved.


2. Jewelry

I was a big fan of big earrings – the bigger the better. And funky rings.

But then I became a teenage single mum with bills to pay and realized two things.

  1. Big earrings are uncomfortable and get in the way of me living life – they don’t mix well with long hair, and
  2. They cost money I didn’t have back then

A few well chosen accessories will mean more to you and help you avoid wasting money.


3. Energy Drinks

These are a pet hate of mine.

I do not understand why people feel the need to be drinking these when they are going about their normal, non-active life.

As for young children drinking them – aargh!

Eat a healthy, balanced diet, get some exercise and enough sleep and you will have enough energy for your everyday needs.


4. Dry Cleaning

My local dry cleaners does a ‘bargain’ of 5 laundered items for £18. You wear more than 5 items a week just to work.

That’s a lot of money just to get a few items clean.

Having inadvertently bought a dry clean only top I made it my mission to never do so again. Always check the labels and steer clear.

Avoid wasting money on this and then you don’t need to worry about all the chemicals involved in the dry cleaning process.


4 pink piggy banks for how to stop wasting money


5. Pink Tax Products

The female versions of grooming products like razors, shaving cream and moisturizers can carry a premium in comparison to the male versions.

My pet bug bear is pink razors.

Buying Mr2p his razor and blades highlighted to me the additional cost the pink versions come with.

Avoid spending extra and buy the right products for you regardless of who they are marketed at.


6. Phantom Electricity

Otherwise know as the electricity you waste when you leave electrical items on standby.

My pet hate is my dishwasher. It lights up to tell me it’s finished and stays that way until I turn it off.

Multiply that by all your other items and you’ve definitely got wasted money and phantom electricity happening.

Turning every appliance you can off at the socket can really help you save electricity.

Related post: How To Keep Your House Warm In Winter And Save Money


7. Impulse Buys

Impulse buys are often the biggest waste of money and always a risk if you shop as a form of leisure.

You didn’t need the item before you went shopping so could easily not have bought it and saved 100% of the cost.

Related post: 10 Things I Don’t Do or Buy


8. Weight Loss Aids

By this I mean supplements, special branded diet food, exercise gadgets etc.

As a previously overweight person who still struggles with portion control I know how easy it is to get sucked into purchasing the light and diet versions. And classes. And gadgets.

The biggest factor in helping you lose weight is willpower. The willpower to say no. The willpower to eat less and be more active.

Willpower is free, but not easy.


openwhite piggy bank with silver coins around it


9. Paying For Debt Advice

When you are in a lot of debt seeking advice is crucial and sensible.

Many debt advice firms charge and arrangements made through them will cost you a fortune over the repayment period.

Always seek out the free advice available to you.

In the UK you can access free debt advice at:


Citizens Advice

In the US you can access free debt advice at:

National Foundation for Credit Counselling


10. More House Than You Need

Over the past 50 years houses have got bigger but the families living in them haven’t.

Now it’s not enough to have one living space, we want 2 or 3 separate areas.

If you look at what rich people do, (and I mean truly wealthy, not people spending like they are rich but actually have a ton of debt) they don’t buy big or expensive.

Save money by living in a house that is big enough for your needs and no more.


11. Lottery Tickets

The odds of winning the UK lottery jackpot are 1 in 45,057,474 and the Euromillions jackpot are 1 in 139,838,160.

Leave your pipe dreams behind and focus on saving your money.

If you usually spend £5 a week on the lotteries, that’s £260 a year you can save towards something special.


12. Driving Too Fast

Accelerating hard and braking often are fast ways to use more gas than you need to.

Drive more moderately and remain conscious of your acceleration for a smoother, cheaper ride.

Hypermiling could save you up to 25% on gas!


close up of small piles of gold coloured coins


13. Name Brand Medications

You can easily pay over the odds for standard medication by reaching for the brand you see advertised all the time.

Buy the generic brand instead and save up to 70%.

In the UK it can be cheaper to buy medication over the counter than pay £9 for it to be subscribed by the doctor.


14. Vaping And Smoking

Many people vape now instead of smoking and it can be less expensive than buying cigarettes.

But it’s still a habit you don’t need and should avoid wasting money on.

Nicotine is present in some vape products and is a highly addictive substance that keeps you hooked on both them and cigarettes.


15. Buying New

Buying new, whether that is cars, houses or tools comes a hefty price in comparison to buying used.

Wait a year or two to buy a car and it’s price will have dropped by 30% or more.

Buying new items is one of the key things to avoid if you can.

Save money by using Ebay, Craigslist, Gumtree and other sites for lightly used tools, toys, furniture and other goods.


16. Paper Towels

These are a needless expense. Use washable cloths instead to not only save money but also to be that little bit more eco-friendly.

Related post: 50 Frugal Habits That Are Also Eco Friendly


17. Wet Wipes

Another needless expense that you can save money by ditching.

They’re not environmentally friendly either as they do not biodegrade easily.

Use washable cloths instead.

Related post: 18 Fundamental Items In My Frugal Home You Need To Have


18. Excessive Couponing

Couponing is addictive, I get that, and it can save you money.

But only coupon for products that you normally use and in normal quantities.

Stockpiling 100 bottles of something you use rarely isn’t sensible. And it encourages the cycle of shopping and spending.


shopping receipt surrounded by grocery products and tins


How To Stop Wasting Money On Food

19. Individual Portions

Why pay someone to cut your food and wrap it when you can do this yourself?

Individual wrapped portions, pre-sliced food and ready cut vegetables all come at a premium.

Don’t waste your money, buy the whole product instead.

18 Things We Cut From Our Food Shopping List To Save Big Money


20. Airport Food

Anything you can buy in an airport comes at a costly extra. You are a captive audience with time to burn.

Come prepared with your own food and plan meals around airport time.


21. Buying Too Much Food

You start out with grand plans for lovely meals at home then those plans fall by the wayside and you end up wasting food.

Annual food waste figures show they can be as high as 30% of all food bought.

If your grocery budget is $600 then you could be wasting up to $200 a month on food.

Meal planning is your friend and will help you reduce food waste to a minimum.



22. Famous Branded Products

Brands spend a fortune on advertising to convince us their product is worth paying the extra for.

But blind tests have proven that this is often not the case. As do those people who work in the factories packing food items.

Drop down a brand to stores own. Try the value brands – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The value brands are a great way to stop spending too much money on food.

We cut our grocery budget for 2 by over 20% when we embraced value brands.


table with wine, cheese, breads and tomatoes


23. Service Station Food

When you are on a long road trip, regular stops are essential to keep tiredness at bay. 

Stopping at a service station doesn’t mean you must buy their pricey food.

Bring your own pack up, a flask of tea or coffee and snacks and you are good for 12+ hours.


24. Bottled Water

You know it, I know it. We all know it.

Water is a precious commodity and freely available in our homes for a fraction of the cost of one bottle from the store.

Be prepared, take you own reusable water bottle and refill for free.

Related post: 10 Ways To Save Money On Your Water Bill


25. Coffee To Go

And the same goes for coffee. Make your own and take it with you when out and about.

I’ve used my hot drinks flask almost daily for over 7 years.

I reckon I’ve saved more than £7,000/$9,000 in that time.


lots of bronze coins spread on dark background to show how to stop wasting money


8 More Things To Avoid Spending Money On

  1. Newspapers – go online instead
  2. New books – use your library or buy used
  3. ATM fees – plan your cash differently
  4. Credit card interest – pay balances off in full every month
  5. Sat navs – use a free app on your phone instead
  6. Credit reports – you can get these free
  7. Pedigree pets – rescue centers and shelters are always looking for pet homes
  8. Warranties – Products should last a reasonable time, if you think it won’t perhaps you need to reconsider buying it in the first place?


How To Stop Wasting Money

That’s 33 things you could avoid wasting money on. How much money could you save if you stopped buying just half of those?

What to do now?

Take a step back and look at what you do buy and what you don’t. Think about whether you actually need to keep buying what you buy. 

Think about saving that money instead. What could you do with that money?

Understand your triggers – look into why you spend when you spend.

If you are in a cycle of overspending then take some time to analyze why you are overspending.

The root cause is rarely about liking nice things and is usually tied up in an emotion.

Use cash not card – cash is always harder to hand over, plastic doesn’t feel real until the bill hits.

Related post: Why You Should Use a Cash Envelope System to Manage Your Money

Use the 30 day rule – wait 30 days to buy something, that way you’ll know if you really want it. Often, you’ll find you don’t, thereby saving yourself some money.

Set yourself some financial goals – save up for something you truly want.



pinterest image for 33 ways to stop wasting money

How To Save For Your Dream Vacation This Year

beach with wave lapping at edge of sand

beach with wave lapping at edge of sand

No matter where you are with your finances, I am sure you are thinking about how to save for a vacation this year as most people do after working hard all week.

When you are trying to stop living paycheck to paycheck the last thing you think you can afford is a vacation.

The good news is, of course you can!

You can do whatever you set your mind to and I’ll help you see how to save for a vacation even on a tight budget.


How Much Do You Need For A Vacation Calculator

To be successful in saving enough money for your dream vacation you need to start with the end in mind and calculate the total cost.

What vacation is it you are dreaming of?

Do you just want to take a relaxing break with the family, location not too important, or have you got your heart set on a warm, tropical island somewhere?

The answer to the question, how much do you need for a vacation, is very much dependent on your vacation dream of course.

So the first thing you should do is work out and calculate one of two things. Either:

  1. How much are you willing to spend (in total) on one holiday? or
  2. Where specifically do you want to go on vacation this year?



Specific Vacation Plan

When you have a specific vacation in mind then you can break down the costs of this vacation. Costs that may include:

  • Flights & transfers
  • Car hire, insurances and petrol
  • Accommodation
  • Food and drink
  • Entertainment & excursions
  • Holiday insurance
  • Special clothing & equipment if relevant (e.g. ski wear)

Doing your research now will really help you focus on achieving your holiday goal and help you make decisions on what you want in your holiday and perhaps what you don’t want or need.


Willing To Spend Plan

There is less work involved if you choose to set a budget for the total cost of your holiday. However you do need to factor in whether you are being realistic with your budget and what you can get for it.

I once decided to set my goal at £2,000 for a family of 4 to go to France or Spain (just a short hop from the UK) in the school holidays.

I plucked that figure out of the air as it was a lot of money for us, a huge amount of money.

Unfortunately, £2,000 doesn’t go very far if you are looking to fly and stay in a hotel for 2 weeks.

However, we couldn’t afford more without taking on credit card debt so we stuck with our vacation budget and became flexible with what type of vacation we had.

We still went to France and had a fabulous time staying in a mobile home having driven there instead of flying.

Setting a budget without an exact holiday in mind is a good way to achieve having a vacation on a tight budget.

Make the savings and fit your vacation plans around the money you do have, rather than worry about money that you don’t have.

Vacations are very flexible things. You can go camping, hiking, stay in a mobile home, a hotel, self catering accommodation, fly, drive, or take the train.

Have two weeks in the sun, a week, 10 days, 5 days.

There is a vacation to suit every budget so set your budget and let’s start saving!


Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

(This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more here)

Pinterest image of beach - how to save for a vacation


Why You Should Save For A Vacation

For me, the most important thing you get from your vacation is time to relax and unwind from the stresses of daily life.

You cannot achieve that relaxation if you have gone into debt to get that holiday.

The stress of knowing you have (more) debt to pay off once you get back home can be a real damper on your relaxation time. So my number one tip for you is don’t pile stress on yourself.

Do whatever you have to do to save for your vacation, but don’t go into debt. It’s not worth it.


How To Save For Your Dream Vacation This Year

Ring Fence Your Vacation Savings

You need to open a separate savings account for your vacation money.

Having it in a separate pot allows you to see it build up and know when you are close to achieving your goal or whether you need to do a bit more to do so.

As your holiday money is for this year, you’ll need an easy access account for your money. Choose the account with the best interest rate as long as there are no penalties for withdrawing your money.

If you lump your vacation money in with any other savings you have, the total sum gets lost.

You want to see clearly what you have saved so far and how much you still have to save to reach your vacation goal.


Automate Your Savings

You probably see this advice on every article about how to save money. The simple reason is that it works.

Set up a regular schedule so that your savings get taken from your main account as soon as you get paid.

The money is safe away from your usual spending pot and there is no temptation to dip into it.


Re-do Your Budget

If you already have a budget and every penny is accounted for then you’ll know that in order to find more money to save something has to change.

Your budget is an important step in learning how to save for a vacation.

Tweak your budget, find a few pounds here and there, make some changes to free up your holiday cash.

Because it is for your dream vacation, you will be willing to make these budget tweaks.


derwent water reflection - how to save for a vacation



Put Your Vacation On Your Priority List

When you are on a budget your money will only go so far. If you can’t have it all (and who can these days?) then choose what is important to you and allocation your money accordingly.

Your vacation is important, more important than eating out once a week, so make those choices and save the money for your vacation instead.


How To Save For A Vacation – Earn Extra Money

Sell your Unwanted Stuff

When you are trying to save for a vacation on a tight budget, sometimes cutting your budget is not enough.

If you have unwanted items in your home, why not give them a new home and earn a little money in the process?

You can sell your stuff on places like:

  • Facebook
  • Gumtree
  • Craigslist
  • Ebay
  • Preloved


Earn Money From Your Hobby

If you have a hobby that you enjoy, you may be able to make some extra money from it.

Ring fence everything your hobby earns you for your vacation fund. You can read more about hobbies that can make money here


paintbrush and carpet of flowers how to save for a vacation



Pick Up An Extra Job

There are often part time, small jobs that are available that you could use to top up your savings. Jobs such as bar work, waiting tables or care work.

Alternatively there are jobs you can do from home. These 3 jobs are an excellent way to set your own hours, work from home and earn decent money:


1.Freelance Writer 

Freelancer writers get to work from home, in their pajamas, at a time of their choosing.

Everything you read on the internet is written by someone so why not you as a way of making extra money for your dream vacation?

Gina has a great post on how to become a freelancer writer broken down into 7 easy steps including where to look for your first jobs.

Gina started her own freelance writing business in her spare time and within a few months was earning more than $4,000 a month.

If you like writing but are not sure what you would write about then why not download Gina’s list of 200+ freelance writing niches?


2. Proofreading

As a proofreader your role is to find the mistakes on things such as novels, newspapers and cookbooks. 

You get to work from home and choose your own hours so proofreading can fit around your existing commitments.

Find out more about proofreading in the FREE 76 minute workshop that Caitlin Pyle runs.

Caitlin provides advice on how you can start your own quality proofreading business and how to find proofreading jobs and your first clients.


3. Virtual Assistant (VA)

A VA is basically an online assistant, organizer and support and typically works for small businesses, entrepreneurs and bloggers.

Anything that can be done online could be completed by a VA from anywhere in the world, including your front room.

Gina Horkey has a FREE ebook detailing more than 150 services you can offer as a VA.

Why not have a read of this free ebook and see whether you could be earning money for your dream vacation as a VA from home?


coin piles and a piggy bank how to save for a vacation



Make Your Home Work For You

Here in the UK we can earn up to £7500 each year tax free with the Rent A Room Scheme.

If you have a spare bedroom you could rent it out to students, contractors or anyone else on a short term or longer term basis.

Alternatively you could earn money renting out a room through Airbnb.

If you live in a city or somewhere with restricted parking you could also earn money renting out your driveway.

I’ve used JustPark to rent someone’s driveway when visiting London. For as little as £5 it saves me the congestion charge and driving into central London.


Use Credit Cards To Earn Air Miles Or Cash Back

If your dream vacation involves flying then using a credit card that rewards you in air miles or free flights is a no-brainer.

Plan your spending so you use that card for everything.

Cash back credit cards can work in a similar way. Spend on those cards, watch the cash back grow then use every penny towards holiday essentials.


Pay With Cash

I’m a great believer in getting cash back from your credit cards wherever you can.

However I also know in my heart that I spend slightly more money when I use my cards more.

Using the cash envelope system gives a really good focus on your money and how you spend it.

If you haven’t got loads of wriggle room in your budget but are desperate for a vacation then consider using cash for a couple of months to help you ramp up your savings.


pennies and coins moving into a piggy bank - how to save for a vacation


How To Save For A Vacation On A Tight Budget

When you already have a tight budget, saving money just gets a little harder and you have to be a little more creative. So how do you save for a vacation on a tight budget?

You focus on every little aspect of your money.


Cut Back On Your Grocery Budget

We often have a little wriggle room in our grocery budget so this is an area you could put more focus on to realize some savings.

Focus on bulk buying, cheaper frugal meals and cutting back on a few of the treats that often up in our trolleys.


  • Skip drinks when you go out – water is good!
  • Reduce your utility costs – turn the thermostat down, line dry your clothes, wear an extra layer.
  • Track your spending so you know where every penny goes
  • Aim to focus on your needs, not a bunch of your wants (your vacation is your big want)
  • Always live below your means
  • Keep your loose change
  • Reduce your car use – walk more
  • Pack your lunch
  • Have friends round for supper instead of having a meal out
  • Cut your entertainment budget – rent DVDs instead of going to the movies

Remember every penny counts.



young family walking on beach - how to save for a vacation


How To Save For A Vacation In 4 Months

Saving for a vacation in 4 months is totally possible but you have to consider a couple of things.

  1. be realistic about the vacation you are planning, and
  2. you might need to go down the extreme frugal living route to make it happen.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being extreme in your money saving.

If you are adamant you want that vacation in 4 months then you will be prepared to do what you have to do in order to achieve it.


How To Save For A Vacation Every Year

If you want a vacation every year (and who doesn’t?) then the best thing you can do is to save for that vacation every month.

Build your holiday into your core budget. Treat it as one of your essential bills and build your spending around it.

I hope you have a fabulous vacation!


Pinterest image of blue water - how to save for a vacation

How To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck The Frugal Way

purple and white flowers in a basket with a clear milk bottle full of water behind

Tired of living paycheck to paycheck?

Do you crave a different life?

Living paycheck to paycheck with no savings is a tiring and emotional roller-coaster.

You’re never sure if you’ll have enough money for all your bills each month and you worry about the unexpected happening.

Because you couldn’t cope if it did.

Yet so many of us do live paycheck to paycheck without thinking why and how we ended up like this.

Spending everything you earn and more, because it’s there, is just so easy to do. 

You have access to credit cards, overdrafts and loans to encourage you to spend more than you earn.

And everyone around you seems to be doing the same.

purple and white flowers in a basket with a clear milk bottle full of water behind

According to the Financial Samurai, living in San Francisco and earning $300,000 a year means you are likely living paycheck to paycheck!!

Now I appreciate there are cities around the world that are super expensive to buy a house in, and yes you do need to earn more to stay afloat.

But paying $1,650 for food and $400 for clothes for a family of 3 every month?

Personally I don’t consider that living paycheck to paycheck!

$300,000 is a figure I cannot actually comprehend as it’s so far above anything Mr2p and I jointly have ever earned.

Regardless of your income, it is time to stop living paycheck to paycheck.

Stop spending money you really don’t have, embrace the frugal life and start living the life you want and deserve.


What Does Living Paycheck To Paycheck Mean?

Having read the above article I had a bit of a brain wobble.

Maybe I had it all wrong about paycheck living?

Maybe I was confusing being thrifty with being a cheapskate?

So I turned to Google to find out what living paycheck to paycheck actually meant.

I honestly thought I was going a little mad because my definition certainly does not include a $1650 food budget for a family of 3 every month.

That’s $19,800 or £15,100 a year.

That’s a full time wage for many people.

As someone who has lived frugally for many years the idea of those spending levels as being an acceptable minimum/norm for a family of 3 or 4 is something I cannot comprehend. 

I’m the person who usually has a grocery budget for 2 of around $35/£30 per week, that’s around $150 a month, way less than the $1,650 a month for 3.

I do have some extreme frugal living habits which seem perfectly natural and sensible to me.

I’m not super eccentric or cheap, just careful with my money which has allowed me to save enough to retire 17 years early. 

So yes, I struggled with those figures and accepting they could be true.



Here is the definition from the financial directory of Investing Answers:

Paycheck-to-paycheck means a lifestyle in which a person does not save money and would incur significant financial stress if he or she does not receive his or her next paycheck.


That meaning reassured me I hadn’t got it wrong but worryingly, on a totally different level, it also fits with the Financial Samurai’s point.

It’s just not a level that I can comprehend coming from a frugal background for so many years.

If you earn £300,000 a year but spend every penny every paycheck without saving, then you would incur significant financial stress.

Exactly the same as if you were living on a low income and spent it all without saving any.


couple doing their finances with paperwork and calculator surrounding them to signify stop living paycheck to paycheck


How Living Paycheck to Paycheck Can Affect You

Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed with what you should or could be doing to try and save money and stop living beyond your means.

You don’t know what you should or shouldn’t do.

So you don’t do anything at all to make the changes you need to change how you spend your money.

You know you need to start living on less but don’t know how to get started.

Because you are overwhelmed and stressed about your money situation you can have physical health problems, have difficulty sleeping at night and your relationships can show the strain.

You know budgeting needs to happen but it can seem pointless when you can’t save any money and are stuck on the paycheck roller coaster.

Worrying about money is a way of life, you worry about what you are spending, what you are not spending and end up a little stress bunny.

Not good!


Child holding house and tree in hands against spring green background - stop living paycheck to paycheck.


Frugal Living Is The Answer

When you are tired of living paycheck to paycheck with no savings and want to stop, frugal living and all that it offers can make the difference between success and failure.

Many people talk about all the things you must do without to get out of the paycheck cycle.

All that you must cut out, stop doing, miss out on, if you are going to balance your books and start saving money.

Whereas if you embrace all that frugal living has to offer, you are no longer doing without but enjoying what you do have. 

When you live frugally you do make choices about what not to buy, but you are making positive choices.

It’s never about depriving yourself.

It’s about making conscious decisions to make different choices.

As a frugalista you learn to love living within your means.

You don’t beat yourself up for the decisions you make, you recognize that you are human and have foibles that you need to work with.

I love being frugal, I treat it as a challenge and get a buzz out of some of my money saving habits.

There are times when I don’t think about trying to save money and spend more than I had planned.

But because I have been frugal so long I never go mad and blow my budget out of the water.

It just increases a little one month and decreases again the following month.

No-one likes being told they can’t do something but choosing to do differently is much more appealing and acceptable to us all.

Frugal living will give your mental health a boost.

Taking positive, affirmative action for both you and your family now and your future self allows you to relax because you have got you covered.

So if you’re tired of living paycheck to paycheck and want to start saving money and paying your bills without stressing, read on for some great, positive tips that I promise will help.


Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!


pinterest image for how to stop living paycheck to paycheck


(This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more here.)

48 Simple Frugal Ideas To Help You Change

I have created this list of the perfect yet simple frugal tips to help you avoid living paycheck to paycheck with no savings.

These tips will help you reduce your spending and hopefully start saving money even if it’s only a few dollars to begin with.

Being frugal will help you look after your pennies and make your money stretch further.

Your dollars can start to grow and you will stop having more month than money.

These brilliantly frugal yet oh so simple ideas will help you to break the cycle and have enough money to last until you next get paid.

Indeed I am confident that embracing most of them will give you a blueprint on how to budget and save money.

You will be able to stretch your money further and stress less.

If you are less stressed then your brain and your frugal bones will work better to save even more money.

You may also like: 

How To Live Fabulously On A Budget (And Save Money)

Live Cheaply – How You Can Win At Living On Next To Nothing

12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings


48 Simple Frugal Ideas To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck

    1. Use the cash envelope system to budget your money each payday
    2. Drop down a brand on your food items
    3. Walk more – for all distances under 2 miles
    4. Invest in a flask mug and take your own coffee to work daily
    5. Learn to say no
    6. Pack your lunch everyday
    7. Create your own work uniform
    8. Use up leftover food
    9. Reduce food waste to a minimum
    10. Don’t eat out
    11. Cook your own fakeaways instead of buying takeaways
    12. Use the sniff test to determine if clothes really need a wash
    13. Use a wind and solar powered dryer (rotary clothes line!)
    14. Wash clothes on a short, cool cycle unless they are super dirty
    15. Have no spend days
    16. Go to bed earlier instead of heating your house for longer
    17. Use blankets to keep warm instead of turning up your heating
    18. Switch appliances off at the socket to save electricity
    19. Have a new clothes shopping ban
    20. Use charity shops if you need a new (to you) clothing item
    21. Don’t buy stuff
    22. Have a soup and toast meal once a week
    23. Create a meal plan around what you have in your pantry/store cupboard
    24. Make your own stock from meat bones
    25. Save water

      coin piles and a piggy bank stop living paycheck to paycheck

    26. Have fun money
    27. Combine car journeys to use your car less
    28. Create your grocery shopping list from your meal plan
    29. Grocery shop just once a week (or less)
    30. Create a list of cheap meals you can make from your store cupboard
    31. Only buy what is on your grocery shopping list
    32. Don’t succumb to top up shops midweek
    33. Make your own cleaning spray with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda
    34. Close down your internet browsers before you buy anything
    35. Track your spending
    36. Create a budget
    37. Grow your own vegetables
    38. Turn off lights when you leave a room
    39. Keep your energy bills low
    40. Forage for food in season (e.g. blackberries)
    41. Learn DIY skills
    42. Substitute ingredients in recipes if you don’t have something
    43. Pay yourself first
    44. Learn to drive hypermiling style
    45. Unsubscribe from your favorite store emails
    46. Embrace free & frugal entertainment
    47. Don’t treat shopping as a leisure activity
    48. Become a mystery shopper
    49. Wait for your favorite movies to be shown on TV instead of the cinema
    50. Join your local ParkRun to get fit for free


rustic tableau of wicker planter, ceramic lidded pot and galss bottles against a distressed wooden background


My Frugal Life

I have used every single one of these tips at some point in my life, many of them together. My favorites are:

  • having a work uniform
  • having my own flask for tea (I so do not do coffee, and £2 for a teabag? I think not!)
  • packing my lunch (usually a yummy salad)
  • using my wind and solar powered dryer (thanks to Helen and Caroline for their brilliant description of a clothes line)


In fact right now I am using 39 of these tips, not because I have debt to pay off (thankfully), but because this is how I choose to live my life.

For more money saving advice have a read of all the tips from finance bloggers in this post: The Best Money Saving Tips Of 30 Frugal Living Bloggers

Related reading: How To Be Frugal: 200+ Best Frugal Living Tips To Try Today

What frugal tips do you use to help you stop living paycheck to paycheck? Why not share in the comments?



Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

pinterest image for how to stop living paycheck to paycheck

These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Stop living paycheck to paycheck with these super frugal yet super easy money saving tips.
Such great tips! Stop living paycheck to paycheck with these super frugal yet super easy money saving tips.Such great tips! Stop living paycheck to paycheck with these super frugal yet super easy money saving tips.Such great tips! Stop living paycheck to paycheck with these super frugal yet super easy money saving tips.



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These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
These 48 simple frugal tips will help you to learn how to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
Stop living paycheck to paycheck with these super frugal yet super easy money saving tips.
Such great tips! Stop living paycheck to paycheck with these super frugal yet super easy money saving tips.Such great tips! Stop living paycheck to paycheck with these super frugal yet super easy money saving tips.Such great tips! Stop living paycheck to paycheck with these super frugal yet super easy money saving tips.

The Best Cash Envelope Wallet To Help You Love Cash Budgeting

brightly coloured envelopes with cash on wood background

brightly coloured envelopes with cash on wood background

It’s a widely accepted fact that the cash envelope system can turn your money situation round if done correctly.

Gone will be the reliance on credit cards and loans.

Instead in comes the more slightly difficult act of handing over your hard earned cash.

Using a cash envelope wallet allows you to track your money on a daily basis and never use the wrong cash category for the wrong item.

Always having your envelopes to hand is key to operating the envelope system successfully.

And a decent wallet helps you do just that.


First Things First – Will The Cash Envelope System Work For Me?

Using a money envelope system can work for everyone, as long as you follow a few ground rules.

I detail how to be successful using this system in my cash envelope system post but to summarize how it works:

  1. Create categories for spending you would otherwise make in cash or on a card.
  2. Ignore categories for bills that are automated
  3. Always take your envelopes with you
  4. Don’t spend on your credit card and try and re-balance your cash – it won’t work


Your envelope categories mean you are going to be handling and using your wallet a lot. Categories are likely to include:

  • groceries
  • clothes
  • entertainment
  • kids activities
  • gifts

So your wallet needs to be sturdy to stand the test of time and being constantly used.

Paper envelopes really don’t last and look super shabby super quickly, trust me.


Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more here)


pinterest image of woman holding open empty cash envelope wallet


Why Spend Money On A Cash Envelope Wallet?

Truth be told there is no need to spend money on a cash envelope wallet. Plain white envelopes are perfectly fine and you probably have spares lying around at home or in your stationery pile of you are organized.

I used a diy cash envelope wallet for the first couple of months as I didn’t think it made financial sense to be buying something when I was trying to control my spending.

If you are wondering what the diy cash envelope wallet is – it’s just plain old envelopes you have lying around the house!

Indeed I reused the same envelopes as I saw no necessity to use new ones each week.

I just crossed out the previous week’s budget and wrote in the new one.

However, after a while I started to feel a bit cheap although I know I shouldn’t have.

After all, how I manage my money is entirely up to me and I shouldn’t worry about what others thought.

But I did and more so was the feeling that I just didn’t like those envelopes.

I like a bit of color and pizzazz in my life and as I was only spending money on essentials there wasn’t a huge amount of pizzazz going on.

So I decided to invest some of the money I had saved using the cash budgeting system on a really nice cash envelope wallet.

I figured if I had a wallet I really liked and was proud of I would feel better about using it long term and be happy to pull it out at the checkout.

So I invested in a cash envelope system wallet from Amazon and it was the best thing I did.

I loved that wallet and it helped me stick to cash budgeting long after I think I would have given up if I’d stuck to boring manila envelopes.



Criteria Wallets Need To Meet

    1. decent number of dividers (4-6)
    2. must have coin storage as you’ll get change in each category likely
    3. not too bulky – don’t want A4 size carrying around
    4. fairly strong given it will have coins and be used often
    5. prefer separate compartments to close but not essential
    6. needs to be its own thing not part of something else so can take to the shops as is
    7. affordable

Bella Taylor Cash Envelope Wallet

This is the most flexible and practical of cash wallets.

With 8 different slots for your cash budgets, and labels you can customize there is plenty of room for all your cash budgeting categories.

The 8 slots are then secured in a zippered compartment so no worries about losing the cash if you are opening your wallet to show your ID card or get your phone out.

bella taylor cash wallet

Dimensions of the Bella Taylor cash system wallet: 4.6 inches x 7.87 inches

There is also a separate zip coin purse on the back.


  • With 8 compartments it should be enough for all your budget categories
  • good size and zipper overall


  • each slot not zippered so coins held within these slots have potential to get mixed up if wallet is shaken about.

Price – at the time of writing this article you can buy the Bella Taylor cash system wallet for around $43


Wildflowers Handmade Cash Envelope System Wallet

I love that these fabric cash envelopes wallets are handmade by someone who designed the style herself having used a cash budgeting system for a long time.

Made from laminated cotton and 6 tabbed dividers means this will be able to cope with being used daily.

Size 3.75 inches x 7.5 inches


  • handmade by an independent seller
  • good size with 6 dividers


  • doesn’t ship to the UK so I can’t buy it!

Price – at the time of writing this article you can buy the Wildflowers fabric cash envelopes wallet for around $24


Savvycents Wallet

This wallet comes with pre-printed and blank labels so you can categorize the inserts according to your budget categories.

It has 5 separate compartments which should be sufficient for most people.

With a strap to keep your cash compartments closed when you open the wallet it also has a full zip to keep everything safely inside

It also has a handy wrist strap that many reviewers absolutely love, which can be tucked right away when you don’t want to use it.

savvycents cash envelope wallet


Size 8 inches x 4 inches


  • great range of colors
  • handy wrist strap


  • only 5 compartments so if you have more 5 categories it won’t work for you
  • doesn’t ship to the UK so I couldn’t buy it

Price – at the time of writing this article you can buy the Savvycents wallet for around $30


Thrifty Zippers Oilcloth Wallet

Now this is me – I love a bit of pink even if I think I am a bit old for it! It has 6 zippered pockets so easy to keep all your coins for each category separate.

Made from oilcloth means its wipe clean and you’ll be hard pushed to get it dirty. You can label each pouch and change the labels if you need to, helpful when you are not a cash budgeting seasoned pro.

Size 8 inches x 4 inches


  • the zippered pockets make it perfect for coin storage
  • wipe clean oil cloth


  •  the flip side of those zippers is that it is much bulkier than the other wallets I have mentioned

Price – at the time of writing this article you can buy the Thrifty Zippers oilcloth wallet for around $45


DivvyUp The Savvy Spender

This is slightly larger than some of the other wallets but that’s not a negative as you know you’re going to be able to fit phone, cash, multiple envelopes and everything else that seems to find its way into your purse!

I’m not always a fan of black purses and bags as I prefer a splash of color but this wallet has a lovely pink strip coursing across it and overall it looks extremely stylish.

You can buy extra cash envelopes by Divvy Up described below so if the 5 that come with this wallet aren’t enough you can add to your collection.

size 8.5 inches x 5.25 inches


  • you can add more envelopes if you have extra categories
  • being larger you can fit extra purse items in it
  • it ships to the UK!


  • slightly larger so if size is an issue this might be a little too big
  • only 5 envelopes are included which might not be enough for some people (but you can buy more)

Price – at the time of writing this article you can buy the Divvy Up Savvy Spender wallet for around $40


Divvy Up Magnet Cash Budgeting Envelopes

5 of these come with the Divvy Up wallet above but if you want more envelopes or to use them with another purse then these are just the ticket.

They come in 5 different colors which makes reaching for the one you want easy and quick. They have mini magnets in them so they stay closed easily.

Using these with a large purse or bag means you can leave at home the wallets you don’t need and reduce the risk of dipping into a category when you don’t want to or shouldn’t.

Size 3.5 inches x 7 inches

Alternatively you can use these as a pretty way to give cash at Christmas.


  • mini magnets keep them closed
  • can use these with your existing purse


  • magnets keep these closed in the middle but are unlikely to stop coins falling out if held the wrong way

Price – at the time of writing this article you can buy the Divvy Up magnetic envelopes for around $20


Lamare Budget Envelopes

These are a great budget range if you don’t want to carry a whole new wallet/purse. With 12 envelopes you’re never going to run out of categories.

A nice bonus is they include budget sheets which fit neatly inside each envelope to help you track your spending in each category.

They’re made from sturdy, thick, laminated paper so should last a decent amount of time with space to label each one.

Size 7.1 inches x 3.2 inches


  • 12 envelopes
  • great price


  • just envelopes, not a wallet
  • wear and tear on these might make them less long life than other options

Price – at the time of writing this article you can buy the Lamare Budget Envelopes for around $14


Make Your Own DIY Cash Envelopes

If you are a crafty soul then you may well be thinking – why buy when I can make?

And I would agree with you! Making your own cash envelopes and possibly the wallet to hold them is a great way to save more cash and I envy you if you do so.

I found this simple fabric cash envelopes tutorial over on SewVeryCrafty. 

These fabric envelopes allow you to run riot with your fabric choice and you don’t need to limit yourself to using them for your cash budgeting.

You can make extra and use them as gift envelopes as per SewVeryCrafty’s original intention.


Enjoy Using The Cash Envelope System

Whichever cash envelope wallet you choose, whether to splash a little cash or make you own.

Enjoying the use of your wallet and envelopes will really help you enjoy the advantages of your cash budget and help you stick with it long term. 

pinterest image of a pink and brown closed cash envelope wallet