As most of you know, in addition to offering Intuitive Eating Coaching, I also offer Financial Coaching (working on getting a services page up for this, soon!).
Before I got serious about saving, I remember putting money into my savings account, only to spend it all on a single shopping spree. I’d think, “Ooo, $800! Let’s go shopping!”
Over the years, with commitment, correction, and big perspective shifts (which I teach my clients) Marco and I have met many of our financial goals.
This has not only felt like a great accomplishment, but has allowed us to finally feel comfortable to be able to invest in the things that make us fulfilled—a house, our camper, our sweet Abby (raising a pup has been an investment).
Something that might surprise you is that in order to save more, we didn’t cut out the things that we value most (the things that bring us the most joy).
Instead, we looked at our spending and cut out the things that didn’t bring us joy, when we really looked at them.
In reading the changes we made, you will be inspired to make your own shifts. And if you need any help, well that’s what I’m here for!
1. Gym Membership
I used to love (and still do) my step classes at the gym. However, when I began running outside, I realized I loved it more than being indoors (especially living in California).
So I canceled my gym membership and haven’t looked back.
If running isn’t for you, you can even consider an online membership like Simi’s Unmeasured barre workouts—they certainly cost less than most gym memberships and you can do them right from your home.
Marco on the other hand still loves the gym, so we invest in a membership for him (it is in line with his values).
Noticing a perspective shift?
Budgeting is a tool to help you enjoy more of your values.
(NOT a tool to suck the fun out of your life.)
2. Coffee Each Day
This adds up. You know me, I love my coffee. Coffee actually IS on my values list. I love the joy it brings, the connection it sparks, and how it creates something happy to do in the middle of the day.
However, there’s a difference for me in grabbing a to-go coffee in a hurry versus planning to go to coffee as an intentional treat—a special thing to enjoy.
I now save my coffee for when it feels special.
3. Brand Specific Groceries
Grocery stores have so many options nowadays, and I have found that most grocery items taste the same regardless of the brand. It’s the same with generic brands at Target, etc. Simple way to save!
Unless something is on sale, I will usually buy the less expensive brand option (considering that the quality holds).
4. Splurge Purchases
This was a HUGE change that I chose to make.
I love change and being spontaneous, and oftentimes this meant buying something just because I felt like it in the moment. The impulse felt fun!
But, a few days post-purchase, I would forget about the item all together or regret buying it.
Now, if I want something that feels like a splurge, I will give myself at least 48 hours to think about it. If I still want it after those 48 hours, I will look at my budget and see if it fits.
If it doesn’t fit for that month, I will write it down on a sticky note reminding myself to make room for it in next month’s budget.
More often than not, I don’t even want it next month. (But if I do, it feels great knowing I can plan for it.)
Reusable water bottles. Coffee cups. Dishes. Towels. Bags. It all saves!
My assistant, for example, bought cloth reusable paper towels and they have been a game changer for her. She saves so much money in the long run and easily throws them into the laundry to reuse.
This also includes using what you already have.
Using the five 3/4 used shampoos and lotions you already have. Using the 10 different hand soaps you have before buying a new hand soap. Using the candles you already have. Wearing all of the clothes in your closet before buying more.
Use what you have first. I cannot emphasize enough how much money this discipline will save you.
6. Car Payments
I talked about this in a blog post you can read HERE, but Marco and I decided that we wanted to sell his truck and have only one car last year. We did this to have zero car payment.
Now, this might not work for everyone, especially if both of you have commutes. But maybe you could consider trading in your car for a used car to save money each month. Or, make a plan to pay your car(s) off.
Today, we have three cars (how’d that happen!). Short story: we were given a 17 year old Toyota Corolla as a second car, and when we sold our house, we reinvested in a truck/camper combo (a HIGH value for us!).
We take great care of our cars (thank you Marco!). They align with our values and fit into our budget, and there are no car payments. Which for some of you would free up an extra $500-$1,000 in your monthly budget.
7. Take Out
Each Sunday, I make a grocery list for Marco and I. We cook once, eat twice for our meals, which you can see examples of in all of my daily eats posts HERE (when I cook dinner, there’s always leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day).
Most of our meals are cooked at home, as this saves money and allows it to feel like a fun treat when we do eat out. We incorporate an eating out category into our monthly budget.
8. Subscription Services
Take this time to re-examine your subscription services.
Do you really watch HBO? Or do you mostly stick with Netflix? Or do you still really enjoy that subscription box you signed up for last year?
Do an audit of every single subscription you have and cancel out all the ones that you don’t use daily. If you end up missing it, you can ALWAYS bring it back.
I did this with my gym membership as an experiment and found that I did not miss it and exercised more without the membership. Win-win!
This is in alignment with number 8. Now that there are so many TV subscription networks, paying for cable may no longer be necessary for you.
Oftentimes, you can find the same TV shows on Netflix or Hulu.
Better yet, you might discover that you get to be more present with your family when you no longer have cable TV.
10. Prepackaged Foods
Prepackaged foods, while convenient, are more expensive than whole foods.
While we are all still at home (mostly), you could try to make simple recipes that use cheaper ingredients.
In my daily eats, I share a lot of ideas that are 5 ingredients or less that you could get inspiration from.
Note: this does not mean that I don’t buy pre-packaged foods, I certainly do. But I do my best to buy as many whole foods as sounds good to us.
Ready to Have Financial Freedom?
Do you want to have a larger savings account, be consistent with your monthly budgeting, and feel GREAT about money? You will learn how when you take my Budgeting & Savings Workshop.
Come join us in The Growth Vault, where the Budgeting & Savings Workshop lives (I’ve been told time and time again it’s a very different approach to budgeting than you’ve heard before).
See below for proof! (I got two texts this morning sharing just how impactful the workshop is for the women I coach!)
“I feel peaceful with money, my husband and I are on the same page with our monthly budget, and I have a plan to make continued progress on my own.”
When I reached out to Paige for help I was ready to make a change. I had previously had Paige as my intuitive eating coach, so I knew having her help around money would be just as helpful. Before our first call together, I felt excited to get started! I knew she’d help me get to a better place. More than anything, I wanted to feel calm, organized, and content (in one word, I wanted to feel: peaceful). I made the decision to start coaching with Paige.
Each session Paige encouraged me with accountability and check-ins around my action steps. She supported me in working through any blocks that came up along the way, was always there for an email or text check-in, and helped me get to each next step in feeling calm and organized around money.
Today, as we revisited where I’m at with money, I can say that I feel peaceful with money, my husband and I are on the same page with our monthly budget, and I have a plan to make continued progress on my own. I am proud of myself for making changes these past few months!
I would recommend Paige's financial coaching to anyone who is confused or disorganized around money. If you’re not sure how to budget (or you find budgeting boring and restrictive!), or if you need a little extra help/push to get organized and feel empowered with your money, Paige is your coach. Give it a shot! You have nothing to lose, and financial empowerment to gain!"