My 3 Life Hacks to Help you Budget and Save

I’m a huge money saver. When I got to college, I really learned I had to make the most of every penny I had, and I really needed to start keeping track of my spending. I really never had any idea what to do with my money until I met John. I just spent on what I wanted to spend on and that was that. I didn’t realize the importance of saving and investing, learning about my financials has been a life changer! We all don’t always see where all of our money is going and today, I’m sharing with you 3 things that really changed the game for me saving money, keeping track of my spending, and allowing me to make the most of the money I had.

1. Mint

Mint is a finance app that literally changed my life. This app has so many amazing features like setting up separate savings for big purchases like a tv, a down payment on a home, or a vacation. The best thing about this app is the budgeting aspect. It averages how much income is going into your accounts every month and then based off of your bills that you input and your savings goals, it tells you how much you have let over to spend. Once you know that amount, you can divide it up based off what you want to spend it on, so you can decide you want to spend $100 on eating out and $200 on shopping and thats it. Or you can decide you want to spend $120 on hair appointments and $50 on alcohol and thats it. If you spend too much or get close to your limit, it sends you a notification to hold you accountable.

If you’re like me and have lots of accounts, you can link them all up along with your credit cards to keep track of everything in one place. It even lets you set up automatic bill pays so you don’t have to worry about that either. If you are willing to stay within the means you set for yourself, this app will help you save and reach your financial goals without you having to think twice about it.

2. Acorn

Acorn is another app for your phone that I use to save. John actually taught me about this app and it is the best place to put your long term savings. Acorn is a long term investment app that allows you to independently create easy investment portfolios to help your money grow over time; basically it’s an investment app. If you’re trying to save for a wedding, a down payment on a house, a new car, a huge vacation, this is what you need.

This app is meant for you to save money in for 5+ years. You add money into the account like a savings account, but your money is in an investment portfolio that you pick out. No, you don’t need lots of knowledge about stocks and all that for this! You just select the amount of risk you want to take, they show you where your money will be going, and you can change your portfolio at any time! Your money can grow around 5-10% in a year, which is 5-10% more than it would in a savings account at a bank.

3. My vacation savings sheet

So I downloaded this off the internet probably 3 years ago and I don’t remember where I got it from, but it has helped me plan every trip I’ve ever taken, big or small. It lets you enter in every aspect of a trip to see how much you’re estimating to spend before you even go. It’s so much easier to plan, when you can see how much each aspect is going to cost you so there’s no surprises.

I heavily recommend over estimating how much you think you’re going to spend on things like restaurants, souvenirs, and gas/taxis because you’d rather plan for too much than not enough. If you do this before you even book a single detail of your trip, you can use this to put into Mint to start saving for the trip! No surprises and you can see where you can cut costs to go on as many trips as you want!

To download the travel budget sheet click here and follow the instructions!

Later down the line, I will share my tips with you guys on how I set up my accounts, how much I’m saving out of my monthly income, and how to make the savings grow and not be inclined to touch it! I hope these tips get you started on the right track to start saving some money in the long term!