- Small choices, thoughtfully made, change the world in the best ways. – Teresa Miller Archer
- Everything is a choice
- Decisions can make great change in your life
There are lots of articles about small changes you can make in your life to save a ton of money, but many of them focus on not buying coffee, or getting a fourth roommate. While those may, in fact, be viable options for you, there are additional things you can do to help yourself out when it comes to finances.
Instead of spending money on all the things, figure out what you really need. Jeans are ripped? Lucky you, that’s a fashion statement. Not what you want them to look like? Sew them yourself. Or put a patch on them. Learning to sew simple seams, and even hemming pants, can save you money when it comes to clothing.
Yes, you can make your coffee at home. But if that’s not for you, see if your local café has a frequent buyer card where you earn freebies. In exchange for your email address, many places will give you a free coffee after you’ve purchased five or ten. It doesn’t save a whole lot, but gets you in the mindset for the day you use it that you can earn free things.
Walk places, ride your bike, take a scooter. There are ways to get places without a car, if you don’t have one. Don’t hitchhike! It’s not only potentially dangerous, it’s illegal in many places. But you can carpool to the office to save gas money. Twice a week you drive, twice a week someone else drives, and that last day you can alternate.
It’s important to be aware of what purchases you’re making. If you drink and shop late at night online, that may be a problem, and you could end up with a Mona Lisa iphone case when you have an android, or a Nicholas Cage reversible sequin pillow when it’s not something you either want or need.
In the same way, be aware of your spending. If you’re saving up for something, maybe don’t buy that coffee out – make it at home and drink it on the way. Don’t spend on other items while you’re saving for something else.
This can apply to savings for retirement, too. If you know that your main goal is to retire and open an apiary, this should inform all of your spending decisions. Definitely max out your 401k savings at work, and the matching company offer. That’s a small change that’s almost automatic. But you can deposit other money for the future as well. Do you need a bottle of Bond No. 9 New York Perfume? Or could that money go into your future fund, where it can earn interest and help you reach your goal even faster?
Small changes are really a change in mindset. Instead of looking at the world exclusively as a consumer, look at it as a participant. Whatever you’re doing to try and change the world, take full ownership of it, and live you life that way.