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7 Ways To Save Money On Discretionary Spending

People don’t typically organize their spending. By splitting your expenses into two different groups, you’ll be able to cutback on costs that you may not need.

Did you know that the average American spends around $6,080 per month? That is a lot of money! So, understanding the difference between discretionary and non-discretionary spending is very necessary for taking control of your finances.

Treat Yourself!

Let’s start with discretionary spending. This category is all about your wants, not your needs. It’s the money you can spend on fun stuff like eating out, going to concerts, or buying that new gadget you’ve been eyeing. This category is flexible, and you can adjust it based on your income and goals. For example, if you’re saving for a vacation, you might cut back on eating out to free up some extra cash.

Non-Discretionary Spending

On the other hand, non-discretionary spending covers the must-haves. These are the bills you can’t avoid, such as rent or mortgage, groceries, utilities, and transportation. These expenses are typically fixed or don’t change much month-to-month. In contrast to discretionary spending, there’s little wiggle room here.

My Advice To You

Now that you understand the difference, here are some tips to help you save on discretionary spending:

  • Budget for Fun – First things first, set aside a specific amount for discretionary spending each month. This helps you avoid overspending and keeps your fun money in check. For better ways to budget, check out these apps!
  • Cash Is King – Consider using cash for discretionary purchases. This way, seeing the money leave your wallet can make you more mindful of your spending. Moreover, it can help curb impulse buys since handing over cash makes you think twice before making a purchase.
  • Deals and Steals – Before you buy something, don’t forget to look for discounts or coupons! There are tons of apps and websites that can help you save on dining, entertainment, and shopping. By taking advantage of these resources, you can significantly reduce the cost of discretionary items.
  • Plan Your Fun – Don’t just wing it! Instead, planning your outings in advance can help you find happy hour specials, early bird discounts, or other ways to save.
  • Subscription Savvy – Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Are you still using that gym membership or streaming service? Consider cheaper alternatives or cancel what you don’t need. By streamlining your subscriptions, you can free up extra cash for discretionary spending that truly matters to you.
  • Wait and See – Before you buy something non-essential, give yourself time to think. Ask yourself if you really need it or just want it in the moment. The urge to buy often fades after a few days.
  • The 30-Day Rule – If you see something you like, wait 30 days before buying it. This approach helps you decide if it’s a passing fancy or something you truly need.

Financial Freedom, Not Deprivation

Saving on discretionary spending isn’t about feeling deprived. It’s about making smart choices. By following these tips, planning, using cash, and being mindful of your purchases, you can still enjoy the good things in life without blowing your budget.

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