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Finding a balance: How to save money without missing out on fun

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When it comes to managing your money, striking a balance between saving for the future and enjoying life now is key.

To do this, it's important to understand your own financial habits.

Ask yourself, are you a spender or a saver?

Let's find out.

Signs you may be a saver.


  • You track your expenses using a budgeting app.
  • You reuse gift wrapping paper.
  • You only shop during sales and clearance events.
  • You feel guilty after making big purchases.
  • You prefer to fix things instead of buying new ones.

Signs you may be a spender.


  • You love giving gifts to others.
  • You collect rare or limited-edition items.
  • Your Amazon delivery driver knows your doorstep better than their own.
  • You buy products on release day.
  • You eat out at restaurants several times a week.

Understanding where you lean can help you shape a financial plan that fits your lifestyle.

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Tips for savers:

If your goal is to be a saver, setting clear goals is your starting point.

Think about what you want to achieve in the short term (like building an emergency fund) and long term (like buying a house). Make these goals specific and practical so you know exactly what you're aiming for. Here are some ways you can achieve your savings goals:

  1. Automate your savings. Set up automatic transfers from your paycheck to your savings account. It's a simple way to make sure you're consistently putting money aside without even thinking about it. Out of sight, out of mind!

  2. Limit impulse buying. Before making a big purchase, wait 24 hours. This cooling-off period helps you determine if it's a necessity or just a fleeting desire. (Unless it's a pet, those are certainly never impulse purchases)

  3. Try living frugally. Look for ways to save on everyday expenses, like cooking at home instead of eating out or using coupons when you shop. These little changes can add up to big savings over time.

  4. Track your expenses. Keep a record of where your money goes each month. This helps you identify areas where you can cut back and redirect funds towards savings goals. Consider opening a high yield rewards checking account to get paid on the money you keep in your account.


Tips for spenders:


If you're more inclined to spend, creating a budget is your best friend. Knowing how much money you have coming in and where it's going out helps you make smarter decisions about your spending.

Need specific examples?  You're in luck:

  1. Use cash for discretionary spending. Allocate a set amount of cash each week for discretionary expenses like dining out or entertainment. Once it's gone, resist the temptation to dip into other funds.

  2. Invest in quality. Sometimes spending more upfront on higher-quality items can save you money in the long run. For example, durable clothing or appliances may require fewer replacements over time. 

  3. Be mindful of your spending. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if it's something you really need or something that will bring you lasting happiness. Being thoughtful about your spending helps you avoid impulse buys and stay on track with your financial goals.

  4. Use credit cards wisely. If you use credit cards, pay off the balance in full each month to avoid interest charges. If earning points is your thing, rather than committing to a high-interest credit card, look into checking accounts that offer cash back on your purchases.


Relevant Article: The 4 types of monthly spenders

Finding a middle ground.

Balancing saving and spending means finding room for both in your financial plan.

Set aside some money each month for fun stuff, whether it's a vacation or just a night out with friends. Having this "fun money" helps you enjoy life while still working towards your bigger financial goals.

Don't forget to regularly review your finances. Life changes and so do your priorities. Check in on your budget and goals regularly to make sure they still make sense for where you are now.

Lastly, celebrate your milestones. Whether it's paying off a credit card or reaching a savings target, take time to acknowledge your achievements. It keeps you motivated and proud of your progress.


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