Have you been thinking about how you’ve been spending your money lately? Maybe you haven’t – and that’s totally ok. The way we spend money is like a fingerprint – no two are alike, just as no two peoples’ spending habits are alike. While we all may spend a little differently, there’s one thing we might all have in common. Everyday purchases in your household probably look similar to your neighbors’: groceries, pharmacy, gas, entertainment, and money spent on common expenses like monthly bills or banking fees. And, while we know most of those are probably unavoidable, that doesn’t mean there aren’t easy ways to manage your money a little better and help you save on those everyday expenses.

The simple ways you could save money on everyday purchases 

Money management doesn’t have to be scary or hard. After all, introducing money management into your life has to work for you: your lifestyle. There’s never been a better time to start being aware of how and where you’re spending your money. Habits don’t build themselves overnight, but these money management tips are things you can start doing right away to add a little more savings to your bank account.

1. Create a budget that works for you

Creating a budget comes down to a few simple things, like calculating your monthly income and deducting your non-negotiable expenses, such as rent or mortgage, electricity, water, food, internet, phone bills, gas, and more. When you’re able to assess how much your non-negotiables are, you can see how much money is leftover. That is your discretionary cash, which can be used on non-essential items. The thing about having a budget is knowing what you need to pay for, what you want to pay for while considering what your short- or long-term financial goals are.

Make a plan on how much you can realistically spend on non-essentials and how much you want to allocate for your financial goals. You know yourself best, so be realistic with yourself.

The key thing is to see how much money you have or have spent throughout the month. Checking in is a good way to know if you’re meeting your budget, and you can adjust where necessary.

2. Track your spending

After you’ve created a budget, a good rule of thumb is to check in on your spending. This can be a daily check-in or a weekly check-in. Keep receipts, write down expenses in a diary, and watch your online banking statements. See how much money you’ve spent on the essentials versus non-essentials. By doing this throughout the month, you are more accountable to your budget and ensures you’re not veering off track.

3. Create a grocery shopping list

One of the most common areas where people overspend is at the grocery store. This is for two reasons: we buy things we don’t need and because we tend to waste food. Making a well-rounded grocery shopping list means you’ll avoid impulse spending and buying items you won’t use. Think of your grocery list like a grocery budget. Determine what you need for your fridge and pantry for meal prepping and snacking. Once again, be realistic. If you know you’re going to be eating lots of meals out, then you don’t need to buy as much food that’ll end up in the garbage. For the items you do need, consider buying generic brands, and try to limit buying prepared meals and cooking more meals from scratch. Nothing tastes as good as a home-cooked meal.

Another good tip is to keep a running grocery list on your fridge. These are your usual go-to items, so you’ll never forget them when you go grocery shopping.

4. Curb emotional spending

With more time spent at home and in front of our screens, we’ve been tempted to purchase shiny new objects, a good chunk of which we probably don’t need. Clothing, accessories, gadgets—you name it. Emotional shopping is very much a temporary distraction, but it can get pretty expensive. If you find yourself pushing around a digital shopping cart, consider replacing that habit with a less expensive one. Learn to relieve your stress with a physical or artistic hobby, or write in a journal. Look at it as an opportunity to learn how to stay accountable to your budget and avoid the non-essential spending often associated with emotional spending.

5. Become more mindful of your purchases

Before you make a purchase, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Why am I buying this?” Will you be happy with it? Will it add value to your daily life? These important questions will help you eliminate the purchases you don’t need to make. The beauty of having a budget means that when you ask yourself these questions, you can see if they align with your expenses you set out in your budget.

Being mindful of your money means feeling good about how you’re spending your money, It doesn’t mean depriving yourself of things you enjoy. It’s about finding the right balance of wants and needs.

6. Redirect money into savings accounts

If you’re spending more time at home, that means you, unfortunately, haven’t had the chance to travel, go to the movies, or eat out at your favorite restaurants. That means money saved on those discretionary purchases can be moved into a savings account. You can set up a weekly or bi-weekly withdrawal from your chequing account.

This way, you won’t even feel it! Watch your savings grow and save toward future travel. 

7. Download Ampli to earn cash back on everyday purchases

You can manage the money you spend on everyday expenses with a free app. Ampli is a Canadian cash back app that helps you earn cash back when you shop at partner brands. From pharmacy to meals, winter clothing, skincare, wellness products, and much more, you can earn cash back. That’s extra cash just for doing your regular shopping.

Using Ampli is simple. Connect a bank account to Ampli, start shopping online and in-store at partner brands, and watch your cash back balance grow! You’ll have access to exclusive deals and offers in the app. Best of all, you can download Ampli for free on your iOS or Android.

Set yourself up for money management success

Combining these helpful money management tips with a cash back app like Ampli means you have an excellent plan to save on your everyday purchases. Start earning cash back today when you download Ampli for free.

No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ampli Inc. or its affiliates.  This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial, or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. 

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