10 Lifestyle Changes To Spend Less To Save More Money

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That time when you gotta save more and be a lot more mindful of how you spend your money, you know you have to make some lifestyle changes for this.

It’s a real thing you have to do, as painful as it sounds.

Maybe you need to save for that non-existent emergency fund or that vacation you had promised your best friends that you’ll be joining at the end of the year – but this all comes down to you saving more moolah and spending a lot less than usual.

You gotta make that money makeover, girl.

But don’t lose your hair out just yet, it’s not as tough as it sounds.

I’m sharing the different lifestyle changes I’ve made over the years when I was rather tight with money. I had also perfected my expense tracker track sheet (Read: How To Track Expenses with Spreadsheet) to make sure I’m controlling my money instead of money controlling my awesome life!

I hope you can somehow get inspired by these tips, feel free to adopt some that suit your lifestyle! Or if they don’t, go ahead and do the changes that suit YOU. 🙂

10 Lifestyle Changes To Spend Less To Save More

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1. Bringing Coffee To Work

I have never been a fan of getting my coffee from the coffee shops. But I do like to get Starbucks maybe once a week when I was at the office.

It’s not that I like the coffee better, but sometimes I thought that that would make me look more like an adult – I do have the tendency to be mistaken as a teenage girl due to my height but that’s a story for another time. But yes, buying and bringing Starbucks coffee to work made me feel like I was really adulting.

Twisted, but true.

So I gave some thought to what kind of coffee I really like to have in the morning and maybe try finding ways on how I could make it at home before leaving for work.

I landed on lukewarm Americano in the morning. No sugar and just strong enough for me to sustain in the morning. Lukewarm because I don’t like hot beverages… And iced Americano in the morning is kinda weird.

So to the internet, I wenttt! Googling on how to make the best Americano – and it’s probably the simplest coffee you can make at home.

I bought the coffee beans (from IKEA), grounded them, and have made my own very coffee at home ever since. 🙂

The french press is kinda fancy and takes energy to wash in the morning. So after a while, I just landed on instant coffee (yes, I know. Reserve your judgment!). It’s practical enough in the morning and I don’t have a lot to wash afterward.

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2. Doing Intermittent Fasting

When I first started my corporate job, I gained at least 5 kgs from snacking in the office and eating out a lot. We have a 24/7 cafeteria in the office..so it’s hard to hold yourself from going a floor down to check on what’s on the menu for the evening tea.

So, I gave intermittent fasting a go and within 6 months, I’ve lost those 5 kgs I’d gained.

I didn’t really watch what I eat per se – probably the reason why it took some time for me to lose those extra kgs. But I do eat only within that 8-hour window.

It’s become my go-to way whenever I wanna lose weight or my cute muffin top.

Muffintop GIFs | Tenor

Other than helping me to lose weight, intermittent fasting has actually helped me to simplify what I eat in a day.

I obviously skip breakfast and only have my Americano. I will either have a big lunch or dinner and will go lighter on the other meal.

I, can’t, cook.

I’m just terrible at cooking so I order food most of the time. But with intermittent fasting, I realized that I only need to be ordering 1 meal a day, depending on which time of day I’m the hungriest.

So by doing this, it kinda saved me a lot of money too. Not saying that you should be doing this and not eat. But this is just one of the lifestyle changes I’ve made that got me saved some extra money.

Fun fact, did you know French people have been doing intermittent fasting to keep their weight down all this while as a lifestyle?! Amazing.

 

3. Sticking To My 10 y/o Car

I’ve had my car once I graduated from high school. Yes, my parents bought one for me, and yes I was a spoiled child.

My mum accidentally offered my eldest sister to give her a car if she gets straight As in her final exam (equivalent to SAT). My sister is lazy but she’s really smart. My mum made a mistake. My sister got straight As, and she got the car.

So when that happened to my sister, it kinda just rippled down to the rest of the siblings..

Anyway, back to my story – the car now is 10 years old and I don’t have any intention of getting a new one. I am actually thinking of selling it off (the money, of course, will go back to my parents). Ever since I quit my job and went full time freelancing at home, I just don’t see any reason why I need to buy or keep a car.

However; if one day I do have a family and need a bigger car, I’ll definitely get a second-hand car.

Inspired by Dave Ramsey, a 2-year-old second-hand car.

But, for now, I don’t intend to change my car and whenever I can, I’ll take public transportation as it’s definitely cheaper than paying for gas & parking.

 

4. Downsize From Lavish Condo To A Small Room

I used to stay in a lavish condo. The owner made a wonderful job renovating and decorating the house. It was really hard saying goodbye to it.

lifestyle changes to spend less to save more

But I need to face the harsh reality.

Even though I’ve gotten a really good price for the unit, there was absolutely no reason for me to stay there once my office’s relocated and my roommate goes back to France.

I don’t wanna be paying the full rent AND be farther away from the office.

So I adulted, and I moved out.

I moved into my friend’s place, renting the small room in her apartment. Just by doing this, I had saved more than $1,400 per month!

Plus, I got to play (and live) with my friend’s 2 adorable cats named Bob and Percy.

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(Guess which one is Bob and which one is Percy)

 

5. Know What You Love & Hate

This will need some thinking to do on your side but in essence, you gotta know what you really love & hate spending your money on.

This is very personalized as everyone’s pattern is different.

For me, I hate spending eating out. I just don’t find it to be worth it to spend my money eating at fancy restaurants or cafes just for the “vibe”. I prefer to order in and have friends over. It’s more comfortable, you can wear your pajamas and the environment is a lot more intimate.

Yes, I’m an introvert (sometimes. Well, most of the time).

But I do love spending on the wellness bit. I spend a lot on crystals just because I love the energy of having crystals around me.

I keep Pyrite Cyrstal everywhere I go in my purse. Yes, I’m that lady.

But I guess, you might not be that crazy crystal lady. So you just need to figure out what you love and hate. This is so that you can cut spending on things that you don’t find necessary and splurge on the things that give you a sparkle of happiness. And this is how you live your rich life, as to how Ramit Sethi would say it.

 

6. Track & Budget

Tracking my expenses is something that I really love to do. I’m not sure whether everyone in the room feels the same (probably not). If you want to know more about how I usually track my expenses, read here.

Pay that man his money gif 6 » GIF Images Download

I like to track my expenses just so I can budget my spendings properly.

It’s better when you know where you usually spend your money the most, so you’ll be able to give that category a higher monthly/yearly budget.

Budgeting is pretty crucial when you wanna take control of your money.

Even if you just want to settle your bills, debts, put some money into savings and investment accounts without keeping track of whatever left for you to spend on, you are more likely to burn that money quickly before you get to your next pay.

Because there’s always something “new” that we wanna buy every month before our next pay and we would think we actually have the money for it – when most times we don’t.

I would suggest doing a budgeting exercise for a few months so at least you’d know how much roughly you’ll be spending AND needing each month.

If you’d like to get my EXACT budgeting template, you can grab it below! 🙂

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7. Online Yoga Membership/ Free YouTube Videos VS Gym Membership

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I used to subscribe to a gym when I was in college and a year after I graduated. I realized that I never actually went to the gym 90% of the time.

Except for when I was still in college. I went to a boot camp every week so it was a different setting and a lot more encouraging to go to. Also, it was way cheaper.

After burning my money every month without ever going to the gym after the first 2 months (it’s a yearly contract), I learned my lesson never to subscribe to any gym again.

What I do to still keep a consistent workout now is to subscribe to online classes. In this case, I subscribe to Alo Moves, for yoga classes and paid about $100 for the whole year. They were having a promo at that time. They are STILL having the promo, so it’s not too late to grab it! The usual membership price is $80/month.

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It’s still cheaper than becoming a member of a yoga studio here for a month.

I do practice yoga a lot, a few times a week so I think it’s something that I don’t mind paying for.

But other than yoga, I will definitely turn to YouTube videos. I workout using Chloe Ting’s YouTube videos – they are actually very good! You should give it a try.

And…. with that, there’s no reason for me to go to the gym anymore.

By doing this, I had saved more than $1,400 a year.

Gym per month: $129
Alo Moves per month: $8.3
The difference in a month: $120.70
The difference in a year: $1,448.40

 

8. Be That Lady With The Bottle

I had adopted this habit from my sister, of having a bottle with me everywhere I go.

It’s not a fancy looking bottle, by the way. Just a normal Tupperware bottle.

I usually bring a 1-liter bottle with me to the office, to lunch, to the mall (I bring a big bag) cause you just never know when you’ll get thirsty.

I lost count of the times I’ve ended up not buying any drinks at the mall when my friends do. I’m also not sure exactly how much I’ve saved – but by looking at the eco-friendly side of it, I’m kinda proud of myself to drastically reduce buying plastic water bottles.

 

9. You Don’t Need To Spend More Because You Earn More

I’m guilty of this.

I got an 80% salary increment last year and spent 80% more as well. I’ve learned my lesson well and fast (thankfully) so I still managed to save more than usual when I was still at the job.

Read: How To Switch Jobs To Get Better Pay

I know it’s good that you get this pay raise, but it doesn’t make it okay for you to spend a lot more just cause you earn more. Really, the old saying goes: it’s not about how much you make, it’s about how much you save and invest.

The rule of thumb when you have a pay raise is to divide the increment by half. The first half is for you to enjoy and what’s left is for you to put into your savings or investment account. Preferably investment once you’ve got that emergency fund & protection (insurance) sorted out.

 

10. Spend Only What You Need On Makeup

I personally have stopped buying a lot of makeup.

I found that the industry will never really stop producing new makeup products. So it’s up to me on how to really control my wants and only buy things that are necessary. Yes, makeup to me is a necessity because no one is bad enough to deserve looking at my dark circles.

So yes, I still buy makeup products. Sometimes they are on a higher price tag but it’s okay because I don’t buy or have 3 different foundations for 3 different “occasions”. I have 1 foundation for which I will buy a new one once that finishes.

The same goes for concealer, face powder, and so on.

Here’s a screenshot of what makeup products I had actually bought last year in 2019.

to spend less to save more

Total is 589.99 in my currency, convert it to USD, it’ll be USD137.21  for the whole year 🙂

I really only buy the things that I need the most. And I had saved a lot of money comparing to those years where I will always wanna buy the new raved products being reviewed by YouTubers.

This goes the same with skincare products. Below is the screenshot for my skincare buys last year.

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Total is 822.79, converting to USD: USD191.35 for the whole year!

Remember to ONLY buy the things that you need when you’re trying to save more money.

 

What’s Your Lifestyle Change To Spend Less To Save More?

So I’ve shared my lifestyle changes so now you gotta share yours :p

Have you made any changes in your life for better money management? If not, what’s one thing you wanna try changing today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “10 Lifestyle Changes To Spend Less To Save More Money”

  1. It is amazing how your ideal of saving money is the same as mine. I feel the same way as you, I carry my own food and drink to work. I am a super freak when it comes to intermittent diet. One meal a day is my way of controlling my weight as well as money.

    I even went one step further by buying Starbucks water bottles and coffee cups. They charge you less when you bring your own container to them. I am surprised to see you spend so little on skincare and makeup.

    My best tips for saving money in buying make up is to spend on the most essentials like skin care, powder. I use L’oreal as oppose to Lancome to buy less essential like pencils, concealer, and lipstick. Most people do not know that they belong to the same owner.

    I have not mastered the art of saving and investing money yet, I have to get that under control, I play frugal in one area, but again I waste it in something else.

    Thank you for the tips on saving money, especially for the yoga suggestion instead of going to the gym.

    Reply
  2. Hi Wina,

    I love your website and what you have to say.  The layout is very easy to navigate and easy on the eyes.  When I first saw Millenial Girl, I almost passed you buy.  Millenials sometimes get a bad rep. But your beautiful picture was so inviting I wanted to see more.  Coming from an older woman and being of the Baby Boomer generation, I compliment you on your wisdom and level headed insight into subjects of life and money.  Money can bring you freedom if you handle it in the right way.  Or like you say, can get you into trouble mishandled with bad spending habits. To realize these things at a young age is very good. I actually picked up some pointers and will be looking for more great articles here in the future.

    All my best,

    Kerry Lee

    Reply
    • Hi Kerry, haha I’m glad that you stopped by!

      And thanks for all the compliments 🙂 I learn as I go! I’m glad you get to pick up some pointers – that’s what I want for my users whenever they come to my blog.

      Reply
  3. Hello from a fellow IFer and introvert! I love that you recommend intermittent fasting as a money-saving tool because it definitely trimmed my food expenses way back along with my tummy while improving my health. I have to admit I spend quite a bit on a gym membership and YMCA membership, but I save because I don’t drink coffee or buy makeup. It’s all about balance, right? I don’t track anything right now, so I’m going to use your idea of setting up a spreadsheet. I’m kind of skeptical about putting that kind of into an app.

    Reply
    • Haha high five!

      You’re right, it’s all about what makes you happy. These are just my lifestyle changes that suit me. Everyone should do differently on what suits them 🙂

      Spreadsheet has worked out for me for the longest time! You can try or check out my post on it here.

      Reply
  4. This is indeed an interesting and an amazing article on lifestyle changes to spend less time save more. This is really impactful and result oriented. I would love to say the intermittent fasting does works and benefits a lot. It is one amazing life style changes one could adopt. I have Basically been on it and it’s been really helping for me to save more. 

    Reply
  5. Wow,  such a very detailed and thought provoking post, I really admire you,  reading through your story in this post I can only imagine how dicipline you are with your money,  truth is I f we are willing to make a change the change will definitely come, one thing that really learnt from this post is that we don’t have to spend much because we are earning much I’m really guilty of this,  but adjust as from now.

    Reply
    • Thanks Jomata 🙂

      I am really crazy about managing my finances! Haha I just find it therapeutic!

      It’s okay to make mistakes with money (I make them a lot too!) but the best is when we realize it, and try to make it better next time 🙂

      Reply
  6. Hey nice article you have there. Thanks for this timely information. I have been researching on strategies which I can use to cut down most unecessary reoccurring expenses, I have tried using Budgeting but I am not faithful to it and ends up deviating from my budget, don’t know if you have any recommendations to that effect any suggestion will be highly appreciated. Regards

    Reply
    • Thank you!

      One thing about budgeting is all about discipline. It’s easy to forget all about it, but it really does help you manage your finances a bit better 🙂

      If you’re not into budgeting, just try to do an experiment for a month whereby you finish paying all of your bills, investments etc and figure out what’s left. After you put some to your savings (~10%) and investment account (~5%), what’s the balance?

      Then try to keep all of the receipts from your purchases that month. At the end of the month, take an hour or so to go through what you’ve spent on and how much have you been spending in each category. You then know roughly how much you’ll be needing for those categories each month.

      For you to keep to your budget, try to use the envelope tricks 🙂

      Reply

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