You’re probably wondering how a WORD can save you money, right? It sounds funny, but it really is that simple. Just say no (and follow up in action) and you will see your savings increase over time! Let me elaborate.
In order to say “no” to save money, you have to turn your choices into questions. Take dieting, for example; one small step of dieting that people say helps is that when it comes to snacking you need to determine if you’re eating out of hunger or out of boredom. This means ask yourself “am I hungry?” if the answer is yes, then you eat. If the answer is no, you skip the snack. This saves you on calories and, therefore, on weight (slowly, but surely).
Now let’s apply this concept to various situations relating to finances. If you turn all expense decisions into yes or no questions. “Do I NEED this?” “Should I be buying this?” “Is this worth the price?” These are just a few examples. I’ll share some more specifics below.
Saying No to Yourself
You are the biggest driver of your own expenses (unless you’re a parent, in which case I assume this changes quite a bit). Everyday you’re faced with decisions, some conscious and some you’re probably not even aware of. Should I make breakfast at home this morning? Should I get Starbucks on my way to work? Should I bring my own lunch? Should I get takeout for dinner? Should I buy that cute top I saw in the email from Nordstrom?
Saying “no” to these types of questions and more is exactly how my friend David is saving $18,432. David utilizes a thing called the “Zero Day Challenge.” The point is to have as many zero spend days as possible. In order to spend $0, you have to be saying no to things. That coffee you’re craving on your way to work? No. That dinner you’d rather get delivered than make yourself? No. That shirt you want (but do not need)? No. Saying no to these things means eliminating a lot of unnecessary spending and, consequently, saving that money!
Saying No to Splurges
In order to say no to a splurge, you have to know what a splurge is. To splurge is to “to indulge oneself extravagantly.” One of the definitions (the most relevant in this case) for extravagant is “exceeding the limits of reason or necessity.” So, essentially, a splurge is an expense that costs more than necessary and is oftentimes unreasonable. I know way too many people living lives they can’t afford, spending on things they don’t have the money for. These people don’t know how to say no to themselves and their desires. Just because you WANT designer bags, sunglasses or shoes doesn’t mean you should be buying them. If you HAVE to put purchases on a credit card because you don’t have the cash to afford them, you shouldn’t be buying those things.
Saying no to yourself can be a little sad. There are plenty of things I have wanted that I truly couldn’t justify the cost of, so I sucked it up and said no. Sure, I spend a few days still thinking about those things and how I wish I could have them, but then all of a sudden I forget about them because I realize that those THINGS will only lead to a temporary happiness anyway and I’m able to survive just fine without them! I can’t even tell you the exact dollar amount I have saved by saying no to various fashion-related items I have wanted in the past. I actually may start tracking that and report back to you guys!
Related post: Is It Okay To Splurge?
Saying No to Society
Do you ever feel obligated to do things because that’s what everyone else is doing? Or it’s what people expect of you? Most people experience this at least once in your life. You know what could save you money? Saying no to what society thinks you should do. A big, expensive wedding? Nope. A wedding dress from a high-end bridal boutique? Nope. A ring to solidify your engagement to your partner? Nope.
My friend Luxe (she’s an anonymous blogger, so I like to pretend Luxe is her real name) over at TheLuxeStrategist.com decided to go against the grain and opted to not have an engagement ring, even though that’s the common thing to do when you get engaged. She doesn’t love jewelry and decided rather than spending money on something she’d be settling on, she could just skip the whole thing and do just the wedding bands instead. Additionally, Luxe bought her wedding dress off eBay. Yep, that’s right- eBay. And from the pictures, it looked absolutely beautiful!
Just because the norms of society tell you to do one thing, doesn’t mean you have to do that. Everyone has different opinions, priorities, values, etc. and you shouldn’t feel forced to change those things because of what is commonly done. Stick with your gut and do what makes you happy and you could find yourself saving thousands of dollars!
Saying No to Friends/Family
This is probably the hardest of all: saying no to other people who you love and care about. I don’t know about you, but as I get older it seems harder and harder to see friends without spending money. A lot more time is spent going out and doing things than simply hanging out on a couch catching up for free. Oftentimes we meet friends to go out to eat, grab a drink, take a trip or go to an event of some sort. All of these things generally cost money. And while I do not regret any money spent towards enjoying time with people I care about, these things do add up. If you’re feeling stressed about money or even if you’re just trying to reach a goal, you may have to say no when friends ask you to hang out (or at least offer up an alternative way of hanging out that will cost $0).
A big expense for millennials (based on the age of millennials right now) is being a part of a wedding party. Being a bridesmaid or groomsmen can be more expensive than you can probably imagine. I did research to try to find specific statistics, but they tend to vary a lot. The most common range I found amongst various sites, though, was being a bridesmaid or groomsman costs $1,000-$1,500 per wedding. This is more than some people make in a month after taxes! And yet, people are afraid to say no when asked to be a part of the wedding party. However, sometimes it’s a financial necessity to say no! While your friend may be disappointed, they will understand if you cannot afford it. Plus, saying yes and spending money you don’t have just to try not to disappoint someone else will lead to you disappointing yourself when you are struggling to pay your own bills.
All this being said, I don’t mean to imply that you should say no to everything except the necessities. We all deserve to treat ourselves every once in a while. We deserve to do things that make us happy. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” No one wants to be dull! But when it comes to money, you can’t say yes to everything either because that’s how you end up broke. It’s all about balance 🙂