Want to save a ton of money? This one simple tool can help you do just that. Learning how to budget isn’t easy for everyone. When I became a master’s student I already had undergraduate debt, so the thought of piling on more debt was terrifying.
But I started doing something that year which changed how I looked at spending, and all with a simple tool on my phone. Here is the best way to save money fast using your phone.
Using this technique contributed to my being able to save and pay back tens of thousands of dollars in student loans within five years of graduating.
In order to stay on top of my spending, I knew I had to keep track of it somehow. I also knew that in order to keep track of what I was spending, I’d need to rely on something that was always with me. What better than my phone.
MORE: Stay super organized with these 4 digital tools
Now, I know what you’re thinking: she used a special type of money-saving app. But while I like certain apps for certain things, I didn’t want to download some new system and learn one more thing on top of everything else. I wanted to keep this simple and easy to maneuver.
So I chose to use NOTES. It’s one of the iPhone’s main, original apps and I love that it is literally just blank pieces of paper (in digital form, obviously). I then started to record what I spent and I still do today, years later.
MORE: 6 tips to start writing every day
Here’s my system for how to save money fast using your phone:
- I have one note in NOTES called $$$. I use this to record what I spend.
- The list is organized by month and day.
- Every time I spend money on something, I quickly record the cost next to the day.
- I try to also record what I bought, but if I’m in a rush and it’s something small like toothpaste then I may skip it.
1-10, 5 (lunch, tweezers)
If a day is blank that means I spent NO $$$!
MORE: Sign up for media consulting services!
While this may seem like a simple and pointless habit to some, I sincerely think it has helped me save a lot of money over time. If I’ve spent a lot of money in a day then I’m probably not going to splurge and spend more later that day once I see how much I’ve already spent. At the end of every month, I tally the total too to be sure I’ve stayed on track that month with my spending. If I go over one month, then I’ll try my best not to go over the next one.
You also might think it’s a nuisance to always open your phone every time you buy something, but you’ll be surprised how quickly it becomes a habit. What you’re doing with this new habit is instilling the idea of recording as you purchase. This will also make you more aware of your spending and purchases. Trust me, the ‘do I really need this?’ thought will be more present. And you’ll save that $$$!