I’ve got a question for you. How badly to you want to succeed? On a scale from 1-10, how badly do you crave the life of your dreams? I’m going to take a guess here and say you said 10.

We all want to do something specific and great in our lives. You might want to be the greatest horseback rider of all time, maybe you want to have your own company and be a millionaire, or you want to become a doctor or you want to sell online courses teaching others how to draw using a Wacom tablet.

Whatever it may be, everything requires sacrifice. There are different sacrifices that you have to make depending on you and where you want to be in life. However, there is one sacrifice that everyone has to make despite whatever they’re doing.

That sacrifice is not spending too much money, not in general, but in your personal life. You can’t go out and spend your money the way that you would like to because you have to invest in classes, courses, promoting, books, and anything that’ll teach you to get one step closer to the place you dream yourself being.

The question now is, “How do I stop throwing away my money?” Because yes, sometimes you are just throwing it away. You may spend it on things that you think you need, or you go out to have fun a little too often.

Before you get angry at me though, I want to clarify that there is nothing wrong with spending money and having fun. That said, here are some ways that you can save money.

1. EATING

You’re allowed to grab a meal with your friends, but you shouldn’t do it too often. You need to know when it’s okay to do so. Don’t go out to dinner every night. Now that’s a waste of money. Especially if you aren’t happy where you are and you’re craving something more, something bigger. Go out when you really feel like you need it.

For example, I work from home, but sometimes I just need to get away. I need to go somewhere else for a few hours and have some good food and work from there, and that’s when I’ll go. I do it about once a month, and even then, I don’t go to a place that’s super expensive.

“Eat shit for 24 months, then eat caviar for the rest of your life.” -Gary Vaynerchuk

Make your own meals. If you don’t know how to cook, then learn. There are YouTube tutorials and cookbooks, there really is no excuse. If you want pizza, don’t go for the more expensive ones, Little Caesar’s got pizza for $5.

2. CLOTHING

Just think about it, do you really need that $25 dollar tee shirt? There’s nothing wrong with going to the mall and shopping, but while you’re at H&M, you should go for the $10 dollar tee instead. I mean, they sell comfortable sweats at Target! If you want a white tee shirt, they got them over at Walmart.

You can also go to thrift shops and buy clothes there. Unless your shoes are all black and have holes in them, then don’t get new shoes. Simple, right? Pay attention to what you really need and to what you think you need.

3. ENTERTAINMENT WITH OTHERS

Like I said, please go out and enjoy life, but do it when you really need it. Don’t go to the movies on Monday, bowling on Tuesday, and don’t get a manicure the day after that. Go out with your friends, when you truly feel like you need a night out.

If you want to hang out with others badly, though, there’s nothing wrong with having people over or you going over to someone’s home and just staying there. Have a board game night, or a movie night, or just talk about how awesome life is and have passionate discussions about how cruel people can be.

4. GIFTS

Is there anything small that your friend or sibling like that you could get them? For example, my sister is happy with getting 2 pairs of socks decorated with donuts or giraffes that would only cost me $8. I once bought my best friend a mug and just decorated it myself. Did she hate me for it? Only a little! Just kidding, she obviously appreciated it.

I mean, the marker probably faded off by now, but the point is she liked it in the moment.

You don’t even have to buy someone anything. You can write a letter, make your own gift card, or make something. My other sister knitted me a bookmark a couple of months ago and I loved it. Mother’s Day is coming up, make your mom a PowerPoint with pictures of your and your siblings, she’ll love it.

5. DRINK MORE WATER

Restaurants give free water. Not only will you save money, but it’ll also benefit your health. It’s a win-win situation for everyone! Well, excluding the restaurant because they’re not making any money off of you asking for water and not buying some Lemonade.

So, I guess only you win? Who cares. You get free water.

6. ENTERTAINMENT BY YOURSELF

We’ve talked about saving money when it comes to entertainment with others, but what to do when you’re bored all by your lonesome?

Well, you could go to the library and check out books. You don’t have to spend $18 on a book you’ll only read once. Have a journal or even a piece of paper? Write, or draw.

You can go out and take a walk and just enjoy nature. Don’t drive anywhere and waste gas, just walk. Maybe you’ve got a guitar lying around that you haven’t touched in a while, well improve that skill. There’s a lot you can do without spending the money that you need to invest in your future.

7. DIY

Pinterest is the DIY kingdom. There are so many things you can do all by yourself if you really need them. I mean, you can make a projector screen using a box and a magnifying glass. How even?? I don’t know, people are smart as shit.

You can make your own shelves, a basket for storage, a file holder, anything you can think of you can probably find on Pinterest.

Look, you don’t have to listen to me or use any of these suggestions, but it all comes down to how much you’re willing to sacrifice to reach that part of your life that you fantasize about every night. What are you going to do about it?

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