Saving more money means spending less money. There's no magic trick. It might not be fun at first, but if you can find things that work for you, you'll reap the rewards. I'm always saving for travel, but whether you are saving for a big trip, a house, or maybe putting money in a retirement fund, here are a few things that I've found extraordinarily helpful for me:
1. Wait Two Weeks.
I learned this lesson when I was about 10. I wanted a Furby, but my parents said I had to use my own money to buy it. I put an envelope on the wall and put money in it every chance I got, desperately trying to save up the $27. But by the time I had the money saved, I wasn't interested in the Furby anymore.
When you see something you "just have to have," walk away...wait two weeks. Either you won't want it anymore, or it'll be on sale. It's a win for everyone. You can save literally thousands of dollars this way depending on your habits. But it's amazing all the things you end up being able to live without. After a while, you won't even notice.
2. Drink One Beer.
It always blows my mind when I go out to dinner and I see people ordering two appetizers and a giant meal and 3 beers and then half the food ends up going in the trash. Condition yourself to only purchase what's necessary to enjoy yourself. No one likes going home so full it hurts anyways. Drink 1 beer instead of 2, skip the appetizer...you'll find it all in your bank account later.
3. "Don't Buy Food."
Okay this sounds intense, and it's meant as more of a dramatic statement. What I mean is, be resourceful and use things that would otherwise be wasted. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a lunch from a coworker who was going to throw it away. Of course, there's balancing act here too as you don't want to become a mooch. But try it, see what you can use that would otherwise be thrown out.
4. Figure Out What Is Important to You.
You may be able to guess based on #3 that I struggle with the balancing act. It's easier and more comfortable for me to save money than to treat myself. But this sometimes has caused me to miss out on fun experiences. Figure out what is most important to you, and let yourself have some spending room in that area. You won't regret turning down the new shirt, or the appetizer in the long run, but you might regret missing out on a trip with your friends, or spending some extra gas money to go visit your family.
5. Be Generous.
To be honest, this one was the hardest for me to learn. I'm a money-hoarder. But growing up my mom always said "Be generous with your money and you'll always have enough." Of course it took years for me to even come close to really living that statement. But when I'm generous with my money, I find that I want to spend less on myself, and hey, it's good karma right?