Today’s post is a special guest post from Ben Nieds. Ben is from Chicago, living in Florida, with a New York mindset (meaning he never sleeps and everything around him seems to very expensive.) He looks for as many ways as he can to stretch a penny. His main goal is to save money and help others do the same. He is currently a writer at Surveyswonk, where you can visit if you want to read about some great opportunities to make money online.

The views and opinions expressed in this guest post are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Defeating Normal.

Well, to be blunt, I am broke. Not really, but I like to think I am. I find that if I act like I am broke, I will avoid the unnecessary purchases that will actually make me broke. In this article, I am going to outline a few ways that I have saved money, and how each of those ways have changed my financial situation.

Meal Prepping

Yes, it is not as glamorous as you think, nor is it that one “AHA” moment that you may be looking for, but it did save me a lot of money. Each Sunday night, I would cook a feast. When I say feast, I mean multiple chicken breasts, a whole family sized salad, potatoes, pasta, and sausage. However, I would not eat all of this. Instead, I would refrigerate it and save it for my meals throughout the week.

Monday – I would cut up some chicken and put it on a salad. Tuesday – I would chop up some sausage and put it on a little of my pasta. Wednesday – I would put chicken and sausage on some potatoes and make a gumbo-like meal. You get the point; each day can be different. This not only saved me money because I wouldn’t have to eat out every night, but it also saved me time; since I did not have to cook a whole meal each night.

Sold My Stuff

I have found that people, for some reason, like to hold onto stuff they never need. I for one have successfully been able to get rid of half of that stuff that I no longer need and have been clogging up space in my closet. That old Box Set of the Sopranos that I have watched six times already? I sold it to a family that for some reason still watched DVD’s, suckers. Oh, and that pair of Running Shoes that I bought for $160 because I thought I would get into CrossFit, but only actually worked out once, and forgot my shoes that day anyway? I sold them for close to sticker price on You can sell your stuff on sites like LetGo, and make some money back on old purchases.

I Started Putting Away Money Each Month

Each month, when I got my paycheck from whatever crummy job I was working at the time, I would put 85% into my checking’s account, and 15% in the savings account. That money would stay in my savings account, and no matter how badly I wanted to touch it, I would not. After just a few years of saving money and ignoring it, I had saved upwards of $9,000. Just like that, It was like I had experienced a cash-windfall, but this time it was cash that I had earned, and protected with the security of a savings account.

These three steps saved my financial situation, and turned me into someone that was not only a hard worker, but also someone who had self-control, and extra money! The restraint came into play quite early when I had to make sure I did not overeat each day when I was meal prepping and not to touch the money that I was slowly stashing away in my savings account. Although it was hard at first to get into the rhythm of doing these things, in the end, it turned out quite beneficial. Yes, I only put three steps, but by doing these three simple steps, I had not only put a halt on some of my spending’s, but also increased my income by selling my items, but also increased my future income by saving money.

What tips and tricks do you have to save money? How did your trick help improve your financial situation? There are plenty of other ways to to save money like creating passive income or online surveys and reviews. I would love to hear back from you, and I am sure other readers would like to read a thread of comments about how fellow readers and broke members of society turned their financial situation around.

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