Money can be a huge source of stress in our lives, and learning to save up and spend smarter can feel daunting. But just like so many other habits, starting small is key. We asked our Thrive Stars to share with us the little tips and tricks that help them save up and manage their financial well-being. Here are some simple strategies that work for them: 

Use a budgeting notebook

“One of the biggest things that is helping me feel less stressed about money is simply sitting down and budgeting my spending. I have a budget notebook and planner that is labeled by month, and it has space for the date and amount due, and space to mark off when it is paid. It even has pockets to place bills, notes, and envelopes. I love a checklist, so this method definitely helps me to keep up with current spending and future bills. When my paycheck deposits into my bank account, I make it a point to prioritize payments and come up with my monthly spending limits.”

— Kassyndra Gadlen, Walmart #177 Paris, TN

Bring lunch from home

“One of the ways I save money is by bringing my lunch from home every day, and I stay away from the vending machine in the break room. I pack enough to get me through the day, and then I break it up throughout the day. I may buy something in bulk at the beginning of my work week and pack it for lunch throughout the week instead of spending money daily. I have also noticed as I have gotten older I haven’t been drinking as much soda, which I found is saving me quite a bit of money. I buy a case of Propel waters and bring two bottles a day, along with refilling a water bottle throughout the day.” 

— Sara Berry, Walmart #1936, Sault Sainte Marie, MI

Shop at a thrift store

“I shop at a lot of thrift stores, and my two eldest granddaughters love to shop there too! Not only does it save me money, but it also helps the environment by recycling.” 

— Andrea Booker, Walmart #6392, Topeka, KS

Learn about financial planning

“The one thing that has helped me become less stressed about money is understanding more about how money works. At first, I had no clue how to save, but now I have a beginning budget and financial plan for saving and retirement. It’s amazing how much I benefit from shopping at my Walmart and investing in my 401k.” 

— Shanta Coleman, Walmart #5823, Dallas, TX

Have a weekly finance meeting with your partner

“What has helped me save money is having a weekly finance meeting with my spouse to confirm where we’re at.” 

— Clare Creegan, Walmart #5823, Dallas, TX

Make time for meal prep every week

Instead of eating takeout or going to the drive through for lunch, I meal prep at home. This means healthier food options, which is something I want and need, and less money spent each day on one meal. I have an hour commute to work, so I prep my meals at the beginning of the week. I usually make salads, wraps, and soups. This saves me time throughout the week, as well as money! The money that I save throughout the week has helped me invest in a bike. I am eating healthier, as well as exercising more! Not only am I working on improving my financial health, but my physical health as well.” 

— Kassyndra Gadlen, Walmart #177 Paris, TN

Cut back on small purchases over time

“The tip that helps me every day is simply to start small. I slowly stopped buying coffee, stopped buying lunch, and stopped treating myself to retail therapy if I had a bad day at work. I gave myself a weekly allowance, and once it was done, that was it. We also started cooking supper every night together instead of four different meals. We only ate take out once because it was my birthday! With less stress about money, I have more time for ‘me time,’ kids time, and family time. I have reconnected with my extended family and started a group chat.”

— Keitha Grosse, Walmart #3056, Dieppe, NB, Canada