When people discuss finances, they have a tendency to emphasize saving. Whether it’s for retirement, an emergency fund, or some other financial goal, one thing is for certain, one of the best habits you can keep in regards to your finances is save.
More often than not, however, we don’t even realize the areas of our lives where we spend too much or the little ways that we could cut back. Furthermore, in some cases, we have to cut back in order to save.
That being said, it’s not always crystal clear where we can start saving or the ways we can eliminate all the extra expenses in order to see quick results. If you’re not sure where to begin, take a look at these ten ways to save a little more this year:
1. Beware Convenience
Chances are, if a purchase eliminates work from your life, it’s going to cost you more than if you’d done it yourself. While it might not seem like that cup of coffee costs you much, and it’ll by no means cause you to go broke, it can nonetheless add up over time.
Between daily Starbucks runs, take out, and happy hour, too many extra expenses can begin to have an impact on your budget. Brew your own cup every morning and eliminate the amount of happy hours you attend and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll save.
2. Cook & Meal Plan
As mentioned, dining out is no cheap affair. Choosing to cook your own meals will save you far more in the end. Furthermore, by cooking on your own, you’ll likely have leftovers that will save you from purchasing another meal like you might have had you eaten out.
In addition to cooking yourself, taking the time each week to plan out your meals can keep you from wasting ingredients and resorting to the take out menu. Ergo costing you less from your food budget!
3. Consider Your Cable Bill
Once upon a time cable was your only avenue through which to watch television. Now, however, there’s not only more than one way to watch your favorite shows, but cheaper ways as well.
If you spend most of your time watching via Netflix, Hulu, or a Roku stick, it might be time to cut the cord. Opting out of cable is one surefire way to increase your budget.
4. Embrace Alternative Exercise
Gyms and fitness studios are definitely lucrative businesses and belonging to one is bound to cost you anywhere from $50 to over $100 each month. However, you don’t need a gym to get proper exercise.
From the great outdoors, to fitness apps, and an array of exercises you can do at home, there’s no need to shell out money for a gym. You can utilize an array of free fitness apps and Youtube videos, and find inexpensive workout equipment that’ll provide you with all you need at a fraction of the cost.
5. Stick to a List
Impulse buying is an instant budget ruiner. Whether you’re grocery, home, or clothes shopping, you should always come prepared with a list. By writing out your plan beforehand, you’ll be more likely to stick to it and resist the temptation to by unnecessary and extraneous items.
6. Quite Expensive Habits
Smoking, gambling, and emotional spending are all habits sure to put you in debt. Bad habits have a tendency to be harmful to your well-being and be expensive.
Devising a plan of action each time you’re tempted to resort back to a bad habit can help you not only eliminate it, but save in the end as well.
7. Don’t Be Afraid of Used
Contrary to popular belief, not everything you buy has to be brand new. Depending on your needs, there’s an array of items you can all find in great, used condition.
Certain appliances and electronics, cars, books and movies, and in some cases clothing, can all be found and purchased gently use for half the price.
8. Review Your Subscriptions
Nowadays, magazines aren’t the only item you can subscribe to. Since the emergence and popularity of subscriptions like Netflix, has come a wide variety of various subscription services.
You can find monthly book, beauty, clothing, fitness, and food boxes aplenty, and while the cost might seem fairly inexpensive at first, get too many subscriptions going and you’ll find it makes quite a dent.
Review all your subscriptions and decide which ones are truly worth keeping. You’ll reduce your monthly costs and possibly the clutter that comes with every subscription.
Or, you can sign up for Trim and it will do the work for you. All you have to do is click one button to cancel any subscriptions you no longer want to keep. For things you do want to stay subscribed to, Trim will look for discounts on your behalf.
9. Beware of Extra Waste
It’s all too easy to get in the habit of leaving lights on, cranking up the heat, or spending extra time in the shower. That being said, it’s all too easy to become wasteful with resources, and in the end, increase your monthly bill more than you realize.
Be aware of waste by making a point to go the extra mile when saving. Turn off the lights, keep it a few degrees cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer, and try your best to keep showers short. It might not seem like much, but every little bit counts.
10. Get Creative with Entertainment
A night at the theater is fun, but even for two the price can be high. Finding entertainment and fun in your life doesn’t have to equate to a high bill.
Instead, opt to wait and rent a movie you’re dying to see, look for free concerts and activities, and plan a fun night in instead of going out. You’ll save and no doubt have just as much fun.
Saving isn’t hard, but finding the money in your paycheck to do so can be. All too often we forget that many of our expenses are wants, not needs, and that there are ways to still get what we need for a fraction of the cost.
Evaluate the miscellaneous areas in your life that impact your budget, and find creative ways you can save and have a little more frugal year.
What’s an expense you hadn’t realized costs you as much as it does? How have you eliminated it? Can you think of any other easy ways to save money?