Most people are looking for ways to cut back on their spending. Little savings can add up, especially if you do it consistently over time, and doing several things all at once may mean that you can save significantly each month. Cutting back on your bad financial habits can make a big difference. You can make these small financial tradeoffs to help you reach your savings goals. Changing these fifteen habits can help you start saving today.
Bring Lunch From Home
The average costs of eating out with fast food are about $7.00, and that is a low estimation. You can eat leftovers or make your lunch at home, for an average cost of less than $2.00. That adds up to a $5.00 savings today, and $25.00 a week or a $100.00 a month. The savings can add up. If you are eating out for multiple meals a day, you can save even more.
Skip the Latte
Sometimes that cup of coffee is the perfect pick-me-up to get you through the day. Although a basic coffee will not put you out, and the cost of a latte may be between $2.00 to $2.00, getting one every day all year can add up. Brew your coffee at home, and save the lattes for a treat. You can save up to $40.00 a month this way. The small expenses can add up quickly.
Evaluate Your Cell Plans
Whether you are going over and getting overage charges or you are not using all of the data that you need, you may be able to save money by switching your plan. Look at the plans that your provider offers and choose the best one. When you qualify for a free phone upgrade, it usually means that your contract is up for renewal. Check out what other options are available. For example, Republic Wireless offers unlimited data and voice at under $30.00 a month and no contract.
Stop Paying Interest
Make it a priority to stop using your credit cards and to pay them off as quickly as possible. When you are not paying interest, you can begin investing your money and start earning interest. One of the best ways to save is to avoid going into debt.
Cook at Home
Eating out once a week may not be something to worry about, but if you do it every evening, the costs can really add up. It is even more if you have kids or a large family. The habits you establish in your twenties will follow you as you get older and have kids. Establishing a routine where you eat at home most of the time can save you later on. Take the time to plan a menu and shop the sales to really increase your savings. You can also try these ten ideas to help you cut down on the cost of groceries.
It may seem simple, but coupons are one of the best ways to save money consistently. You can go the extreme couponing route and clip coupons, look online for coupons and shop the coupons with the sales to really increase your savings. People who do this save a lot on their groceries, but coupons extend past that. You can use coupons for your favorite restaurants and for other services. Check the mail that you receive and sign up for newsletters and loyalty programs at your favorite stores to get the best deals.
Shop for New Insurance
You can often save money on your car and home insurance policies by shopping for a new provider every few years. Insurance companies offer their best rates to new customers. If you recently turned 25 or had tickets drop off of your history in the last year, you may be able to save even more. You may need to ask your current company to check if you qualify for lower rates.
Give Yourself an Allowance
Set aside a little bit of fun money to spend how you want to each month. The amount depends on your budget, but it can make a big difference in being able to reach your budgeting goals and staying focused. Budgeting for fun will help you save money because it allows for some splurges and prevents you from overspending.
Try Store Brands
One of the ways to save at the grocery store or even on household items is by trying out the store brands. It should always be a trial and error method. I do not recommend buying twenty boxes of cereal before you try one out. Some store brands are better than others, and the quality may vary from item to item. For example, you may find the canned goods are great, but that the mayonnaise is not. Another way to save is to be willing to switch brands with coupons.
Never Pay Full Price
Make it a goal to never pay full price on big-ticket items. In theory, you could apply this to most things including your groceries, but you should make it a requirement for your big-ticket items like furniture, electronics, and clothing. You can save money by learning the sales cycle and waiting to purchase until you can find the price you want.
When you go shopping, take your smart phone and double check prices against online retailers. You may be able to save a lot by shopping online. Look at stores that offer free shipping on orders to get the best deals.
Take of Advantage of Free Entertainment
Many cities and towns offer free entertainment over the summer or opportunities to do fun things at a reduced price. Some activities you may look for include movies out on the lawn, free concerts, and festivals.
Cut Out Cable
This is one that I often bring up. With Netflix, Hulu and other streaming options, there is no need to spend a lot of money on television every month. If your budget is tight, consider switching to a cheaper streaming service.
With the new health insurance requirements most Americans now have health insurance. The heath insurance should include a free annual physical, and it is a good idea to go in and make sure you are healthy. Additionally, if you are sick, visit the doctor sooner rather than later. Catching a cold before it turns into pneumonia can save you money, and days off of work. Additionally choosing healthy food and exercising regularly can help reduce the chance of health complications due to being overweight.
Set Up Automatic Transfers to Savings
Set a goal for how much you want to save each pay period and then set up an automatic transfer to make that happen. The advantage of this is that you do not miss the money that is moved automatically to your account, and you do not have to think about saving each month. It will just happen.