5 Ways to Start Saving Money Today
Everyone has heard it before, “A penny saved is a penny earned…” Well, we keep hearing it because it is true. The problem is that saving money, for most people, isn’t much fun. It requires sacrifices from things you may find enjoyable. Even worst, it may require a complete overhaul of your lifestyle. Just think about it, take an honest assessment of your daily grind, and see think about instance in which you are handing money over to someone else. It can really add up. It could be the bus fare you pay, the gas it cost for you to commute, that morning coffee you buy, the newspaper you got at the newsstand, the bagel you like, or even tolls and parking costs. All of that is before you get to work! There are probably literally hundreds of ways you can start saving money today, and here a just a few.
The 5 Ways to Start Saving Money Today
1. Limit eating out. It is expensive to eat out. Depending on where you are with your life, it may be impossible to eliminate eating out all of the time, but let’s assume you buy lunch every day at work. In most big cities, the cost of lunch can run around $10. Let’s be generous and say that you just buy $5 foot-longs from Subway. So every week, you are spending $25 on lunch. No let’s assume you limited eating out to only two days per week. That would save you $15 per week, or $60 per month. Think you can find something to do with $60 per month? Keep in mind that is only assuming you spend $5 per day, and in most cases, it is much higher.
2. Coffee v. latte. I have heard for years that the best way to save money was eliminating Starbucks, or any coffee house, from your life. Obviously, there is some financial merit with that, but the goal shouldn’t be changing your life to live like a monk. The point is to find a balance where you are happy while still leading a financially sustainable life. What I would propose is instead of ditching the latte, you just downgrade to flavored coffee instead. They typically run $2-$3 less per cup, and with enough sugar and cream, you can get it to taste pretty close!
3. Cut down on memberships. People have a tendency to sign up for plans in lieu of just purchasing a product. Be wary of this strategy and make sure it really fits your lifestyle. For example, let’s say you like listening to audiobooks because you have a long commute. Instead of buying these books through iTunes you opt to sign up for a monthly plan through audible.com. This may make sense for a while, but if you get a new job, you may not have a need for that monthly plan anymore. The same goes for gym memberships, cellular plans, internet packages, or anything that requires a monthly outlay.
4. Install a programmable thermostat. If you own your own home, this is a great way save to on your energy costs. It plays right into the overall theme of only paying for what you really use. Why heat your home when you aren’t home? However, why walk into an extremely cold or hot home either? A programmable thermostat can do both for you, it can ensure you don’t waste money heating a home that no one is in, while also ensuring that it is nice and room temperature by the time you get home. This could easily cut 15-20% off your energy bill.
5. Keep credit cards for emergencies only. Nothing gets people into financial hot water like their misuse of credit cards. Changing your focus and treating them like something you would use for an emergency is the best practice until you feel comfortable with your financial discipline. Once you do, there are many ways you can take advantage of offers such as rewards points and 0% interest balance transfers. Until then, these are just traps to capture the undisciplined.