Valuable Tips for Cost-Cutting
If saving money wasn’t such a challenge, everyone would do it – but why pay $10 for something you can get for $5? There are many easy ways to save money throughout the day if you are willing to commit to them. Below are a few things you may accidentally be overlooking when you think about trimming costs from your daily or monthly budget.
Coffee & Cigarettes
Daily habits like coffee and cigarettes add up quickly, but they don’t have to. If you are like the average American worker, you could probably save about $15 every week, or over $1,000 per year, on the coffee purchased in chains and shops. Make it at home; make a profit. If worries about your health haven’t made you stop smoking, the maybe worries about your wallet will. Pack-a-day smokers could save an average of $2,000 per year on cigarettes, and that’s money they could be putting away for travel or retirement. Cut back on coffee shop coffee consumption and quit smoking, and that’s $120,000 you’ve saved in 40 years.
If you work away from home, there is a good chance you buy café or restaurant lunch several days per week. Studies show the average American eats lunch out at least twice per week, and men spend on average $21 per lunch, while women spend $14. If you don’t want to lose your precious time out of the office, try choosing a less expensive restaurant, finding places with coupons, or nixing a side item, a drink, or both.
While generic products are not always a way to get more bang for your buck, some items, like cereal, may be better or just as good at a significantly lower price. DailyFinance.com advises buying store brand spices and seasonings in addition to cereal to shave off costs for food. Medications may be another avenue for saving money, but certain items like toilet paper and trash bags are not necessarily cost effective because their low quality will make you use them faster, therefore making you spend more to replace them.
Energy Habits in the Home
While a long, luxurious shower may be your favorite way to start the day, you may be able to save quite a bit on energy costs if you cut your shower time shorter. Save the luxury shower for the beginning of a relaxing Saturday and expedite the process on the weekdays. Many high costs come from the air moving around in your house as well, so encourage your family or roommates to close the blinds in the daytime to keep the rooms from being heated up by the sun.
Entertainment & Travel
Reconsidering how much you can spend on entertainment may be a great way to trim your budget, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely deprive yourself. If you love going to the movies, see a cheaper matinee, then spend the rest of your evening reading a book from the library instead of the bookstore. While your car isn’t entertainment, it does get you to and from the places you like to be entertained, so make sure you change the oil regularly and keep the tire pressure at appropriate levels. These simple acts can keep you safer and help you save what could be hundreds of dollars per year in fuel costs. Another idea to keep yourself entertained is to try out free community events at various parks or the library.
Whatever your money-saving goals are, they require thought and dedication. Saving money feels good and helps you reach your financial goals for the future, and makes occasional splurges even more rewarding.
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