We’ve all heard this advice before: if you want to save money, you need to cut back on spending. However, it’s not always so easy. Identifying senseless spending in the following areas can help you save more each month.
But don’t fret. Whether you are saving to buy a new home, saving for a great vacation, or just trying to add to your “emergency fund,” these little changes can help you to curb senseless spending that quickly adds up.
Create visual reminders
Do this for things such as debt or the cost of something you’re saving for. Seeing these numbers on a regular basis will help you commit to cutting back.
You may have heard that making a list before heading out to the grocery store can cut down on impulse purchases. But did you know that you can use this same strategy when buying clothing to decrease spending and ensure you buy what you need, rather than what looks good in the store?
Instead of buying paper towels and napkins, opt for dish towels and cloth napkins, which can be used again and again.
Lower utility bills
Utility prices are a common source of hidden spending. Bundle your TV, phone, and internet for a cheaper price; or consider cutting your cable. There are many alternatives that will allow you to continue watching your favorite TV shows and movies for a lower monthly bill.
Plan out everything
Planning your weekly meals will help you eliminate dining out. Plan for and balance your monthly entertainment activities to avoid overspending.
Avoid bank fees
Total the amount of fees you’ve incurred over the past six months to a year (including ATM fees), and consider changing accounts, or even banks, to eliminate unnecessary costs.
Making a list is a no-brainer, but many grocery store websites now allow you to create a list online and give you a total for all of your purchases. This method allows you to make substitutions when necessary, and stick to the sales, as well as your budget.
Balance entertainment spending
Everyone needs to blow off steam, but there are many savings applications out there that can help keep expenses down by offering deals or coupons.
Cut back on transportation costs
Carpooling to and from work, even if it’s only one or two days a week, can save a lot on gas and car maintenance. Pick a mutual location, and invite as many coworkers as you can.
Do the math
Everyone knows that it’s far cheaper to BYO coffee rather than stop for a cup on the way to the office, but don’t believe that single cup, at-home coffee machines are more economical. To really save, stick to a good, old-fashioned pot of coffee.
Break your piggy bank
Save your loose change! Clean out your car, gather change from the bottom of your purse, and check your pockets. Designate a jar, and don’t cash in until it’s full.
Reconsider your necessities
If you are accustomed to getting your hair trimmed every six weeks, push it out for eight or ten weeks at a time, or trim it yourself. The same applies to pet grooming. Ask yourself, “Is this a want or a need?”
Whether you’re saving up for your first home or a home renovation, budgeting doesn’t have to be a burden. Start right in your home with these 13 small savings suggestions, and audit your energy costs as an easy way to start saving for any project, large or small.