Budget kind of tight? There’s more ways to feel richer than just boosting your income. Finding ways to save here and there can have the same type of effect on your wallet. If you’re looking to have a bit more money in your pocket, try a few of these savings tips.
- Avoid eating out and cook more meals
That’s not to say you should never go out to a restaurant. Even a weekly night out to eat can be fine if well budgeted and a night off from cooking is often well deserved. What should be avoided is the convenient yet cumulatively expensive habit of grabbing a quick burger or a prepared sandwich on your lunch break or stopping for that breakfast muffin and coffee before work in the morning.
With a bit of planning, careful shopping and setting a bit of time for preparation, you can enjoy meals that will probably be healthier and, if you do it right, actually better than what you would buy at your local coffee shop or burger joint for a fraction of the cost. Take some time on the weekend before grocery shopping to jot down each meal you’d like to have during the week. After that, just purchase the necessary ingredients. Set yourself a bit of time to prepare your meals for the week. You’ll find that making many meals in one session will take up less time than making one meal separately each day.
Another great way to have easy meals ready is to make larger portions when you cook dinner. This often won’t cost you alot more than making a smaller portion and you can save the leftovers for some quick lunches during the week.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room
If you just read that in your Dad’s
voice, you’re probably not alone. He wasn’t wrong though! Although it may seem
arbitrary, shutting the lights as well as any electronic devices that are not
in use can go a long way to reducing your energy bill. The same goes for your
thermostat. If you don’t plan on being in the room, you don’t need to be
heating it. You can also shut them off at night while you’re sleeping to
conserve more energy. Remembering little tricks like will not only make your
Dad proud but will also leave you with some extra cash in your pocket when that
electric bill comes in.
Okay so this may not work for all items. You might not want to switch out your favorite brand of soda for the store brand equivalent but you may find that, for a lot of things that you buy frequently, the generic brand is just as good. In fact, sometimes the generic brand is literally exactly the same as the name brand, made with the same ingredients, the same process and sometimes even in the same factory as your favorite brand. The only difference in this case is the marketing. Many frequently bought items such as various condiments, cookies, snack items and canned goods are subject to this process.
The markdown on prices can often be over 50% compared to the name brand so even if the generic brand isn’t quite as enjoyable as the one you are used to buying, if it does the trick, it can often be worth the switch anyway.
Car broke down? Something need fixing at home? For some repairs, you need to call on a professional however, these days, this is less and the less the case for minor repairs. Before calling on the pro, do a quick google search online about your repair or ask someone you know who is handy with these things. With so many tutorials available online now, you can tackle almost any repair yourself just by following the steps. Of course, some might be more daunting than others but some tasks, such as changing your car battery or fixing a door hinge, can easily be done on your own for much less than what a professional would charge.
If you’re up to it, give it a shot and worst case, you can always give the repair guy a call after if things go south.
If you work on the same shift as
some of your colleagues and they live in an area close to yours, carpooling can
be a great option to save on your transport costs. Not only will you be helping
the environment but you could potentially cut down your gas costs for work by
80% a week if you maximize your vehicle space for the carpool. Ask your
colleagues about it, you’ll probably find that most people will also be
interested in saving on gas and will be glad to participate with you.
Sounds simple but not many do it. Carry a good sized water bottle and fill it up every chance you can get. Don’t buy bottled water, we have the benefit of being able to access free water almost anywhere, use it. Drink water all day instead of buying sodas, juices, coffee or tea and you’ll see the cumulative savings rise. Drinking a lot of water before meals will also help you stay fuller for longer allowing you to eat less which, besides saving you money as well also has its own benefits. As you can see, staying hydrated is not only good for you, it’s also good for your wallet!
This implies a bit of an investment, but it can definitely be worth it in the long run. How much food do you end up throwing away in a month? If your answer to that is too much, a larger freezer or even just a second freezer can be a good idea. Not only will this allow you to save your perishables for longer, this will also make it much more feasible for you to buy in bulk due to the extra storage space and the fact that you’ll know you won’t have to throw out three quarters of what you purchased after a couple weeks.
Ask and you shall receive! This isn’t always true, but it’s always worth a shot. Any time that you are being charged a service fee for anything, ask if it can be waived. You might get an eye-roll or a sigh, and often you probably won’t get the fee waive, but on occasion, you will and you’ll be glad you asked! Don’t push, if you’re told it can’t be done then there is no point in escalating this or wasting your time as well as that of the employee you are speaking to however, simply asking will only take you a few seconds and could potentially save you a good $40, which is definitely worth your time.
This won’t apply to everyone but if you are a smoker and still have the habit, there’s no better time than now to stop. You probably hear this every other day and you’ll probably keep hearing it until you do end up quitting. We don’t think we need to explain the reasons here. Aside from the health benefits, everyone is well aware by now of the cumulative cost of purchasing cigarettes. Give it a try! Even if you only last a few days, you’ll have at least saved a bit!
You can save a lot by purchasing used items instead of new ones. You might want to be careful what you choose to buy used but a lot of household appliances and furniture can safely be purchased used for a fraction of what you would pay if they were brand new. It is important however, especially for electronics, to inspect the items carefully before purchasing. There are social media groups online for nearly every populated city now that are designed to bring people together who want to either buy or sell used goods so it is easier than ever now to save on your purchases this way.
If you follow your finances closley and choose to adopt a couple of the tips above in your everyday practices, you’ll surely notice an improvement in regards to how much spare cash you have. Give it a try and let us know what your favorite tricks are to save!