7 Must Know Money Saving Tips
One thing the current economy has showcased to most Americans is the necessity of being frugal in nearly everything they do.
People who normally went out to eat on a regular basis stopped.
Going out to the movies became something that was more of a luxury.
When the economy gets bad, and people find themselves short on cash they look for more ways to become frugal.
What does it mean to be frugal?
1) Sparing or being economical about money or food.
2) Simple and plain and costing little: “a frugal meal.”
First things first, tabulate your current expenses. List three months of expenses and find out what you’re spending on restaurants, coffee, eating at home, going to movies, and everything else. Set goals for yourself.
What you find may be painful, but it’s worth the effort writing out your expenses. You’ll quickly notice that there are fixed expenses (like your mortgage and utility bills) and variable expenses (like food and entertainment). You’ll discover lots of ways for money to vanish down rabbit holes by examining your variable expenses!
Now look for things to trim:
1. Do you regularly stop at Starbuck’s to buy a latte on the way to work? That’s costing you $20 a week or a bit over a thousand dollars a year. When you look at it that way is it really worth it? Think of the money you could save by buying a machine to do the same thing! It’s a one-time investment, and it’s yours to keep. You can make that latte at home and drink it on the way to work.
3. Do you eat out at lunch? Even a fast food meal is around six dollars. If you figure you spend 240 days a year at work, and eat out for a hundred of them, that’s $600 you’ll never get back.
I recently spoke with a client who did this exercise. She listed what the expenses were. When she started looking at what her husband was spending every day at the convenience store she was amazed! It was so much that if he stopped, they could have close to half their car payment! Start packing your lunch!
Get in the habit of spending Sunday afternoons planning your lunch meals for the week. You can make your favorite foods and freeze them or cook a little extra for dinner each night.
4. Unnecessary ‘convenience food’ costs you. While you’re in the kitchen, look at how many pre-packaged meals you eat. Every single one of them represents two to three dollars you’re paying someone to cook something for you. It’s fine to have a couple of these on hand for those nights when you are just too tired to cook but don’t rely heavily on them.
It’s amazing how much money you can save by learning how to cook your own food! The general rule is that for the same quantity of food, a pre-packaged meal costs two to three times as much.
5. Make your own fast food. Once you start cooking, you can look at other ways to be frugal, like cooking large batches and freezing the leftovers. When you need food fast, grab something out of the freezer and just heat it up.
6. Drink water. You pay a lot less for water from the tap than you do for soda or bottled water. Buy a water filtration pitcher, and keep it filled. Another client I spoke to spent quite a bit of money on smart water. When he realized the cost he opted to bring his own water which was filtered!
* Anytime you feel the urge to grab soda, drink an 8-ounce glass of water first. Then see if you’re still thirsty. This will cut down your soda habit tremendously.
7. Use coupons. In the past, many never even thought about much less used coupons. Today almost everyone whose looking to save money looks for coupons. Simply put using coupons can save you, even more, money when you purchase sale items. You might end up paying only a few cents for an item you use all the time.
Being frugal and learning how to save money takes patience and practice, but the rewards are worth it when you find you’ve saved enough money to get out of debt, go on vacation, or buy a new car.
Make small changes every week to form new habits, and before you know it, you’ll have a whole new way of living and extra money in the bank.
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