Saving money isn’t a walk in the park, and what sounds like such an easy task is often anything but. If you’re finding that putting away money is next to impossible, it’s time you look for ways to get rid of unnecessary spending that could be depleting your accounts.
Leave the Card at Home
It’s so easy to swipe a credit card and tell ourselves that we’ll worry about it later. Instead of falling prey to that shiny card leave it at home and save yourself the temptation. Take a limited amount of cash with you—when you run out, you’re done spending.
Avoid Impulse Purchases
Make sure you head to the store with a specific list of the items you need. Following a list will help you avoid impulse purchases and give you an idea of budgeting before you head out to the store.
Stop Using Online Accounts
Once your credit card information has been recorded into a store’s website, one-click ordering can become far too tempting to ignore, giving you no time to really think about your purchase. Sift through your usual online shopping outlets and take your card information out. If you have to enter your numbers each time, you’ll have more time to think and you just might talk yourself out of an unnecessary purchase.
Socializing on a Budget
It’s hard to cut down spending and take advantage of all of our social opportunities, but it can be done. Let friends know that you’re budgeting, and consider activities you can do together that don’t require a ton of money. Instead of going to a restaurant for your weekly meetup, host a potluck dinner and have all your friends bring something to contribute to the meal. Friends who know you’re struggling to keep your wallet in check will try to cut down temptations and help keep you from spending too much.
Hitting the Gym
If you have a gym membership and don’t use it, you’re throwing away hundreds and hundreds of dollars each year. Not having a gym membership doesn’t mean you can’t stay healthy. Put a one-time investment into a workout DVD series that you can do in the comfort of your own living room without monthly cost, go on a run to a local park, and take advantage of friends who might be willing to train you. Being healthy and spending a fortune should not be synonymous, and you can keep in shape without depleting your wallet.
Turn Off the T.V.
If you have cable, you’re likely spending upwards of $80 every month to keep it going. With the advent of streaming services, there’s no reason to be throwing down money for television shows you can catch for much lower prices. Services like Hulu, Netflix, and Roku will help you calm your spending while still being able to lounge about on the couch every once in a while.
Sometimes we make the mistake of considering non-essentials to be necessities. If you’re a coffee fiend and a regular at your local café, you’re likely throwing away thousands of dollars each year. Instead of heading out and paying $4 every morning (and wasting time in long lines) make an initial investment in a nice coffee machine and brew your own cups at home. You’ll be amazed at how much you save in the long run and still satisfy that caffeine craving every day before work. If you’re a smoker and throw thousands into a nicotine habit each year, it’s time to make a change. Try out an e-cig from a company like NJOY that you can use over and over again. These devices reportedly don’t contain the toxic chemicals that tobacco products do, so it’s good for your wallet and your health—a win-win.
Your Utility Bill
If you’re throwing money left and right into your utility bill, it’s time to conserve energy. Saving money on utilities isn’t complicated, and there are a few easy techniques you can utilize to lower the amount you pay every month. Turn off all lights and appliances when you leave the house, and unplug those that aren’t used regularly. Lower the temperature on the water heater to spend less on your daily shower, drop the setting on your thermostat by just a few degrees to save loads on heating costs during the chilly months, and don’t let the water run while you’re washing dishes. Even the smallest of changes can lead to big savings on your bill at the end of the month.
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