Five Very Easy-To-Do Money Saving Tips
Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. Do you really ‘need’ that new phone or do you merely ‘want’ it? There’s a very big difference, as we all know. If you can ask yourself this this question each time you’re getting ready to buy something, you may find that you are actually stopping short of swiping that credit card, more often than not.
Now isn’t that just wonderful?
I ‘need’ milk. I ‘want’ cake.
I ‘need’ a haircut. I ‘want’ light purple streaks.
I ‘need’ good walking shoes. I ‘want’ Jimmy Choos.
I’m sure that you’re got the hang of this. If there’s any doubt, you can make a list and stick it on the refrigerator or better yet… make the list your screen saver.
1. Don’t eat out. Eat at home
You invested in that kitchen for a reason. Use it. Eating out is an addiction like so many other things. Sure, you should go out for a special occasion like an anniversary, a birthday, a graduation. Something like that.
But if you’re not careful, pretty soon it’s a habit. And you’re eating out every meal.
Pay attention to what you’re doing and stop yourself. If you limit the eating out to once or twice a week as opposed to five or six times, you’ll reap the benefits in a big way. A side benefit: you’re probably going to eat healthier. You’ll sleep better and just all around feel better.
What’s the downside? Nothing. Nada. Zip. That’s the beauty part.
Sock away the savings and you can still treat yourself to a nice meal every now and then for those really special occasions.
2. Make a shopping list and stick to it
Have a shopping list. And use it. Before you walk into the supermarket, say these words. “I am buying what’s on my list and nothing more.” Repeat it as often as necessary.
Stay away from the ‘want items’ and stick to the ‘need items’ and you’ll find the shopping expedition is way less stressful at the checkout counter.
You might find it frustrating at first, but when you realize how much money and time you’ll save when it becomes second nature, you will laugh all the way to the bank. This doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to pick up something you forgot to put on your list, but it will keep you focused on buying what you came for.
3. Fun doesn’t have to have a price tag
Remember the old song ‘The Best Things in Life Are Free’ by Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson? Probably not. It’s most likely way before your time. But I wanted to see if I still remembered what it was to have fun old school style fun. For free that is… and still not feel cheated somehow.
But the song title is really true.
There are parks, museums, art galleries, and so much more, and so many of them are absolutely free, no strings attached.
Do you have to go to that new movie theater with the reclining seats for double digits and the bucket of popcorn for $8. Add in a soda or two and you can have Hulu or Netflix for a few months for the price of one night at the movies. Then you curl up on your own recliner with your own popcorn and maybe a friend. And if you already have Amazon Prime, take advantage of the literally thousands of TV shows and movies that you get for free.
Whether it’s people watching in the park after a nice walk or jog either alone or with a friend, going to a movie at home… or checking out the local listings for free concerts, lectures, book signings, lectures and even film screenings, there really is a lot you can do if you just look around.
4. Brew your own cuppa
Do you love coffee the way I do? Just walking into a coffee shop and smelling the freshly brewed coffee is a great start to the day. And how convenient. But let’s not forget how easy it is to spend anywhere up to $4-$5 on that first cup that’s going to take me through the morning.
Now for some simple math: If I made that coffee at home, it would have cost me 25 cents. Let’s say I spend $4.50 every morning. That extra effort saves me a cool $4.25 a day (on a day that I only buy one, considering many days I get two). Multiply that by 25. In a month, I can save over a hundred bucks with two minutes effort per morning. Multiply that by twelve and you have saved some serious ducats.
5. Find wifi wherever you can and keep ahead of that cell phone bill
If you have a cell phone plan with limited data (or limited high-speed data), watch out. The companies bank on the fact that you will go over, at least occasionally. All the better for them if you do that regularly. You don’t have to check Facebook, Instagram, and the rest all the time. Wait until you get home where you can use your own wifi (and have your phone set to automatically connect to it) or look for wifi spots. There are apps that can point you to free wifi spots… so it’s a good idea to do some research.
Shut all the apps that you’re not using before you step out and make sure your phone is not set to auto download and update apps unless you’re at home. Do you really need your GPS to get from your house to school or the supermarket?
I’m not even going to mention the danger involved in that (so-called) split second glance at your phone to check your messages while driving. And in most states, you are looking at points on your license and hefty fines if you get stopped
When you get into the car, turn your phone off (at least in your mind). You’ll miss nothing if you wait those few minutes until you are out of the car. You will save money that you will be around to enjoy.
Put these tips to the test. You will not believe how quickly the savings will add up. And you will be able to treat yourself to the things you really, really want.