Need to create a little more wiggle-room in your budget? No matter what your financial goal is at the time, it’s always nice to find a few ways to save yourself from unnecessary spending. Here are five ways to save some dough and cut down your spending:
1. Cut back on eating out
If you’re on a budget eating out should be considered a luxury, not a necessity. Taking frequent trips out to lunch, ordering take-out for a quick meal, or dining out at the
newest restaurant in OKC can quickly take a toll on your budget and financial goals. Just think, that daily $7 lunch adds up to $35/week or $1,820/year! Decide in advance when you will eat out during the month (I’d recommend special occasions only) and assign a dollar amount to it.
2. Have a plan at the grocery store
Rule #1 – Use a shopping list. Not only will a list prevent you from forgetting necessary items that you need for the week, but it will keep you focused on purchasing only what you need. You’ll also be better equipped to handle the marketing ploys that many grocery stores use, like the flashy signs and strategic product placement.
Rule #2 – Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. We’ve all done it, and we’ve all ended up with a cart full of snack foods and frozen pizzas. Save your wallet and your waistline, and eat a balanced snack before heading to the store.
3. Pay in cash
Our world has made it easy to pay for items, which is a blessing and a curse. I enjoy being able to pay for items with the swipe of a card or the press of a button, but this convenience comes at a price. Using these substitutes for cold-hard-cash takes away the “pain” of spending money; we don’t actually feel the effects of the transaction. There is something about using actual money and feeling it leave your hand that causes you to think hard before making a purchase. Give it a try – head to the bank and get some cash out for the week. You may surprise yourself with some better spending habits.
4. Quit the gym
This may seem counter-intuitive coming from the “wellness” person, but if you’ve been paying for a gym membership that hasn’t been used in years it might be time to cancel. Plus, there are several ways that you can be active without the use of a gym, such as walking or jogging outdoors or renting an exercise DVD from your local library.
5. End the latte habit
I love my morning coffee, and I love it even more when I don’t have to make it. BUT, this small convenience can add up in a big way. Just think, spending $5 per day on your caffeine kick could be costing you as much as $25/week or $1,300/year! Save your dough and brew your own coffee at home. Plus, you'll eliminate that extra stop on your way to work.