You work hard for your money, so why are you so willing to spend it without giving a thought to how much everything actually costs? Many people spend a lot on things needlessly. And, because of this, they find that when it comes time to take a vacation or buy a large ticket item, they simply don’t have the money. Wasteful spending can cost you more than the money you consume. It can also affect your health and your level of happiness.
If you work and own a home you have many expenses that come along with the territory. Luckily, there are many ways to start cutting back on these expenses. Shop around at stores that give rewards for loyalty. A lot of gas stations are also now on board, offering a small discount on gas per gallon, which can add up quickly if you fill up at least once a week. Services like lawn care, pest control and garbage removal are other areas you might be able to save on. Use the same approach when it comes time to file your taxes too and look up tax preparers near you to check their rates first.
Creating a monthly budget will allow you to review your spending habits and see where you can cut back to reduce your costs. For instance, if your utility bills are high, make a conscious effort to turn off lights and use less water. The monthly budget will also make you aware of what you spend on things like your cable and cell phone bills. In many cases, you can reduce the bill on both by contacting the service provider and expressing that they are too expensive.
Identify Your Weaknesses
Your human and you have things that you spend money on that you can avoid or at least cut in half. Say for instance you buy a coffee each morning on the way to work. The average cost is about $3. If you do the math, and multiply that by five, you’ll see that you spend $15 or more just on your morning beverage. How about you lunch? Chances are you buy out once or twice a week at say $12 each time. If you buy your lunch just one less time each week you’ll save over $600 per year. Put the money you save into a savings account and before you know it you’ll have the money for your vacation.
Food shopping can consume upwards of $200 to $300 each week depending on the size of your family. Before heading out to the supermarket make a list of the food you need for that week. The reason is simple. It’s very easy to get sidetracked in a grocery store and pick up items you don’t need. With your trusty list and a pen in your hand you can cross off the items as you go and then head straight for the checkout.
In addition to creating a list, look through the local flyers or go online to the local store websites and see what from the list is on sale. To save even more, check online at one of the free coupon websites and print out only the coupons that apply to your necessary products.
Making Use of Items a Second Time Around
Adopting a frugal lifestyle also means that you use everything to its full potential. For example, old T-shirts that you can no longer wear make durable rags for cleaning things around the home and your auto. And, jars are wonderful for holding odds and ends, craft supplies and make delightful planters for new plants.
Adopting a frugal lifestyle can save you a lot of money in a relatively short period of time. And, once you get started, you’ll find more ways to continue to save even more.