When it comes to saving money, many people only think of cutting costs when it comes to making big-ticket purchases, like a new laptop or vehicle. But the truth is that you can save just as much, if not more, from reducing the financial impact of small, recurring expenses. Here are ten simple ways you can reduce your day to day spending habits to save $100 or more every month.
Let’s do some quick math: if a cup of coffee is around $2 at best, and you get one before work each day, then that’s $10 a week, and $40 a month. Yeah. Right there you already have nearly half of the goal we’re working towards by carrying a thermos to work.
Just like the point above about coffee, grabbing lunch once or twice a week adds up fast. Packing your own lunch is both cheaper and healthier in the long run.
Drinking bottled water is more common than ever, but just because we don’t view it as out of the ordinary doesn’t mean we shouldn’t question it. Not only is the huge amount of plastic bottles going through our recycling system or into the landfill problematic for the environment, it’s also a waste of money to buy something that you have free access to at home. Get a filter and reusable bottle of your own, and you’ll save yourself a pretty penny.
Most people don’t know this, but an electronic device plugged in all day actually draws a steady trickle of energy around the clock, even when it’s switched off. Over the course of a day, it may not amount to that much, but when you multiply that “drip by drip” accumulation from all the electronics in your home over time, the cost in wasted electricity can be staggering.
If the idea of manually unplugging all your appliances and electronics before you go to work each day is not practical, then another option is to invest in a power strip so you only have to flip a single switch to stop the drain from multiple electronic devices.
Another way of saving energy is by making the commitment and investment in purchasing energy efficient, green-friendly, LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs draw significantly less power than halogen bulbs, and offer a clearer, brighter light. Best of all, most of them will provide over 100,000 hours of use before needing to be replaced, which adds even more value to their money-saving abilities.
We tend to think of purchasing gas for our commute as simply part of the price of having a job, an expense outside of our control, and a necessary evil. Have you ever considered finding some like-minded co-workers to share the cost of your daily commute? Not only does carpooling save you money and wear on your vehicle, it is also a great way to make new friends and make time to relax during the ride on your days as a passenger.
While this isn’t something that will affect your budget on a weekly basis, holidays and family celebrations come around on a fairly regular basis, and they can completely disrupt your financial planning if you don’t stay on top of them. And while it’s tempting to simply put the expense on a credit card, there are ways to celebrate a holiday or event while staying on budget.
Even if you have no debt hanging over you, you still need to be sure to make your payments on a credit card or installment loan on time. A late charge can cost you between $20 to $30 a month for a missed credit card payment, and when your goal is save $100 that’s no small setback.
A way to make credit cards work for you is to make sure that when you do have to spend money on them, those purchases will earn you cash back rewards. This won’t have a huge impact at first, but will provide a slow trickle of income over time, especially if you are able to put a majority of your monthly expenses on one card with double or triple point rewards.
If you regularly play the lotto, then now is the time to stop. Not only is it incredibly unlikely you’ll win, but it’s also eating into your money supply each week. One of the more ironic things about winning the lottery is that statistically, the majority of people who win large jackpots go bankrupt within the next decade. Save yourself the heartache and money and lose the tickets today.