There are so many things that we can do right this very minute that can save us money! I have a lot of bad habits. And the problem is that there are no cheap bad habits! For example, I love coffee. I have to have it (well, I think I do). So naturally, I tend to go to Starbucks to get that espresso fix during the work week. Just cutting this one thing out can save money! It’s that simple. Taking the time to make my coffee at home is an easy replacement to this and I won’t really be missing out on anything but I will be gaining money!
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, there are a lot of other small things that we can do or not do that can save us money, too.
- Make a budget and stick to it! The most important principle of saving money is spending less than you earn! Making a budget and sticking to it is one of the ways you can track your spending and ensure that you are not going overboard. Some banks in their online banking apps will even produce a budget for you based on your bank account. This is great because it is extremely accurate! It bases your budget on your current spending habits. Look and see if your bank offers this, it will be a great way to get started.
- The 10-second rule: Every time you go to make any purchase, even when you pay a bill, stop for ten seconds and ask yourself if this is really something you want to spend your money on. Do you really need this item? Do you really need to be paying $14.95 for a subscription box? Could you reduce that electricity bill by making sure you turn off lights when you leave? These simple techniques will often point you in the direction of spending less money.
- Pay attention to mortgage interest rates — even after you buy a home. People who fail to do this may miss out on refinance opportunities that could save them tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their loan.
- Never buying anything on impulse. One of the best ways to help prevent this is to make a shopping list and then stick to it.
- Always open your bills as soon as you receive them. Don’t toss them aside. You could forget about them and then incur late fees, etc.
- Pay your bills online when possible. This will save money and time on postage, etc.
- Ignore credit card convenience checks that come in the mail. They usually come with high fees that make them extremely expensive.
- Save part of your income for retirement. Try saving at least 10 percent from every paycheck; it’s never too late to start.
- Keep the money in your wallet to a minimum. It is proven that the more cash you keep in your wallet, the more likely you are to spend it without tracking it.
- Plan your dinner menus in advance. This is an extremely effective way to reduce your monthly food expenses.