When money is tight, it can sometimes be difficult to wrap your head around creative ways to make ends meet. With a little bit of effort on your part though, you will be able to cut corners on the things that are not important to you and be able to save some money as a result. It’s all about putting things into perspective, being willing to make a few sacrifices and then reaping the rewards.
To help you out, we have assembled 7 different ways that you can save a bit of extra cash without having to completely reassemble your current lifestyle.
1. Eat out less often
If you love to dine out and have a favorite restaurant that you frequent often, it’s time to put the brakes on the amount of visits you make to the diner. You don’t have to completely eliminate eating out – you just need to eat out less often. For example, if you eat an average of 4 meals a month at a restaurant, try cutting back to only 2 meals out. This way, you aren’t breaking the habit cold turkey and can still look forward to your dining out times. Simply mark on the calendar the days in a month when you can head out for a bite to eat and stick to this plan. The money that you save can go directly into your piggy bank.
2. Get in the habit of turning off all of your lights
This is a simple yet effective way to save money and best of all you don’t have to make any serious lifestyle changes to do it! If you’re like most people, you aren’t in the habit of turning off every light in the house when you’re not using them. By turning off your lights you can expect to save at least $5 a month on your electric bill. This adds up to $60 a year. While it’s not a fortune, it is an easy way to start saving. When you add this small amount to the other amounts, you’ll see that they all add up pretty quickly!
3. Use a grocery list and a meal plan
Every week you should be planning out all of the meals according to your budget. Then and only then should you attempt to write out a grocery list. You’ll be able to see exactly what ingredients you’ll need and will have a strategic plan in place before visiting the grocery store. As long as you stick to your list when making your food purchases, you’ll be all set!
4. Go through your monthly budget again
If you haven’t taken a look at your monthly budget lately, it may be time to go through it again. If you don’t have a budget, it’s time to prepare one – now! In a new unit of time you’ll be able to revisit your exact needs and wants and see if there are any areas on the budget where money could be shaved off. If you are looking at a budget that you have already set up, go in with the attitude that you will find a way to save $5 per month. That will add up to an additional $60 per year as well!
5. Coupons add up quickly
There are people out there that can spend $50 for a $200 grocery order through the wise use of coupons. Take a serious look at the coupons that are being offered on the Internet and in the local flyers you receive from grocery stores. When you combine some of these coupons with sale items, you can really end up with a lot of food at a low price. While you are looking through the online coupons, you might also want to take a look for restaurant coupons and deals. You’ll not only end up saving money at the grocery store but also on your restaurant nights out!
6. Work with your neighbors
Don’t be afraid to work with your neighbors and your friends and ask them for things when you need them. If you’re baking a cake and don’t have an egg, it’s nice to have a neighbor to go to. You won’t have to run out to the closest convenience store to buy an expensive carton of eggs to make the cake. Your neighbor will come to you to borrow certain items too when you build up this type of relationship. It’s a win-win scenario where you and your friends and neighbors can all save money together.
7. Set up a rewards scheme
Saving money can often feel like a chore but it doesn’t have to! Reward yourself for saving! Set up a goal and targets to reach and then give yourself a treat once you have obtained them. These rewards don’t need to be costly; a simple treat or a special time to yourself may be all that’s required to stay motivated.