The first thing that needs to be identified is where is the money leaking from? Then you need to plug the holes to stop your boat sinking any deeper. The next step after that is slow methodical repair to any problems so you can get things running smoothly and sailing back in the right direction.
So in this article we are going to address how to save money by looking at some of the common holes that money may be leaking from and how you can plug them up and keep the money where it needs to be.
How to save money on morning coffee
Everyman and his dog talks about how much cash you can save by not buying coffee in the morning and throughout the day but have you actually listened to the advice yet and started making your own coffee? A Large Thermos Steel Flask (<–Affiliate Link) is only $26 from Amazon and you will save the investment likely in less than a month. The other alternative is to just stop drinking coffee and start drinking water….. I know stupid idea, right! Just add up how much you actually do spend on coffee in any given month! It’s probably enough to justify investing in a top of the line coffee maker!
Save on snack food
I’m not going to say the obvious “Cut down on McDonald’s” as you already know this and it’s hardly a revelation that cutting back on fast food will save some cash! But what about the little things. A pack of mints, a small candy bar, a bad of chips. If you are anything like me then you probably find the temptation to buy lots of little bits throughout the week. The simple answer is stop doing it, make a mental note and reinforce it every time you are tempted to buy a snack. Alternatively you can buy in larger quantity at places like Costco and limit your snacks by bringing a few with you each day. This also affords you the opportunity to upgrade to some healthier snacks and give your body a positive boost.
Save on restaurants and eating out
The easiest options to save on restaurant spending is to eat and cook at home. Learning to cook is fun hobby that gives back way more than it costs but even so I am sure you will get the urge to eat out. You can try going with restaurant coupons or setting exact dates once a month when you can eat out. Things like paid market research studies are also an excellent way to eat out and actually get reimbursed plus compensation. I have done this before and it’s an excellent way to keep a restaurant hobby alive!
Subscriptions could be wasting cash!
When you take a look over your bank statements it’s a good idea to grab a highlighter and highlight all your recurring subscriptions. You may be paying for a magazine you never read or a service you rarely use. If you pay extra to have a newspaper delivered, think about the possibility of walking to the shops before breakfast and picking up the paper yourself. I remember finding out I had been paying for months and months for a magazine that was being sent to my old address! Also I had a hosting account with a web provider that I was no longer using and had forgotten to cancel!
The simple question you need to ask yourself when considering cancelling these things is “Do I really Need It?”. Be honest with yourself!
Your utility bills need looking at!
Most people really are too lazy to do anything about this but c’mon guys there is a recession on (ok the Government does not agree on that!) so make use of it! During times of recession those evil corporations are doing all they can to steal business from each other. That puts you as a consumer in a great position. Get all your bills together, add them up and see if you can save by switching companies or changing to package deals for your phone, electricity, cable, net, gas, water…. whatever household bills you have. Just be careful about reading fine print or getting licked into any contracts.
Aswell as saving cash on the utility bills themselves what about using less? I am a bit believer that we should all be consuming less. Consider replacing all bulbs in the house with long life energy savers. Call up your local government as they may even be giving these out free! Make sure taps are not dripping and if it’s easy to do turn off your hot water heater at night. Make sure water is turned off between use and take showers instead of baths. Also if you feel a little cold, just put a sweater rather than the heating.
How to save money on groceries
I probably spend more on groceries than anything else (except rent for my apartment) but I try to be very frugal here too.
I make sure I buy as many fresh, raw ingredients as possible. This actually does save money as you can consider batch cooking and cooking as a new hobby (See my post about Once a Month Cooking Recipes). You can’t spend money easily while you are at home cooking! Also buy in season to save more. For fresh veggies and fruit you may also want to join a local allotment scheme, food Coop or even grow your own…. You can save an absolute ton this way.
By cutting back on meat too you will see a positive effect on your wallet. I have been vegetarian for 9 years now and I am not saying you need to follow my lead but my groceries are cheaper as a result.
Cleaning products can get really pricy but many cleaning jobs can be done with baking soda or vinegar. Also for hari products and skin products consider natural alternatives, supermarket brands or just using less!
Simply cutting down the amount you eat is a good idea too. Cut back on buying snack and sweets. If they are not there you are much less likely to get the idea to eat. If you do have them around to take to work and things put them out of convenience, on a top shelf or something.
Save on transport
The price of fuel is rising and of course I know you want to be environmentally friendly! So cutting back on using your vehicle, especially for short trips, is a must. It may even be cheaper to walk to a local more expensive store than driving out far to a cheaper store. Going to work may be cheaper via public transport or even walking. I used to walk 5 miles to work and take public transport home, then later on I invested in a bicycle and started peddling in both directions. This saves a lot of money over time.
Your Mortgage or Rent
The cost of the mortgage or rent is probably your biggest expense. If you own your home then you might want to check that you are on the best rate available, if not then consider switching your mortgage to a better rate. Just be careful you don’t get locked into any bad deals.
For rent, take a look at your home and consider if you actually need something as big as you have. If you are renting something too large then consider getting a room mate or moving to a smaller apartment or even another neighborhood. If you are struggling to pay your rent and it’s not easy for you to move then you may even consider asking your landlord to drop it! This is happening a lot right now in places like New York City as it’s better for a landlord to keep a tenant rather than risk losing them and not getting a new one.
Coupons and discounts
Coupons can actually make you spend more as seeing them can encourage you to buy more! However if you use them responsibly they can save you cash in a variety of situations. Personally I check to see if I can find a coupon before I do something. if I know I am going out to eat in a certain area I do a search on Google and various online coupon providers such as coupons.answers.com and various deal sites to see if there is anything available in the area. I would also check against a shopping list, check to see if there are any options for a bored weekend, see if there are any manufacturer codes available and more.
Before you use a coupon just as the question. Would I buy this item if there wasn’t a coupon available? if the answer is no then you are probably spending money you don’t need to!
Save money by learning how to simplify your life
One of the ways I have personally saved a lot of cash over the years is by learning how to simplify my life and I am an avid fan of frugal living for the most part. Simplifying in every area makes living less stressful and generally a lot easier mentally, physically and financially. Read my post on how to simplify your life for a more in depth look.
There are so many other areas to look at how to save money but I hope this article started your cogs turning and gave you some ideas and kickers to get saving more today.
This post is a work in progress so if you have any suggestions for me to add to this article, want to comment or just feel like saying hello then please leave a comment below or mail me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks a million,