“Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there”
Hello my lovelies!
Money money money. I don’t find it very sunny personally but I guess ABBA was on the right track with that one. Since I’m nowhere closer to finding a rich man or hitting the jackpot in Vegas than any other day, I often have to take matters into my own hands and figure out ways to save where I can. Through lots of test runs, successes and fails, I’ve found that these five ways are some of the easiest methods of saving big, and they don’t even require much of your time or energy.
Make Your Own Coffee –
I know a lot of us feel like our day has not yet begun without a little caffeine pick-me-up. Running through Starbucks or any other local coffee shop is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to get our fix, but for a pretty hefty price. A standard grande cafe latte costs around $4.00, and if you’re getting one every work day, five days a week? That’s $20.00 a week dropped on 16 oz. of coffee. While it may cost some money to purchase the initial equipment, making your own coffee at home is a huge every day money saver. My Keurig, K-pods and other coffee essentials included has saved me around $50.00 per month out of a projected total of $80.00 if I continued to go to Starbucks every day. Better yet, my coffee at home is exactly what I want every day, meaning I get to skip the trial and error of someone making my coffee for me and save a lot of money in the process.
Limit Your Takeout –
I think out of everything on this list, this one is inarguably the hardest. Adult life is a lot of work and very little play, which makes picking up dinner or ordering it in a stress-relieving in the moment option for so many of us. Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest things that will suck up all of your cash, since restaurants are already expensive on a good day, but delivery up charges make it even worse. A $10.00 meal at a restaurant turns into a $25.00 meal with taxes and delivery charges applied, and while it seems worthwhile to pay for the convenience, there are other ways to make sure you feed yourself after a long work day. As annoying as it may seem in the beginning, meal planning and prepping is your biggest friend when it comes to saving money on food. Packaging dinner so it is easy to grab out of the fridge is not only way more convenient than waiting an hour for food to arrive, it saves you an average of about $100.00 per week in food costs, and that’s just for one person alone.
Always Give It 10% –
No, you aren’t reading that wrong, I didn’t miss another 0. I grew up with a financially literate and very frugal stepfather, which meant opening and maintaining a savings account was an unspoken rule in our household. To my surprise, many of my peers completely ignore their savings accounts, citing a lack of funds to contribute to it, or simply not wanting to contribute to their savings because they don’t know WHAT to contribute. After a lot of test runs, I’ve found that 10% is the magic number. After depositing your paycheck and paying all essential bills, take 10% out of the remaining amount and put it into your savings account. It may not seem like very much money, but that continuous 10% deposit will add up pretty fast. Using this 10% rule during my Junior year of high school is the reason I had the privilege of going to the U.K., expenses paid and with spending money still left over. That 10% will continue to accrue over time when you make those deposits, and you will continue to see those results.
Assign A Freetime Budget –
One of the worst feelings is going out with friends or family and realizing you don’t have the money to pay for your share. It’s embarrassing, appears irresponsible, and can definitely be a bruise to the ego when someone else has to cover you. However, the solution to this problem is not staying home and wishing you could be there. Creating a freetime budget can be treated very similarly to the savings account rule mentioned above, but you get to pick the percent value that fits your lifestyle best. This doesn’t mean that you get an example of 10% of your paycheck to spend for fun in the week, because that wouldn’t be sustainable. What it does mean is that like a savings account, you collect spending money into a “reserve” that can be used for fun activities. It’s your responsibility to control the flow of this reserve, but it will be there for when your coworkers want to go out for a drink or your cousin wants to take you to a concert. Ultimately, the point is that it should always be there, because we are allowed to spend money on ourselves and have fun, even if we are on a budget.
Make A Shopping List and Stick With it –
Have you ever gone to the grocery store while you’re hungry? Most of us know that it is a recipe for disaster. I will throw everything that looks even mildly appealing into my shopping cart and before I know it, I’ve spent over $150.00 on a bunch of crap I’m very likely not going to eat anyway. My number one trick to avoiding this trap, even if I am famished during my shopping trip, is to make a shopping list. The way I see it, everything that I think I need or want will end up on that list, and even if I’m tempted at the grocery store by something later, I’ll know that if I wanted it bad enough, I would’ve put it on my list from the start. Creating a shopping list means I can not only stick to the foods I’ve put on it and feel safe from wandering, but it also forces me to stay within a reasonable budget. While I love humanity, we are the most wasteful creatures on the planet both monetarily and in terms of consumption, and this is my way of checking myself so I can curb this wasteful tendency in all forms.
That’s all I have for you guys today. Please remember to like, comment, and subscribe, it really helps me out. Also don’t forget to have a marvelous Monday!
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