Now that we are well into the new year, it is an excellent time to check in on resolutions. Most people abandon theirs by the third week of January so do not feel too bad if you indulged. If your goal this year is to save money whether that be to pay down debt or put money towards a down payment, it is not too late to get back on track. There are plenty of ways and many months ahead to reach your financial goals. Here are some easy ways you can save money starting today:
The first thing you will need to do is write out every expense you have. Then, you can start crossing off items you can reduce or live without. Some things that can eat up your budget without you even realizing are:
- Coffee shop – Buying a cup of coffee does not seem like much until you do it every day. If you spend $2 every day (or most days) on a cup of Joe, that is more than $500 in just one year. Try limiting your coffee purchases to a few times a month or brew your own at home and take it with you.
- Eating out and delivery – Treating yourself to fast food or a nice restaurant once in a while is fine, but you should get in the habit of cooking most of your meals.
- Cell phone bill – You might be able to score a better deal on your phone plan since new ones come out all the time. Call up your provider and see what they can do for you.
- Entertainment – Concerts and movies are fun, but the expenses associated with them like transportation, ticket prices, and eating or drinking can add up. Convince your friends to participate in lower cost activities instead.
- Impulse buys – Plan ahead and budget groceries, clothes, and gifts so that you can buy things on sale and end up with only what you need.
Our homes have a way of making us spend money on things we probably do not need. Here are some ways to reduce home-related expenses:
- Internet and TV – Try to negotiate your bundles and consider cutting out cable in favour of one streaming service.
- Heating – Dress warmly in your home so that you can turn down the temperature in the winter. Try to keep showers short as well to save money.
- Fix drafty windows and doors – You could be losing hundreds of dollars from windows and doors that are not sealed properly.
- Keep decorating costs low – Avoid splurging on expensive home decor. A little can go a long way, and second-hand retailers offer a wide variety of options for less.
Deal With Debt
If you are carrying balances over each month on credit cards or loans, make sure you pay more than the minimum. Otherwise, more of your money will go towards interest rather than paying off the principle. This means you will be in debt longer and money that you could be saving is lost instead. Debt elimination should be a priority when trying to save a substantial amount of money.