Most of us know we should be sticking money back for a rainy day. In spite of everything we’ve been taught about building financial security, the typical working stiff can come up with all sorts of reasons to not open a savings account and contribute to it regularly. We tell ourselves it takes everything we make to get by, but we’ll start saving sometime soon.
Sometime soon has just arrived.
You may think that there is no way you can save money right now. But the truth is there is a good chance you can make a few basic changes in how you handle your money and consistently save money every month. Here are five examples to get you started.
* Have you ever thought about how many sodas you buy from the vending machine at work? There is a good chance you buy at least one every day. Depending on where you live, that can add up to anywhere between $3.75 and $6.25 a week. Keep the money in your pocket and take a thermos of tea to work each day. Over the course of a month, you can stick $15.00 – $25.00 in that new savings account.
* How many times each week do you eat out? More and more of us eat out more than preparing a meal at home. Even some of our “at-home” meals are quick runs we made to a fast food place on the way from work. Cutting back one meal out per week is likely to save you at least $10.00, or $40.00 over the course of a month.
* Take a look at your cable television package. Do you really need 300 channels when 99% of the programs you like are on broadcast channels or at least the channels included in the basic package? Changing to basic cable can easily save you $20.00 – $30.00 a month.
* Are you the type that goes to the supermarket to pick up some eggs and milk, but end up spending $100.00 before you finally get out of there? You’re doing way too much impulse shopping. Make a list before you go and stick to it. If you run out of something before the week is over, improvise. It won’t kill you, but it could cut your food budget by $50.00 to $100.00 a week.
* Combining errands into one road trip can save a lot of gasoline. Instead of running out to do one thing, then twice more later in the day to do a couple of other things, arrange your schedule so you can manage all three errands without backtracking home so much. If you live in a mid-sized city, this could mean at saving at least $10.00 a week.
So let’s see what we have here. Assuming you save the minimum each week with these tips, that comes to a total of $165.00 that could go into your savings each month. Think of that as being $1,980.00 plus interest over the course of a year. And did it really hurt to make those small adjustments? Of course not.
Saving money does not mean depriving yourself of things you like. But it does mean using what you have to best advantage. Try these tips for a month and see how you do. Chances are you will not miss one thing and will be very happy when you see the balance in your savings account growing each month.