No matter your budget, you should always be on the lookout to save money where you can. Those extra dollars can go a long way toward funding financial goals like purchasing a house, paying off credit card debt, funding your retirement, or simply saving for a rainy day.
But what can you do to reduce your spending? Make these daily changes to save more money:
Follow a Budget
When you have a clearly mapped out budget and know the ins and outs of your financial situation thoroughly, it can go a long way toward saving money. However, there’s no point in having a budget if you’re not following it. Make a daily commitment to do what it takes to stay within your spending budget. Allotting yourself a certain amount to spend in areas like food, gas, clothing, and extras can help keep you on track - as long as you stay within the predetermined amounts.
Stop Making Impulse Buys
Impulse purchases are the number one budget killer. Making unplanned purchases, even if they're as small as a pack of gum, regularly adds up and takes away from the money you could be saving instead. Make a commitment to avoid unplanned purchases unless it’s an emergency - your savings account will thank you.
Stop Grabbing Coffee
Companies like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have made an absolute fortune based on the fact that Americans like coffee and are willing to pay for it. You don’t need to stop drinking coffee, but your daily work coffee is adding up and costing you upwards of $80 a month! Try brewing at home and taking a steaming mug along for the ride. Investing in a home latte machine may even be worth the consideration for savings in the long run.
Stop Dining Out
When you’re tired or simply don’t like to cook, dining out regularly can quickly become a habit; however, this is an expensive habit. Simply reducing your regular dining out by 50% can save you a couple hundred dollars a month, depending on your family size. That’s money you can throw into savings instead.
Plan Your Grocery Trips
Grocery shopping, even with the best intentions, can really eat up your available budget if it’s not planned wisely. Cut back on the daily trips on the way home from work and instead try pre-planning a week's worth of grocery shopping. When you plan your meals out, not only can it save you money, but it can also reduce the headache of having to figure out what to cook each day. The next time you go shopping, be sure you don’t walk in without a list. For other grocery saving tactics, check out this article.
Save Your Change
Your leftover change may seem small in comparison, but it adds up. If you pay with cash, take your change and add it to a jar. When you’ve filled the jar, take it straight to your bank and deposit it into your savings account - bypass your checking account altogether. If you don’t pay with cash regularly, you can use apps like Acorns to automatically round up your spending and place the amount into an investment portfolio.
Turn Off the Lights
Making the daily determination to save on your utilities can save you big by the end of the billing cycle. Make a concentrated daily effort to keep lights off in unused rooms, reduce your AC or heat usage, and keep unused appliances unplugged and turned off. The amount you save on your monthly bill can go right into savings - plus it’s always a good thing to help conserve energy in your neighborhood.
Sometimes making small changes can turn into something big. Budgeting your money isn’t as hard as it seems. The key is to set realistic goals that you will be able to stick with. Little by little, you will be amazed at how much money you will manage to save. Follow the tips above and watch your savings go up.