Let’s talk about some simple ways to start saving money, so you can pay off debt, save for a vacation or car, or maybe to retire early! Small little steps make it easy to start out. You can always find more ways to save money, and sort of make a game out of it! Writing down everything in a notebook (Ledger) that you are spending will help you learn where to cut back.
1 Daily Coffee
I understand that many of you are sick of hearing to cut out buying coffee, but it adds up! I know many people that I work with who stop on their way to work every day and buy a coffee or breakfast.
Even if you are only spending $5 a day on coffee, that adds up at the end of the year! Spending $5 five days a week, is $25 per week. That is $1,300 per year! And, let’s be honest, most people pick up a muffin or bagel to go with the coffee. Therefore, this number is very conservative.
As I mentioned in a previous article, Start A Savings Account, you don’t have to give up all five days during the week of getting a coffee on your way to work. Start out by giving up 2-3 days a week start saving money. There’s an article from CNBC with different views on buying coffee every day, and how much it adds up.
2 Eating Out
The average American household spends $3000-$4000 per year on eating out according to Statista!
Again, how about just cutting back a little to start saving money? Don’t eat lunch out every day at work. Instead, pack your lunch half of the week. Maybe cut out half of the times you eat dinner out or pick up take out?
Start planning your meals on the weekend for the upcoming week, and that is going to really save you! Without my menu planning, we will eat out more nights than not; therefore, this saves us a ton of money. Even picking up fast food costs a lot, and is usually pretty bad for you.
3 Bottled Water
According to The Water Project, Americans spend an average of $100 per year, per person! We’re not even going to talk about all the waste from the plastic!
Buy a nice reusable travel water bottle, and then fill it with you own filtered water or tap water. Amazon sells a lot of great reusable water bottles, whether it is plastic, glass, or insulated.
4 Credit Cards
These really can be dangerous if you don’t use these correctly! It doesn’t take much to get into a lot of credit card debt. According to Debt.org, the average American owes $8,398 in credit card debt.
Just try not to use them, and pay with cash or your debit card. Get them paid off, and stop using them. If you are like most Americans, I suggest paying off the card with the least amount on it first. When that one is paid off, take that amount and put it towards the next lowest card. Continue until they are paid off, and then start saving the money you used to pay off those cards.
5 Shop With A List
Shop with a list, always! That is going to save you so much money!
If we go shopping without a list, I guarantee you that we will always grab extra things. That can really add up. A list will keep you focused on what you are there to get.
This goes back to the meal planning post I mentioned earlier, and how having my grocery list keeps expenses down and saves me time. I’m not wandering around every aisle looking for things that I may want to make.
Start out trying a couple of these ideas to save money, and then little by little, you can add more money saving ideas! I mentioned at the beginning that you can make a game out of it. I do! I like to see if I can get my grocery bill a little lower, or spend a little less eating out each month.