If you have a hard time controlling how much money you spend, it might be because you’re not aware of the little expenses that add up over time — the little things are really what make it so difficult rather than big, lavish purchases. By changing your habits just a little bit, you can stop spending money on these little, near-daily expenses and start building a surplus that can be used to pay down debt and add more to savings.
Here are a few simple ways you can cut down on spending:
- Be smart at the grocery store. Try to buy items in bulk when they’re on sale if you know you’re going to need them in the future. Also, whenever possible, try to avoid brand-name products if there is a reasonable, comparable alternative in a generic brand. Make thorough lists before you go to the store so you only get what you need. Beware, however of buying too much in bulk that could go wasted.
- Bring your lunch to work. All it takes is about 10 minutes to prepare your lunch. Whether it’s through cooking a little extra for dinner the night before or waking up just a little bit earlier to make yourself a sandwich and pack some fruit, you’ll save a lot of money by not going out to lunch every day. People who create a historical picture of their spending are always amazed at how much money they spend eating out every year.
- Go out to eat less. Along the same lines, a spending plan will help you see how much you are spending on restaurant food and help you plan for special occasions rather than just routinely eating out. It’s significantly less expensive to cook at home than to go out to eat. Try limiting yourself to once a week and see how that works. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save.
- Carry cash. Studies have shown people will spend 30 percent more when they only have a credit card on them. Sometimes credit and debit cards do not feel as “real” as hard, cold cash. By having cash in your wallet, you have an automatic limit on the amount of money you can spend.
- Change your routine. If passing by Starbucks every morning is too much of a temptation, for example, try going to work a different way.
- Do it yourself (DIY). Rather than paying other people to shovel your sidewalks, cut your grass, or do other simple tasks, do them yourself. You will save a lot of money and might learn some important skills along the way.
Need more tips for cutting down your spending? Contact us today at Money Mastery.