It can be a challenge to save more money, because our spending habits are so ingrained into our everyday way of life. That trip to the coffee shop in the morning feels so essential to our routine, and it’s only $2 a cup, so we see no reason to tally up how much it costs us per year. The same goes for those evenings at the mall when we allow ourselves a little retail therapy to take the edge off a bad day.
Both of these indulgences can be part of a responsible financial plan, so long as they don’t get in the way of your basic needs and life-long financial goals. To improve your quality of life, it’s as simple as spending less on things you could just as easily do without. Here are four easy ways to accomplish that:
Eating out even once a day could cost you upwards of $100 per week, which adds up to $5200 per year. Compare this to taking up the art of cooking and making your own meals, a proven way to leave more money in your pocket.
While dinner at a reasonably-priced restaurant could come to $25 after tax and tip, a homemade meal can run you as little as $3-$5 per plate, or around five times less than eating out. When the difference is so astronomical, and so many use payday loans as crutches instead of lifelines, it makes good financial sense to save money and start meal planning today; just make sure to pick dishes you love so you’re never tempted to revert to old habits.
Focus on What You Love
The key here is to cut out unnecessary expenses to not only save money but leave more of the discretionary part of your budget for things you truly love.
For example, if the aforementioned morning coffees aren’t that important to you, and brewing them at home feels just as good, it’s an easy win to do so and redirect the money you save to a more cherished activity.
Forget the Trend
Keeping up with the Joneses and replacing your car, phone, or appliances while they’re still in goodworking condition can quickly lead to financial distress. You may find yourself relying on payday lenders just to get by, even though they should only be used for temporary emergencies.
Instead, the better option is to get the full value out of your purchases by using them until they break down or no longer meet your day-to-day needs.
Our final tip is to ask your bank or workplace to automatically transfer a small percentage of your paycheque into a savings account. If you keep it between 5% and 10%, it will be small enough for you to not notice it’s missing. As the amount accumulates over time, it will provide you with a much-needed cushion in the event of a large unexpected expense.
While our spending habits may be hard to break, it’s by no means impossible to change our ways in the name of a more comfortable financial future. Take some time to identify the expenses that don’t add meaning to your life, commit to cutting them down, and you’ll be well on your way to never worrying about money again.