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One of the problems I’ve seen with getting on a budget and saving money is the fact that it seems to take a while to get started. You have to go through all of your spending and actually cut a few things. Well, you can start saving today with a few quick decisions. And the impact can be pretty big over time.
Here are 5 ways you can stop wasting money today!
Cut out your morning latte. It’s been called the “Latte Factor” by many personal finance “experts.” It originated with David Bach (author of “Automatic Millionaire“). It is based on the idea that making small sacrifices over a long period of time will help you finish rich. Say you cut out your $4 a day latte for a month. That’s $20 a week x 4 weeks = $80 a month (roughly). That’s $960 a year! Heck, if you invest that money over the next 30 years (at 8%), your daily latte is now worth $178,625!!! Here’s my suggestion: Make your coffee at home. A coffee maker at WalMart is like $15. You can afford that after only 4 days of no latte! You can drink a cup or two at home, fill up a thermos, and you’re ready for the day.
Pack a lunch for work. This is a fun one. And though I get free lunch at work now, there was a time where I ate a sack lunch every day. My awesome wife (w00t w00t Mrs. iHB!) would pack me a sandwich, veggies, fruit and sometimes some chips, 5 days a week. And this can save a bundle for those that eat out during the workday. So my sack lunch on average cost about $2 a day, but when I ate out it was about $9, depending on if I ordered a soda or not. So that’s a savings of $7 a day! Not to mention that your packed lunch is most likely healthier (hopefully) than what you get at your local eatery. Even if you’re only eating out 3 days a week, that’s $108 a month that you could be saving for a sweet vacation, or a limited edition Justin Bieber signed locket of hair!
Cut out cable. If you can’t tell me what is on channel 617 tonight at 6pm, then you don’t need cable. You’re paying for that channel, why don’t you watch it? And seriously, what in the world is on that you “can’t live without” and are dropping $50+ a month (just for the cable portion) to see? And do you really even need that home phone that they “bundled” to make our cable/internet “cheaper”? Most shows can be played back on Hulu or their respective station’s webpage. You can even order Hulu PLUS or Netflix and watch entire seasons of shows, just not LIVE. So, when you get home, pick up your phone, call your cable provider and tell them that you would like to switch to internet only. We pay just over $40 a month for high speed internet, follow our favorite shows for FREE on Hulu, and don’t miss cable one bit! We are over 3 years sober from cable and have not relapsed.
Don’t buy that daily coupon! I know you’ve already thought about it. You’re signed up to 15 of those “daily deal” sites and your inbox is already full of offers that are “once in a lifetime!” STOP! DON’T BUY IT! If you’re anything like us, you may have forgotten to budget in enough money for that very important bartending class or the “Eco Friendly” Party Bus rental (for up to 14 passengers). And though you can “Save” over 50% off the retail price, you should not buy it. Now, I’m not saying that you should never buy a good coupon. By all means, if you’ve got $60 in your date budget and you can get dinner for two with drinks for half off, then dive right in. But staring at deals every day is VERY TEMPTING, and you can easily justify wasting money on something you can’t pass up because you are saving money.
Drink more water. This one’s pretty easy. Just skip drinking that glass of wine, beer or other drink tonight. You can save at least $1 per night that you choose to do this (including the cost of the tap water). If you do this 3 times a week, that’s over $150 a year saved! That’s another night at your favorite vacation destination or an amazing dinner to celebrate your anniversary. Or, just for funsies, if you invest that money over 30 years, drinking water can net you a whopping $19,086!
As you can see, it’s pretty easy to start saving money now, even if you haven’t started a budget yet. And there are a to more simple ways to save once you get on a budget and set some goals! It’s really the small areas of your spending that you have control over that can help expedite your goal-achieving. And that’s why budgeting is awesome. You make small sacrifices for large returns!
Comments: Have you made any small sacrifices to help achieve your financial goals? What are some of the ways that you have cut wasted spending? Does anyone know if Obamacare will cover my back pain from this patio? And seriously, WHY IS IT STILL RAINING?!!