Three Ways You Could Be Saving Money Before You Leave Your House in the Morning
Ever wonder where the money goes? Are you often surprised when you check your bank balance? Chances are it’s the little things that are adding up to create a bigger problem. Now is the time to create some healthy money habits that will leave you happy. Here are three ways you could be saving money, even before you leave your house in the morning.
Don’t Get Caught in the Credit Trap: Carry Cash Only
It’s a hard habit to get used to, not having that card you can reach for when you see something shiny and new. But if you sit down and figure out your daily allowable spending on non-essentials, two things will happen. First, you’ll see that it’s not as much as you might think. Second, you’ll be pretty happy to bring only cash, knowing you aren’t thoughtlessly spending yourself into debt. Take along a notepad to record your daily cash spending. Why? Because that’s how you’ll become mindful of what you’re doing. Imagine a life where your credit card bills and bank statements don’t give you a heart attack and you see everything coming. Isn’t that priceless?
Pre-Make Lunches and Snacks You Love
One of the biggest areas of overspending is around food. We tend to have extremely busy lives and it’s difficult to fit in meal planning. The siren call of the restaurant or fast food place is irresistible when you are caught hungry and unprepared, dashing from one place to another during the day. Invest in a thermal bag for carrying your own favorite snacks and lunches and you’ll be armed against impulse spending. This one saves more than your bank account, as food you make at home is probably going to be better for you, too.
By the way, watch that coffee habit. Do you really need an extra-shot super large mega latte every time you go on a break? Budgeting for a café drink each day is fine; sometimes that’s just part of how you get through the day. But it doesn’t have to be a premium drink every time. Train yourself to enjoy a basic coffee—or better yet, pre-make your own thermos of coffee—and watch the dollars stick around. If you do frequent cafés, make sure you bring your own cup and make use of loyalty programs. Otherwise you are throwing money away, especially as the years go by.
Ride With a Friend
We love our privacy and our own space in the car, but how much are you paying for that luxury? You might be surprised. Start a carpool with some friends and save money on gas. Over time, you’ll be amazed how it impacts your bottom line. If you don’t live that far from work, consider walking or riding a bike. You’ll get exercise in the bargain.
Don’t let the hustle and bustle of your daily life wreak havoc on your finances. Before you head out the door, think about how much money you can really afford to spend that day. Prepare yourself for a battle against temptation with a few quick preparations. Bring a coffee mug, your own lunch, and some new thinking about transportation, and plow the savings into your debt. That wasn’t so bad, was it?