It might surprise you to learn how comfortably one can exist on relatively modest means. Being smart with your money will only improve your living conditions. Consider these tips to up your saving game.
Have you ever gone out to a fancy restaurant and thought, “Ugh I could have made this for a third of the price!” Well, you’re probably right. Rare and exquisite ingredients can turn an ordinary dish into a money sink, but many other delicious meals can be prepared with what is pocket change relative to takeaway.
Ride your bicycle
Gas is pretty cheap now, yes, but calories are even cheaper. Ride your bike around town to reduce maintenance costs on both your car and your body. If you’re not much of a cyclists, then walk! It’s finally nice and warm out.
Prioritize your leisure and luxury
Beers with buddies is tempting, but how much would you save by gathering for brews at home instead of a pub? Great fun can be cheap. Another quick way to have fun without spending a dime is to organize pot lucks: everyone brings a dish and/or drinks and you all have a good time.
Put money into savings
If there’s nothing available for you to spend, you won’t be wasting any cash. Stow a consistent portion of your income out of reach. Even though mobile banking has made it easier than ever to transfer money within your accounts, the mere act of having to make a transfer will make you double-think a purchase.
Establish a budget
Figure out, for example, how much money you need to feed yourself each month. Record your expenses. An eye on budgeting keeps your dollar from running amok. We’ve said it before, organization is key. If you have a set plan of how much you’re going to spend per week, it’ll be way easier to stick to it.
Go for lasting quality, not appearances
Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese is better than generic. Those inordinately expensive branded headphones, however, are hanging their price tag on popularity and recognition. Instead of Beats By Dre for example, known to be, well, not great, you could get this high-quality Sony headphones for a fraction of the price.
Share your living space
It’s the sharing economy after all. Dividing your rent with a couple of buddies could prove to be a fun and economical experience while you save up to afford your own place.
Reduce your energy consumption
Electricity tends to be the largest utility bill most people face. Regardless of your thoughts on “going green”, it saves juice.
Track your financial moves
Just as you would jot down your every meal for a successful diet, you need to keep track of every minuscule thing you consume or purchase so you know how much you’re spending. Apps such as Spendbook, or Wally make it easy to keep track of your expenditures.
Get out of debt
Easier said than done, I know, but some are blase about spending while still owing and they’re shooting themselves in the foot. It may be best to live like a relatively cozy pauper until you’re out–give yourself the benefit of starting from scratch.