Most people around these days are trying to save money in some way. Your average Joe and Jane are looking to cut costs wherever they can in order to pay for a mortgage, car insurance, student loans, or just the monthly grocery bill. Or maybe you want to get your sweetheart an initial necklace. No matter the expenditure, it will cost money. And let’s not forget about saving for the future. So here are a few basic strategies to save a few bucks:
Don’t spend half a paycheck on a gift to yourself. “I deserve it,” you mutter, opening the door to expensive clothing store. Stop for a minute and think about it. First of all, whether you deserve it or not, can you afford it? Are you working full time? Are you paying your bills on time? Are you paying down your debts? Do you get stressed when the first of the month rolls around? After considering the answers to these questions, you may find yourself turning right back around and not buying the $150 dress that caught your eye. If you cut out major self-gifting expenses every month, you can easily save a grand this year.
Cut your own hair, wash your own car. This is a little more extreme, but it’s definitely do-able. If you can’t cut your own hair, enlist the help of a friend. Not to downplay the skill level of hair stylists, but it’s really not difficult to simply trim the length of your follicles. Now, if you’re looking for a movie star quality head of hair, the equation changes a bit. Wash your own car too. This is even easier and it’s a good way to meet your neighbors. If you have your hair cut once a month, and wash your car twice a month—eliminating these two will save you at least $40 a month.
Don’t dine out. It’s tough walking by the Pho restaurant without dropping in for some vermicelli and, yes, occasionally you should treat yourself to a modest restaurant meal—but the cold reality is if you eat out for every meal, you’re going to be spending at least $20-$30 a day. Let’s take the conservative number, 20—that’s $140 a week. On the other hand, a smart grocery trip can feed you for a week for $50 or less. That’s a savings of $90 a week, or $360 a month! It takes discipline to make yourself breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but isn’t it worth the effort in order to save over four thousand dollars this year?
Okay, now add up the savings. If you implement the cost-cutting measures just outlined, you can save nearly six thousands dollars this year! And that’s just from three strategies. Imagine if you kept going and made a truly substantial list of all the ways you spend money. A lot of people don’t even think about the money they spend and that’s part of the pathology of finances in this country. Take responsibility for your expenditures and you’ll find money management doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds.
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