In this economy, many people are working full-time, some even do two jobs, but it has become very difficult to put some money on the side, especially when so many people are struggling to make ends meet and pay the bills. However, if you’re not below the poverty line, there is a way for you to save some money each day. All it takes is some thinking and organization, and you’ll be able to put $5-$10 away each day, on average. Saving money does require some sacrifice, but it doesn’t mean that you would have to give up the things you really need. See how you can save money, hopefully not for a rainy day but for some nice occasion.
1. Control your impulses
Many of us shop on impulse – we see something that looks great and we immediately think that we must have it, and so we buy it. Later we realize that we didn’t really need it and that we could have spent that money on something better or more useful.
When you see something in a store and think “I need to buy this,” go home and give yourself 24-72 hours to decide whether you really want and need it. On some occasions you will really need something, and in that case it’s OK to buy it, but much more often you’ll realize that the purchase wouldn’t be too smart and that you don’t really need what you wanted to buy. You’ll save hundreds of dollars in only a year by giving yourself some time to think things over. Impulsive shopping will not do your wallet any good.
2. Replace expensive hobbies for something low-cost or free
If your gym membership is expensive, there is surely a gym that offers similar benefits for a lower cost. If you like reading books, it’s much cheaper to borrow them from a library than to buy each book you want to read. You could also borrow books from your friends. If you’re used to going everywhere by car, you’re probably spending lots of money on gas – try to walk more (it’s healthier for you and it’s free), or ride a bike when you’re not going too far. If you like going to restaurants with your loved one – that’s lovely, but you could do it a little more rarely, and instead prepare a nice meal for your partner more often. That could be as romantic as a restaurant, especially if you light some candles to set an appropriate atmosphere. Also, you could find products that are cheaper but of equal quality as the expensive products you’re buying. Or instead of buying everything in a store, you could start buying cosmetic products on the market – they are almost always cheaper, but equally good as those store-bought goods.
3. Buy quality clothes
This may sound contradictory, but by paying more initially you will save a lot of money in the long run. Buying low-quality clothes means having to buy them often because they get damaged easily and start looking unappealing. Buying fewer pieces of clothing, but of a higher quality, means that you’ll have those clothes for a long time. It’s worth it.
4. Buy a better car
When it comes to cars, those that use less gas and save more are usually more expensive, but paying more when you’re buying it sometimes means that you’ll have to pay less for fixing it (because it won’t break as often as a low-quality car does) and it will use less gas. Always check the specifications of the cars you want to buy, and when you do the math you’ll realize that an initial investment quickly pays off.
5. Reduce utility bills
Do you keep your lights on even when you leave the room? Just by turning the lights off when you’re not using them, you can save a lot of money on electricity. As for your phone, it would be wise to see how much are you really using the services you’re provided with, and if you’re spending less than your plan allows you, switch to a smaller plan. And do you really need special channels for the cable TV? You usually have to pay extra for them, and when you pay for them each month the bill adds up quickly to a large sum of money.
6. Buy food at the farmer’s market or a supermarket
Buying food at small stores is usually much more expensive than buying it in a supermarket or a farmer’s market. Also, buying large packages always comes out cheaper than buying several small packages of the same product. For example, a gallon of water in one bottle is cheaper than the same amount is 5 or 6 bottles. Moreover, supermarkets frequently offer discounts on several products, and then you can save lots of money shopping. If you can, buy groceries 2-3 times per month, as that way you will save on gas, you will probably get some discount for buying in bulk, and your fridge will always be stocked.