Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just select what you needed and wanted without the need for money? Well, there is a way to change your spending habits and enjoy more of your income. Living frugally isn’t being cheap, it’s actually quite the opposite. When you cut back on frivolous purchases you end up with more in your pockets for something you really want.
Doing away with costly daily habits.
You probably head off to work and the first thing you do after you park the car is purchase a cup of coffee. The same goes for lunch, you again stop into one on the local establishments and spend money. Just those two items alone are costing you roughly $50.00 a week. It’s easy to do what’s convenient, but when it costs you nearly a car payment each month you may want to rethink if it’s worth it. Instead, take a few minutes the night before and pack up either your leftovers from dinner or make a salad or sandwich. The same goes for your coffee. Get up a few minutes earlier and brew a full pot, then pour it into a thermos and you’ll have hot coffee for the entire day, at a fraction of the cost of buying out.
Pay cash for large ticket items.
When was the last time you headed into a department store and said yes I’ll take that one without using a card? It’s too easy to put it on a card syndrome. The next thing that happens is you now have another bill to cover each month. Instead of adding to your monthly debt, save up for your next large purchase. Then once you have the money in hand you can order from a place like Bedding Mart and pay cash with no monthly bill or interest added on to the purchase price.
Re-evaluating your cable and cell phone usage.
Most people have cell phones with minutes they rarely use. If you find that you have an abundance of minutes left over each month contact your provider and see if there’s another plan that costs less. If not, then you may want to shop around and see what the competition is offering. The same goes for your cable bill. How many channels do you actually watch? There are so many providers out there if you can’t get the monthly premium down, switch companies.
Today most homes have several televisions, computers and gaming systems connected to an outlet. Make sure that you turn these systems off at night. For the living room home theater, it’s a smart move to purchase a multi-outlet strip. This way, each night before you head off to bed, you simply turn off the unit and everything is automatically off. With the deregulation taking place in many states it’s also a great time to check the watts and figure out what your rates are. Then shop around and make sure that you are getting the best hourly price. If you are, there are still ways to reduce your electric and gas. Make sure to turn lights off when leaving a room, lower the heat and raise the air before retiring for the night and use energy-saving bulbs.
Don’t go hungry.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before but it’s worth repeating, don’t ever go food shopping when you’re hungry. That fastest way to spend money beyond your budget is to head into a shopping center with a growling stomach. Instead, eat a good breakfast and compile a list of the items you need for the week. Then once you have your completed list check online for coupons. There are many sites that offer this service to the consumer for free.
Pay down debt and establish a savings account.
Having some debt like a mortgage, a car payment and a couple of credit cards is not necessarily a bad thing. But, once you cross over and rely on your credit to cover your daily and monthly expenses then you’re living on the edge. If something happens where you are unable to work you’ll fall into chaos with your bills in no time at all. The best thing to do is to start a savings account and set aside a payment to this account once a month. In the meantime, do away with placing everything on a credit card. It will not only help to reduce your monthly expenses, but it will also teach you to make smart purchases since you’ll now use your cash.