By the time you pay bills throughout the month there is probably not a whole lot leftover for spending, so for the remaining dollars that you do have, you need to be smart in how you spend, not to mention seeing if there is any way to lower your already high monthly expenses. By making a few tweaks and sacrifices, you can watch the monthly savings really add up and use for matter important areas such as retirement, paying off debt, or building an emergency fund.
Prep Meals at Home
In what probably might be the biggest change than what you are currently used to but will yield the largest money saving will be to limit going out to eat and opt for going grocery shopping instead and prepping meals at home. By stocking up your refrigerator and pantry with items to make breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and even brewing your coffee in the morning in finished in time on your way out to work in the morning, you can watch the savings pile up. While totally eliminating going out to eat may be out of the question, but even limiting to special occasions or splitting appetizers and you will still notice a huge difference.
Ditch the Gym Membership
Once the new year is approaching everyone decides what their resolution is going to be for the year and for most, losing weight (an unrealistic amount I might add) is the top priority, so much in fact that a monthly gym membership is purchased. While sure, the first couple months you may be in a gym routine, but once visits start to be missed, pretty soon it’s weeks, months, and pretty soon you are paying for a membership every month that you haven’t gone to in a year. Now that it’s summer, spend more time outside, take the dog for a walk, and you will not miss the gym.
Speaking of something you’re paying for every month and probably not taking advantage of the most is your cable bill. With virtually hundreds of channels there never seems to be anything on, mostly commercials, and the shows you do watch are either set for your DVR or they’re on a streaming service, so why keep cable any longer. If you can cancel cable you can see at least an extra hundred dollars a month and you may not even look back.
Don’t Miss Out on Free Money
It’s hard enough to get more ahead than paycheck to paycheck so why miss out on free money if it’s on the table. By using a credit card that has rewards, even by making the normal purchases you were going to make anyways, you can earn free points or cashback that could add up to hundreds of dollars per year depending on how often you use your card. On a larger scale, make sure you are taking advantage of the full company match of your retirement account at work, otherwise you could be missing out on thousands of dollars a year, and even more over time as that potential could have grown by retirement.