Budgeting and managing your money is absolutely crucial when you’re trying to save money. We all do it in some form or another, but it can be difficult to ensure you are properly saving during the hectic day-to-day lives we lead. Many people simply get caught up in their daily routine of work and home life that opportunities to save money pass by unnoticed.
What can be the most damaging to your chequing and savings accounts are the small daily purchases we can make without even thinking about them. So how do you get better at saving your money?
It all starts with simple practices you can easily incorporate into your daily life. This week, we’ve collected some useful daily savings techniques that can break the bad spending habit in anyone.
Your Day-to-day Meals
Everyone does it. Think about your morning commute, do you pick up a coffee, tea, or a doughnut? It’s a common habit that’s so overdone that it’s practically second nature to some. A coffee and a morning snack can cost upwards of $10 or more, especially if you’re buying your whole breakfast at the local coffee shop!
Pack your own coffee or tea in a travel mug in the morning and try to start making time to eat breakfast at home. The expense of a coffee every morning or every other morning will add up substantially in the long run, so start getting up a little earlier to make a healthier breakfast for yourself.
Do not eat out so often when you’re at work. Buying fast food every day and then proceeding to eat out on the weekends can end up costing thousands of dollars a year. If you don’t normally pack a lunch, get into the habit of doing it. If you’re getting hungry in between meals at work, you can buy lighter snacks at the grocery store and eat them while at your desk.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to completely give up eating out. But you should make it a habit of cutting back as much as possible in order to save more money in the long run.
Knowing When to Shop
The bad habit of going out to shop whenever the thought pops into your head needs to be curbed. Fight the urge to go out right at the moment you think of something you want or need. Instead, work a routine shopping trip into your week at a time and day that works best for you. Before you head out to shop, bring a list of what you need to do or buy with you. Planning ahead can keep you focused and stop you from making any unnecessary purchases.
Finally, do what you can to refrain from window shopping, especially online. As with your weekly planned shopping trips, if you need to shop online, it should be with a clear goal and a strict budget.
Don’t allow yourself to overspend by using your credit card online. Instead, shop online with a friend or relative so he or she can watch out for you and stop you from going overboard.
If you have a particularly bad online spending habit, remove all credit cards from your online shopping accounts. With those offline, you won’t have to worry about the itch to spend because you won’t be able to!
Kicking Expensive Habits
Habits like smoking and drinking need to be stopped mainly for their health risks. But aside from helping your body stay healthy, kicking these habits also improves your wallets health! If you are a daily smoker, buying a pack a day at around $10 could end up costing you close to $4,000 a year.
Drinking while out at a restaurant can be costly too as most restaurants mark up the price of their wine and beer. If you are a recreational drinker and only have a bottle or glass once or twice a month, you’ll be ok. But for those who tend to indulge more every week, cut the drinking down as much as you can at a pace you can keep up with.
Do you really to drive that expensive gas-guzzling car? If your job doesn’t require you to have a larger vehicle like a truck or a van, trade or sell it to get something more fuel efficient. Saving on gas in today’s society couldn’t be more important. Gas prices fluctuate all the time, but if your vehicle is more fuel friendly you’ll save much more from month to month.
Finally, if you can, try taking alternative methods to work. Walk or bike to your place of business if it’s within range, or simply take public transportation when you can. Carpooling is also an effective way to save some money. Work out a plan with a co-worker and alternate driving shifts from day-to-day or week-to-week. This can even be done with your children and their commutes to school or during sporting events that they may be involved in.