It is easier than you can imagine to cut back in practical ways and save some of your hard earned money. Here are five ways you might be wasting your money and how making easy changes can save you money without impeding your lifestyle.
Coffee isn’t just a staple in many people’s lives, it’s a necessity. Even if you don’t leap for the $8 espresso latte, paying even $4 or $5 a day adds up to at least $1456 per year you are throwing away with that Styrofoam cup. You could save yourself a bundle by brewing your own coffee at home.
Why continue paying for cable when services like Netflix, Hulu, and Vudu are available. A few years ago, avid TV watchers may have been reluctant to switch, but these days with broadband internet and updated streaming capabilities it makes no sense to stick with traditional cable. Even if you paid for both Netflix and Hulu, you would still be saving at least $900 per year.
Heating and Cooling Your Home
This is one of those gray areas that people tend to waste a lot of money without even realizing it. Most people don’t think about their heating and cooling until they run into a problem, like in the middle of February and the furnace won’t run.
Many people don’t realize that in order for furnace and HVAC systems to run efficiently they should have yearly checkups and cleanings. This is not only vital to extending the life of your heating and cooling systems, which are in themselves costly to replace, but will save money on fuel and electricity as the systems run at their optimal efficiency. Signing up for a maintenance plan can save you hundreds of dollars.
Going to the movies can lighten your wallet in a major way. Just walking in the door can cost you anywhere from $8 -$12 a ticket and that is before you buy your popcorn. A little patience can save you a bundle. Discount theaters offer second-run movies that are heading out of the regular theater and onto DVD, for around $1.50-$3.00 a ticket. If you can wait for a movie to get to DVD, you can rent it for a dollar at your local Redbox.
Grocery shopping on a budget seems almost impossible, especially when you are faced with the sheer volume of grocery stores vying for your business. There are ways to cut back and make your cart fuller and your bank account significantly less empty. Buying generic or store brand is always cheaper, If you are able to find a discount supermarket that specializes in carrying only generic food, you can save a huge amount of money. Another way to save is to buy in bulk. Even if you only buy non-perishables in bulk, you will save considerably.
Taking some time to make simple changes, like these, can have a huge impact on your spending and savings. Just being a bit more mindful of the places and things you spend your money on can add up to big savings.