Spending money on small expenses might seem insignificant, but in fact they are slowly draining bank accounts and racking up credit card bills. If a $10 a day latte habit seems minor, consider the expense of more than $3,600 per year.
Making small, relatively painless changes can yield big savings. Here are a dozen ways to keep cash in your pocket with marginal sacrifice.
- Pay Cash – Make it a habit to pay for some expenses with cash and notice how quickly your money disappears. It will be a reminder to think twice before completing that nonessential purchase.
- Brew your own coffee –If you skip the sugary syrups, you will save even more in dollars and pounds.
- Cook meals at home –With the abundance of cooking shows, food magazines, online recipes, and menu planning options, you are one click away from a quick and easy meal.
- Pack a lunch – By spending $5 to $10 each day on lunch, you are blowing as much as $50 a week on eating out, or $2,600 over the course of a year.
- Wash and detail your own car –It’s great exercise!
- adjust the thermostat before you leave home – Crank it back up or down when you return.
- Dry clean sparingly – It’s not necessary to send your garments to the cleaners after every wear.
- Go green – invest in a reusable water bottle
- Take advantage of your local library –Often forgotten, it can be a great source for books, magazines and DVDs.
- Eliminate expenses for things that you can do yourself – Give yourself a manicure or trade manicures with a similarly budget-minded friend. Swap your pricey gym membership for a running group, a walk with a neighbour, or exercising at home to an online workout.
- Shop around for a good rate – Consider transferring the balance to a card with a lower interest rate and no annual fees. Watch for deals on balance transfer offers and make sure to read the fine print.
- Take higher deductibles on your auto insurance –You may be paying more than you need to, especially if you don’t file a lot of insurance claims.