When it comes to saving money, a lot of us don’t even know where to begin. When you take a look at your everyday lifestyle, it can be difficult to know what exactly you can change so that you can start to build up your bank account. Luckily, there are a few easy changes you can make that will only improve your life. Here are some tips on what you can do…
Start Meal Planning
First of all, it’s time to start to meal plan. Planning your meals is a great way to save some cash – who out of us hasn’t ended up buying almost everything at the grocery store in an effort to figure out what exactly we’re having for dinner? Sit down at the start of the week and try to plan out what exactly you’re going to have for dinner each day. This will mean that you only buy what you actually need, so that nothing ends up going to waste. It also means that you’ll save money because you won’t end up getting takeout or going out to eat as often – although make sure that you plan in evenings for treats!
Make Your Lunch At Home
If you work in an office, you may be one of the very many people who ends up going out at lunch to buy some food. Whether that’s a sandwich from a local coffee shop or a full-on meal at a cafe, you’re probably spending a whole lot more money than you actually need to spend. Instead, why not start to take in your lunch with you? You could batch cook food at the start of the week so you can prepare all your lunches then, you could take leftovers from dinner, or you could go with a healthy but delicious sandwich or salad. During the winter, you could even take in a cup of homemade soup and heat it up in the work microwave. You could also consider taking in your own tea or coffee every day in a thermos flask so that you don’t end up going to Starbucks every morning when you need that boost of caffeine to wake yourself up. You’ll find that you’ll save a lot more money than you realize!
Cut Down On Your Electricity Use
An extremely easy way to save money is to cut down on the electricity you use at home – and even more happily, you’ll also be helping to save the planet! Nobody’s saying that you need to immediately install solar panels on your house – although it’s a good long term investment – but in your everyday life at home it’s a good idea to make sure you do things like turn off lights when you leave each room and make sure that electrical appliances like TVs aren’t left on standby. This uses almost as much electricity as when you’re actually watching them. Open curtains to let sunlight stream in to add natural warmth and light to your rooms, and invest in eco friendly light bulbs. Not only do they last for longer so you won’t have to spend money replacing them quickly, but they also use less energy, thereby lowering your bills.
Use Cash, Not Credit
One way to cut down on your spending is to use cash instead of credit cards. When you use credit cards, it can be hard to realize just how much you’re actually spending – all you’re doing is swiping a card, right? But when you get that bill at the end of the month, you might realize that more money has been spent than you realized. A great way to cut down on your spending is to use cash instead of those cards. Get the amount of cash that you’re going to need throughout the week out of the bank, and make sure that you only spend that. It will be easier to keep track of than credit card spending.
Change Bank Accounts
Chances are, you aren’t earning as much money as you could through your bank account. Interest rates change all the time so it’s a good idea to go into your bank and ask what accounts might help you to accrue more interest through the year. If you don’t have much time but you’d still like to switch accounts, click here to read more about banks so that you can work out what the best account is for yourself. No matter what account you’re using, the rates could probably be better and work out more in your favor.
Use The 30 Day Rule
A lot of people tend to make impulse purchases. This means when you run out to the store for one thing and end up coming home with two new shirts, a new blanket for the back of your couch, and a whole host of other items that you never intended to buy. If that sounds a lot like you, it’s time to cut back on your impulse spending. If you see something you like and you’re pretty sure you have the money to buy it, it can be hard to resist. But a lot of the time, impulse purchases are the ones that end up gathering dust at the back of your closet. So a good way to ensure that you only buy things that you really want is to wait for thirty days before you make the purchase. If you still want it then, go for it. If you’ve forgotten all about it, good riddance.
Start Hosting Get Togethers
When it comes to hanging out with your friends, remember that you don’t have to go for expensive activities like going out for dinner or to shows every time. Why not try hosting your friends at your place instead? You can make dinner or request that everybody brings a dish so you can sample each other’s cooking. Have a board game night or watch movies together on Netflix with fresh popcorn – not only will you be having a great time, but you’ll also be saving a whole lot of money by not going out to expensive activities or meals. You might also find that you’ll be able to stretch your cooking wings and try out some fun new dishes as well.
Use Your Local Library
One way to save money is by using your local library. If you find yourself spending a lot of money on books – especially for your kids – or on music, then borrowing books and CDs from the library might be a better idea. Libraries will buy certain books if you ask for them, meaning that the author gets a sale, and you’ll also be able to borrow audio books that you can listen to on your commute when you’re driving or your eyelids are drooping on public transport. Libraries provide a range of other services too, from museum passes to online archive access to newspapers to magazines to cake pans that you can borrow, and they also provide a lot of great free activities like storytime for kids and computer classes for adults. Remember to keep your local library alive by borrowing as many books as you can! It’s also good to remember that libraries are a great and inexpensive way to entertain your kids over the summer – they’re free, comfortable, packed with activities, and you can stay there as long as you like.
There are plenty of ways that you can change your life so that you can save some extra cash – now all you need to do is decide is if you’re going to save that money or splash out on a treat!