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Have you ever looked at your bank account and wonder where it all went? You had a budget, you thought you were sticking to it, and yet still you end up running low. Often times we spend more money than we need to on unnecessary expenses or ‘luxuries’, but getting rid of those expenses we become richer.
Often what hurts our bank account the most are the repetitive, DAILY things we purchase, without even realizing how all those cents can add up.
I think it’s also important to note that a lot of the pitfalls I mention are habitual. You may not even realize how much you’re spending! Break the habit and you’ll be glad you did. Try to make these new goals/tips more convenient so then you’ll be less tempted to fall back into bad habits.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. If you cut down buying your cup of coffee everyday you’d save x amount of money per year. Well, it’s completely true. Refrain from stopping at the local coffee shop. Make coffee at home and bring a thermos with you, if you’re a big coffee drinker bring a big thermos. Keep in mind for big savings brewing pots of coffee is better, so long as you don’t add creamer it can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. However you may notice it’s stronger.
Many work places offer vending machines. However, it’s best if you bring your own drinks. Tap water is the cheapest, if you’re not a water fan then consider purchasing some of the flavor packets. Get yourself a nice insulated water bottle. Obviously purchasing bottled water would be more expensive than tap water, however, even brining your own bottles from home would be much cheaper than relying on a vending machine! Also, cutting soda is always a great way to save money because soda costs can really add up! You might want to consider leaving a spare water bottle at work just in case you forget yours at home!
Bring your own snacks to work, or consider creating a stash in your drawer. Keep some sweet and salty options so that no matter what you’re craving you’ll have something that will satisfy you. Vending machines are over-priced. If you don’t trust yourself don’t bring any dollar bills or change to work!
Make an effort to make yourself a lunch every day. If necessary plan your lunches for the week. Make sure you give yourself some variety so you don’t get tempted to wander out somewhere to buy lunch. Making your own lunch can save you lots of money both in the cost of the food and transportation costs if you need to drive to the restaurant or store!
How many days do you ACTUALLY have time to read the paper cover to cover? Better yet, are you actually interested in the entire paper? Most libraries have subscriptions to local and national newspapers. Since they keep all of the papers for several weeks you could easily stop by and read the headlines. This also applies for most popular magazines. Newest issues are often only permitted to be read on-site but previous issues can often be checked out. You can also browse websites to find out the latest scoop.
6.) Save bottles and cans
If you are in a state that offers can redemption, don’t ignore this option! Some places will even offer more than the standard 5 cents. They do this to bring in more business and hope that you will spend money there. Keep a grocery bag in your car, office, or garage where you can stash the empty cans and bottles from your water or soda.
7.) No errands
Easier said than done right? Whenever you had a spare moment it can be hard to fight the urge to run to the store to get a couple of things to ‘tide’ you over. Try to resist. Going for a routine shopping trip with a list is the best way to ensure you’re not over spending. Errands often result in unnecessary purchases. Obviously this doesn’t apply to the emergency runs for diapers or other must-have items.
8.) Online Window Shopping
Online window shopping doesn’t typically end well for your wallet. Try to avoid online window shopping. In fact, any online shopping should come with a clear goal and a strict budget. It is so easy to justify purchases when shopping online, particularly because you pay with credit so you don’t see the money leaving your hands.
9.) Don’t leave work during lunch break
Unless you’re planning on going for a walk. Sometimes it can be tempting to run to a fast food restaurant or a convenience store for an ice cream. Don’t let your boredom control your spending habits!
10.) Walk to work or carpool
This is a tricky one because it isn’t necessarily an option for everyone. If you could walk even one day a week you could save money on gas. Consider carpooling with co-workers. Or maybe have your spouse drop you off on the way to work. If you can’t make ‘work’ carpooling effective, think about other ways you drive and what changes you could make. Maybe have parents take turns bringing kids to soccer practices.
These are just some easy ways you can try to save yourself some money daily, and by doing this you will become richer not only money but also in life!
What do you do to keep from spending unnecessary cash?
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.