Money that has been saved.

5 Ways To Save Money Today

Saving money is really about not wasting money. It is about putting your money where it can do you the most good and not spending it on the little trivial things in life. Are you having trouble saving money? If so, take a look at five simple ways that you can start saving money today and then look at the long term benefits. They might surprise you.

Saving Money Every Day

Saving money is much easier than you might imagine. You might think that you have to make big changes in order to save money, but in reality, it is all about the little things. Little expenditures that you make which add up to big expenses. Learn to curb these unneeded expenses and the money that you save can be staggering.

Sound too good to be true? Take a look at some of the things that people waste money on every day. How many of these are you wasting money with?

Morning Coffee

This expense seems so innocent, but it is both a huge money and time waster.

Are you a morning coffee person? There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you brew your own coffee. Gourmet coffee from those chain stores however, is a big no no. Sure, it only costs a few dollars, but when you think about this expense over time, you see what a huge waste of money it is.

If you spend just $4 a day on gourmet coffee, you are spending $20 during the work week. Stretch that out to an average 50 week work year and you are spending $1000 on coffee every year. Simply redirect that money into savings and, with interest, you would have over $70,000 in your savings account. So, that morning cup of coffee is really costing you $70,000. Are you getting that much enjoyment out of it?

Also, you need to consider the time savings from skipping the coffee line. Sure, you would have to brew your own coffee at home, but that 10 minutes spent in line every day will really add up. Sleep in a little longer every morning or just get more work done.

Fast Food Lunches

We all know that fast food is not good to our waistline, but it is also detrimental to our savings.

With the prices for fast food consistently going up, the average fast food meal now costs nearly $10. Over the average work week, that is $50 that you spend on greasy, often unsatisfying fast food meals. Replace that with a little brown bag and you can save big money over time, all the while improving your physical health.

Save the $50 that you spend buying fast food and start taking your lunch to work instead. For about $10 a week, you can have healthier and more satisfying meals and realize $40 a week in savings.

Sure, $40 does not sound like much, until you look at it over time. $40 a week is really $2000 a year. With interest, that can be as much as $140,000 in 30 years. A nice addition to your retirement nest egg and with the health benefits that come from skipping fast food, you will have more time to enjoy it.

Quick Grocery Store Trips

Those innocent quick trips to the grocery store can prove very costly in the long run. You might just need a gallon of milk, but how often do you walk out with something more?

The average head of household can easily save $10 a week by eliminating those last minute trips to the supermarket. No, this is not a lot of money in the short term, but over time, that is $500 a year. Stretch that out over 30 years, with interest, and you could have an additional $30,000 in your savings account.

So, how do you cut out these last minute trips? You do it by being organized and planning your meals. With Meal Planning, you simply write down a list of all the meals that you intend to cook in a week. Then, write down the ingredients that you need so that you can shop efficiently at the store.

By being organized, with meal planning, you can eliminate those last minute grocery shopping trips. You can also save time and further save money by eliminating food waste.

Name Brand Purchases

Do you live by the label? If so, you are wasting hundreds of dollars every month on all of your purchases from food to clothing.

There is really only one thing that you need to buy name brand, and that is diapers. Everything else is fair game for savings and, in most cases, the generic is just as good as the name brand products.

What you have to keep in mind with generics is that they are often made at the same factory where the name brand products are produced. The only difference is the pretty label and the advertising budget that goes into the name brand products.

So, just how much can you save over time with generics? Everybody will have a different experience, but when you combine food, clothing, electronics and other items, the average family could easily save $200 a month. That is $2400 a year or nearly $170,000 over the course of 30 years, with interest.

Switch to generics and retire a much wealthier person.

Excess Utility Usage

Conserving energy and resources is not just important for the environment. It can also save you money and add to your bottom line.

The biggest savings potential will be with your electric and gas bill. If you live in a hot climate, the HVAC system will be putting a serious strain on your electrical usage. Curb your use of electricity by installing an inexpensive programmable thermostat and keeping your set temperature a few degrees warmer than normal. Make up for the increased temperature by using fans and dressing appropriately.

In colder climates, decrease electricity and gas usage by doing the same thing, except turn your thermostat down a few degrees. Dress a bit warmer and you will be just as comfortable while you save money.

As far as water goes, try to take shorter showers, water your lawn just one day a week and take care of dripping faucets. All these little things can really add up in the long run and every dollar helps.

Summing It All Up

These little expenses that you make every day seem so innocent, but they are anything but. Over time, a dollar here and a dollar there can add up to some serious money.

Just taking a look at the examples above. These small changes would do little to change your quality of life and in the short term, they would go almost completely unnoticed. Over time, however, if you were to put all of these changes into effect, you would save over $400,000 in 30 years time. Is that worth the effort?

Posted by
James Car

James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.