Saving Money A Little Bit At A Time
There are a lot of ways to go about saving 100 dollars or more in a single week. It sounds tough, but if you think about all of the little ways that you waste money, you will see that it is simple.
Most of the little things that we waste so much money on can be easily avoided. They are often little luxury or convenience expenses that cost more than they are worth. Here are some examples.
1) Gourmet Coffee
This is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to wasted money. I cringe every time I drive by the line at that Seattle based coffee shop. It is always stacked at least 5 cars deep and most do not realize what it is really costing them.
It can easily cost 4 to 5 dollars for the average cup of coffee, latte or designer coffee beverage. That is $28 to $35 over the course of a week if you get one a day. On an annual scale, that can be up to 1600 dollars spent, just for coffee.
It doesn’t stop there though, cut out that coffee and save so much more than money. Time is a commodity that you can not underestimate as well. It can take 10 to 15 minutes at times to just get that drink. That can be over an hour and a half of time in a week. Couldn’t you think of a better use for that time?
Lastly, you have to think about the negative health aspects of these drinks. Yes, coffee in moderation has been shown to be healthy but most people do not stop with the beans. They load it up with sugar, syrup and whipped cream. A Frappuccino can be as much as 600 calories. Tasty, sure but that is a lot of empty calories and it will have an effect on your waistline.
2) Fast Food
Americans love convenience, even if it comes with a great cost. Unfortunately, fast food comes with a lot of costs and money is not the biggest of them.
Let’s start with the money though. Even if you go with an inexpensive fast food meal, you are probably spending at least 6 to 8 dollars at a time. If you were to bring your lunch to work, you could easily do so for 2 dollars a day and eat very well.
That is a savings of 4 to 6 dollars a day which adds up to 20 to 30 dollars on the average 5 day work week. On an annual scale, that can be well over 1500 dollars.
Besides the money, there are other obvious benefits to cutting out the fast food. The main one being your health. A fast food meal with fries and a drink often exceeds 1000 calories which is more than just about anyone should be eating in a single meal. Since the average person needs 2000 calories a day, you can see that eating half of that in one meal is a huge issue.
Additionally, those calories generally come from fat, which you need, but you need healthy fat, in moderation. Sure, many fast food places are coming out with healthier options, but these are generally more expensive, raising your weekly cost even higher.
Another big money waster is the grocery store. Next time you go into the grocery store, do so with open eyes. Take a look at how the grocer has arranged everything to suck more money out of your pocket.
The name brand and more expensive products are at eye level, while the generics are down low. The end caps are filled with pricey snacks and kids toys within reach of little hands. It doesn’t stop, especially when you get to check out. While you wait for the person ahead of you to get checked out you see candy bars, kid toys, magazines and many other impulse buys. It is all designed to work against you.
By avoiding these little traps, you can save an easy 30 to 40 dollars on your weekly grocery store trip. To do this, check out online shopping. Most stores are offering free online ordering with curbside pickup. It is convenient and an easy way for you to avoid all the impulse buys. They will still try, but it is much easier to close a pop up and just stick to your list.
If you want to save even more, stick to the generics. You might be surprised at just how close they are to the name brand products. Many of them are even made by the same big name companies.
If you shop wisely and avoid temptation, the average family can easily save over 2000 dollars in the course of a year. And, that is without making any changes in your quality of life.
If you dine out often, cut out one meal out a week. For a family of four, that can easily be a savings of $80 a week with food, drinks and tips. That is almost 1000 dollars over the course of the year.
If you must dine out, try to be smart about things. Join e-clubs for your most frequented restaurants and get coupons sent to you from time to time. It won’t be much but 5 or 10 dollars off of a meal is nothing to sneer at.
In addition, avoid the big money wasters at restaurants. Alcohol is number one since drinks often cost 8 to 10 dollars a piece. Soda is also a big money maker for the establishment, costing an easy 3 to 4 dollars a piece. A lot of money for something that costs them pennies. Stick to water if you can.
Finally, think about splitting an entree when you can. With many entrees topping 1500 calories, they are prime for splitting. Even if there is a split plate charge, you still come out ahead most of the time.
Driving is expensive but very necessary for most people in this country. That does not mean that there are not ways to save money every week on your transportation costs though. Here are some ideas.
First, carpool whenever possible. If you can put together a work carpool, that is great. Getting together with a few coworkers who live nearby can let you skip driving a few days a week. That saves in gas and wear and tear expenses.
Beyond work, try to carpool whenever you can. If you and some friends are going out, ride together. If someone has errands to do, tag along and get your stuff done. Try to avoid using multiple vehicles whenever possible.
Lastly, look at all the little daily expenses when you do drive. Do you leave your engine idling when you don’t need to or take an inefficient route to work? Do you take a toll when it only saves you a couple of minutes? We waste money in a lot of ways.