Little Numbers – Big Power
There is power in numbers, even small ones. A few dollars here and a few dollars there can really add up over time. All of your budget cuts can not be big ones and to keep saving money, sometimes you need to add up a bunch of small savings.
Let’s start with $10. A small savings in a week but a big amount over the long haul. If you were to take that $10 and put it into an investment account with a conservative growth of 5%, you would have over 6000 dollars in ten years or over 17000 dollars in 20 years. When you look at it that way, that ten bucks is all of a sudden a very big deal.
Now that you see the benefit of saving small amounts, let’s look at some easy ways to accomplish this goal.
- Eat 2 Meat Free Meals A Week
As Americans, we eat far too much meat. This is not only costing us money, but it also costs our health and the environment. Believe it or not, cows are a huge contributor to global warming because of the methane they produce.
Pick 2 meals a week and make them meat free. This could mean spaghetti without meatballs, it could mean black bean tacos or perhaps just a nice vegetable stir fry. There are a lot of easy ways to cut out meat in a meal.
The reward, besides the fact that you might lose a few pounds, is a nice savings on your grocery meal. The average family of four can easily spend $5 to $10 per meal on meat, depending on the types of meat and cuts you usually choose.
- Skip The Drive Thru
It costs about $8, on average, to purchase a fast food meal. At the same time, you can make a healthy and tasty meal and brown bag it for around $2 per meal, $1 per if you are thrifty.
Skip the drive thru just twice a week and save $12 each week. Even better, why not cut out the fast food altogether and save $30 a week. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you, as well as your bank account when it is now 1500 dollars richer after just a year.
- Take Advantage Of Free Activities Outside The Home
There are a ton of free things that you can do outside of your home. You can go to the park, go to the library or simply take a walk around the mall (only window shopping). This saves you money in the obvious way, by avoiding paid entertainment, but there is another benefit.
The more you are outside of the home, the less you will spend on utilities. It costs a small fortune to power all of those devices and keep the home cool in the summer or warm in the winter. Just be sure to power down all of those devices and adjust the thermostat when you leave and you can save an easy $10 a week or more.
- Drink Water At Meals
If you must go out to eat for lunch every day, there is a very simple way to save $10 a week without sacrificing much at all. Simply give up soda.
Soda is one of the biggest money makers at a restaurant. It cost just pennies to provide but most sit down restaurants charge $3 on average for a drink. Fast food joints are not much better, also charging anywhere from $2 to $30 for a soda.
Cutting this out can easily save you more than $10 a week and has a number of other benefits. Mainly weight loss. Soda makes you pack on the calories and studies suggest that even diet soda can lead to weight gain.
- Carpool With A Friend
If you can carpool, it is a great way to save $10 or more a week while saving wear and tear on your vehicle.
The average commute for Americans is about 16 miles each way, so you probably use about 2 gallons of gas a day or 10 gallons a week. Cut that in half and save $15 each week.
In addition, that is about 80 miles a week that you will not be putting on your odometer. That is 4000 miles for a typical 50 week work schedule. Think about the cost savings in tires, maintenance and the increased value of your vehicle when you eventually trade it in.
- Cut Out The Fancy Java
That daily cup of coffee is an easy $3 to $4. That is $15 to $20 in an average work week. That is up to $1000 in a year, just for coffee.
If you are a big time coffee drinker, you can probably not give it up, and that is fine. Instead, why not make the investment and set yourself up to make gourmet coffee on your own. Invest in a nice bean grinder and a quality coffee brewer or better yet a french press. Add a nice thermos to the mix and you are good to go.
Brewing your own coffee can save you a ton of money, lots of time and might just make you a true connoisseur.
- Join A Discount Gym
If you are a gym person, it might be time to shop around for a better deal. Premium clubs charge up to $100 a month for a membership. Compare that to the $10 to $20 charged by discount gyms and you can see the huge savings potential.
Now, it is true that you may not get all of the perks that you get from the big club but who cares, you will be saving hand over fist. Do without the towel service and juice bar and get a back to basics workout.
There are literally dozens of ways to save $10 this week. Start saving over $500 right now, this year and then multiply those savings by stacking all of the different ways to save. Make it a goal to pick a new one at least once a month and start realizing some substantial monthly and yearly savings.