Living beneath your means – 10 ways to get started
We all could afford to learn to cut a few more corners.
This article is going to go through ten different strategies to cut spending corners, and start saving more today.
- Avoid Brand names
Brand names are marked up. They’re marked up because they need to pay for advertising, they’re marked up because they know they can be – they already have a fan base. Store brands, or no name, often cost significantly less, without sacrificing quality. Try avoiding brand name shopping on your next grocery store (or department store) trip, and watch the savings add up.
A few dollars may not seem like much now, but over time a few dollars here and there is all that savings accounts are built on!
- Buy unprepared We pay for convenience far too often. Yes you don’t have to cook prepared food, but the truth is unprepared is significantly lower in cost. We’re all busy, but just by making a bit of extra time around the dinner hour to prepare it as well as eat the food, you could be saving substantially – and going a long way towards planning ahead.
- Bag your own groceries Stores that bag your groceries for you tend to be pricier supermarkets that you should be doing your best to avoid. Stores without baggers have less people to pay, less costs, etc. That they are often able to deliver in savings.
- Bring your lunch from home Even eating out a little bit every day adds up in cost. I was spending thousands of dollars a year at one point in my life, just to eat at work. I’ve since adopted a strict bring my lunch from home policy.
- Buy used books Used books may not seem like they’d save you a lot, but you can spend pennies on many – especially if you shop charity sales and the like. Used books are just as good as new books in most cases, and a fraction of the cost. Save that money today.
- Coupons, coupons, coupons Use coupons when they help get you the best value. Coupons are great, but you do have to watch to ensure they don’t get you to buy a brand name at a pricier cost rather than the no-name at a cheaper cost. Use coupons to get the best value – and only then!
- Cut the credit cards Stop using credit, stop it now. Credit only encourages you to spend money that you don’t have, and it does it well. Stop using credit cards today, and watch your savings add up as you spend only what you truly want to spend.
- Maintain your vehicle Keep your car. Keep it until it won’t run any more, and take care of it so that it runs for as long as possible. New cars are a huge cost on the bank account, and it’s just not worth it at all if your car still works.
- Reward your successes Don’t be afraid to reward yourself reasonably when you’re succeeding at saving. You don’t have to never spend, just to spend wisely!
Living within your means involves being honest with yourself about what those means are, and often just using good judgement as to how to get the best deals. It does take discipline to curb your spending, but your efforts literally pay off.
I did it, why can’t you?