Minimal Effort Saving
Saving is tough for the strongest of people, let alone people like me (who seem to have the willpower of jelly at times). That being said, I play to my strengths. To that effect, I have assembled several tips for saving that take minimal amounts of effort.
Chances are, you’ll recognize some of the same habits in your life, and this will help you grow your savings account easily. It can be as simple as skipping a coffee, and as complicated as taking the time to think about a purchase, but whatever the bad habit, take the time today to understand it so you can break it!
Nobody likes to think about how much their lunch out is costing them, and while it may be true that you ‘deserve’ it, that money may well be better off saved.
Consider the math (yes, I did the math). At my current job, I have traditionally been spending $25 per day on meals (to be fair, I typically buy breakfast, lunch, and a snack in the afternoon – you likely aren’t far off of this cost if you work full time). This $25 per day was then multiplied out to include the working days of the year and it turns out, gulp, I was spending $6,250 on lunch. This really infuriated me, thinking of all of that money saved versus spent, and inspired change.
I now make my own lunch for the whole week, and I do it on the weekends (when I have the energy to do so). I’ve elected to still have my morning muffin (I just bake a dozen on the weekend now), my afternoon sandwich (which I individually bag Sunday night so it’s easy to grab and go), and some cookies for an afternoon snack.
This simple tip, making my own lunch, has saved me $5,500 per year. Every year, I now have that money to do with as I please. And I still get to eat exactly as I was before (grilled sandwich and all, I bought a $9 sandwich maker for the office with some of my savings). It’s a good feeling, it really is, and I haven’t had to change barely anything (okay, I had to give up 1/2 hour on the weekend and $12 to feed me for a week).
Invest in a coffee maker
Seriously, you think that morning coffee is hardly costing you, but that $5-$8 per hit really adds up. Fast. I bought a coffee maker that I can use at the office (or at home if you prefer), and now pay $2 for the whole week (with unlimited refills, and the ability to experiment with different blends). This is a huge money saver, and again, really only takes the time to go and pick out a good coffee maker.
While you’re taking that time on the weekend to prepare yourself for the week, how about adding 1/2 hour more to make a detailed meal plan? This will not only help your health (if you pick healthy meals), it will help your budget by pre-making your grocery list, saving on impulse buys and fast food alike.
If you’re anything like me then these simple purchases, and taking an hour out of your weekend, could save you thousands of dollars every single year. That’s money that could be going to savings, to other purchases, or to expenses and debts. Think about what you’d rather use it on the next time you go out for coffee.