I bet your dad had many life lessons for you. If your dad was like my dad, they likely revolved around saving money. That’s likely because we never had lots of money and saving it was one of the biggest things on his mind.
I don’t know about you, but I think living on a budget stinks. But the alternative is not so pretty when you look back and see how much you spent. Keeping track of your expenses and watching how much you spend on the little things is key to making big gains with your savings. You might be surprised to find out just how much they amount to.
As the days go by and turn into weeks we are faced with little decisions about what to buy. At the time, a dollar here, or a dollar there don't feel like big expenditures. But when you add all those little purchases up, it’s surprising to see how quickly they add up. These little items can make a big difference at the end of the month.
Take a look at 7 easy ways you can make an impact right now,
Waste Not, Want Not
Expenditures due to waste are one of the biggest budget busters in our lives. Taking control of waste can account for huge savings in cash.
Eating out every night, keeping the heat turned up all day, and even drips in the tub or sink can all add up to wasted money from your budget.
1. Eat at Home - Cooking for the family instead of eating takeout or dining out is a great way to save money. But if you’re throwing food out, the benefit is reduced. You can reduce waste by freezing leftovers, or take them for lunch the next day. Those are my favourite lunches.
2. Check your insulation - If your home is not well insulated, you're probably wasting lots of money on home heating and cooling. Insulating seems expensive, but it can pay for itself quickly. Use weatherstripping around windows and doors, cutting drafts can help maintain the temperature of your home.
3. Turn down the heat a bit and save a lot of electricity. Try an programable thermostat and set it lower when you're not home and at night. You’ll also sleep better as an added side effect. Also look for energy efficient appliances and light bulbs when it’s time to replace old ones.
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4. Turn lights, televisions, computers and other devices off when you're not using them, and open blinds to take advantage of the sun's light during the day.
DIY Savings Are Good For the Budget and the Ego
5. If you are handy, take advantage of this. Did you know that most contractors charge as much as $100 per hour just for their time? The cost of materials is on top of that.
6. Make your own coffee in the morning and throw it in a travel mug. Many of us buy coffee on the way to work in the morning. This adds up to hundreds (even thousands depending on where you like to buy your coffee from) of dollars a year.
7. Make a quick lunch instead of going for fast food, take a sandwich or something microwavable to work (remember those leftovers from last night - they usually taste better the next day).
The old saying, “a penny saved is a penny earned” applies to these small savings. Take a close look at all the little expenditures and add them up for a week or even a month. If you can eliminate or reduce them, it could really increase your cash flow to the bank.
- Eat at home
- Check the insulation in your house
- Turn down the heat
- Turn electronics off
- DIY home repairs
- Make your own coffee
- Make lunches instead of buying fast food