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Simple yet effective ways to save money
There are few families across the USA that have not had to tighten their belts in some ways in recent years. Even the wealthiest households will have felt the impact of the recession and may have had to look at ways to cut back.
You may not be in a position to improve your income, but there are almost certainly ways to reduce your outgoings and save a little money along the way. Here are some simple lifestyle changes that could lead to immediate improvements in your bank balance.
Change the way you travel
If owning a car is necessary to your lifestyle, think about how you can reduce your spending on gas. Short trips all burn fuel, so try to economize whenever you can. If you regularly find yourself hopping into your car to run errands, think about planning your driving in advance at the start of the week. By combining these short car journeys into a single outing each day, you’ll soon see your tank of gas lasting for longer and notice the benefits for your bank balance.
Even if you don’t have your own car, you can still save money on transportation. If your area has bike lanes, think about cycling rather than paying for public transport. If public transport is unavoidable, make sure you’re buying tickets in the most economical way and combine errands whenever you can to avoid paying for unnecessary journeys.
Plan your grocery shopping
Much of our weekly spending goes on food, so it’s an obvious area to look at when trying to save money. Dine out as little as possible – it’s sometimes possible to feed yourself for a week on the money you’d spend on a single meal out! You should also look at cooking meals from scratch, rather than buying ready-made meals or resorting to takeaways. Just a few store cupboard essentials will enable you to whip up quick, tasty, healthy and affordable meals for you and your family.
You should also think carefully about your lunch options if you go out to work. It’s easy to treat yourself to take away coffees, sandwiches, and salads. But if you work out how much you spend on these items in the average week, you’ll quickly realize how much money you’re pouring down the drain. In fact, taking your own lunch with you each day could save you as much as $50 per week, depending on just how extravagant your midday treats have been. Even taking your own lunch for a couple of days each week will soon make a difference to your savings.
Enjoy life on a budget
We all need a little entertainment in our lives, but it’s important to think carefully about what you’re spending if money is tight. Work out which outings you simply can’t live without and try to cut back on everything else. If cinema’s your thing, don’t buy the expensive drinks and popcorn at the movie theater. If you love to go out dancing, avoid the most expensive times for admission and buy fewer drinks and snacks.
With some careful thought, you can easily save large amounts of money each month without making drastic changes to your lifestyle. And once you’ve got into the habit of saving money in the ways listed above, you’ll soon start to notice other ways to cut back without reducing your enjoyment of life.
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