Saving money is often easier said than done, but if you’re serious about bulking up your savings account, there are ways to achieve your financial goals. And while eliminating vacations, canceling your cable subscription or getting rid of your car and relying on public transportation can help you save big chunks of money, these may not be practical solutions for you and your family.
If eliminating big expenses is too difficult, take a step back and focus on cutting smaller expenses that won’t impact your life in a big way.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Small, Daily Expenses
$5 cup of coffee a few times a week at your local coffee shop will add up right before your eyes. In fact, if you purchase a cup of coffee twice a week, that’ll cost you nearly $500 a year. If your caffeine addiction has you picking up a coffee every day of the work week, you’re laying down $1,200 a year. That’s some real cash worth saving by brewing your coffee at home.
Impulse purchases can go beyond living expenses and straight into splurges that you don’t truly need. Common impulse purchases include a pint of ice cream at the grocery store, or gum or lottery tickets when you’re buying gas. Make a conscious effort to put an end to these small impulse purchases for a week and see how much money you save.
If you’ve downloaded a lot of games, photo editors or other apps that do a range of things for you, you have the opportunity to spend plenty of cash on things you probably don’t even think about. Paid versions of apps—or ones that allow in-app purchases—are convenient and can help you save time, but spending a few dollars for such apps can add up. When downloading apps or games on your smartphone, go with the free version if you can, knowing that you may have to sit through some ads to get the content.
While coupons are a great way for savvy shoppers to save some serious money when shopping for groceries, clothes and everything in between, they can also encourage unnecessary spending if you’re constantly purchasing products you don’t need. If you’re looking to get a handle on your spending, remove Groupon and other coupon apps from your phone—and only look for a coupon once you’ve decided to purchase an item.
Alcohol and Desserts When Dining Out
Beverages at restaurants have high markups, particularly alcohol, so skip the cocktail until
The same goes for desserts. While you don’t want to deny your sweet tooth when you’re celebrating your birthday, for example, know that restaurant desserts are extremely overpriced. Do your wallet a favor by making something at home or buying it elsewhere.
While the ideas noted above are on the simple end of the spectrum, begin incorporating one or two at a time and see how far you’ve come at the end of a month before deciding whether or not you can adhere to it long term.