Do you spend more time thinking about saving money than actually saving it? If you’re determined to save more money this month, build up your emergency fund or just pay off some of your credit cards before year’s end, take a close look at your weekly spending habits.
Even a few lunches at the restaurant or that daily coffee habit can be costing you upward of $100 per month. If cutting back on the extras doesn’t seem feasible for you, there are some other ways to pare down your cost of living.
Here are just three smart ways to save more money this week:
1. Scale Back on an Expensive Habit
Whether you’re a smoker, like to splurge on gourmet food, buy lottery tickets regularly or go out for drinks regularly, make a commitment to scale back on your habit for just one week. Instead of indulging in your habit a few times per week, pick just one day. Calculate how much this habit is costing you and your “cost per experience”. Doing this a few times a month can really open your eyes to how much this habit is costing you – financially and personally – and might prompt you to cut back even more.
Estimated weekly savings: $50+ per week, depending on the habit
2. Cook at Home all Week
Make a list of recipes you enjoy and a shopping list of all the key ingredients. Head to the grocery store once to round up all necessary ingredients and look for deal on the items on your list. Cook at home all week – this includes lunches and snacks – so that you don’t spend a single dime at the coffee shop, restaurant or bistro. If you’re doing this for the first time, you’ll be amazed how much money you save on the cost of food.
Estimated weekly savings: $50 to $100 or more, depending on your personal tastes and lifestyle
3. Make Sure a Sale is a Sale
If you’re stocking up on a “buy one, get one” offer at the grocery store or buying some items that aren’t on your ‘needs’ list just because they’re on sale, really consider whether you’re saving money. How often will you use the product or service? What is the cost per use? Sometimes taking a step back and really looking at whether you’re getting a good deal will help you make a better decision.
Estimated weekly savings: Varies by item or service
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwp-roger/2410222127/