Saving money can become a regular habit over time if one is disciplined and can live without the big creature comforts. Millions across North America are hurting from the recent recession, and it only makes sense that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, should sock away extra cash whenever they can. When there’s money in the bank, there’s the peace of mind. Here are some tips that I have discovered to be most helpful when trimming unnecessary and vital expenses.
The first logical step is to sit down and make a list of everything you spend money on during the week. Like everyone else, you’re probably going to be looking at food, cable/internet/phone, energy, and entertainment bills. There are ways to cut down on all of these things. Start with food and add up all of the costs associated with eating out. Those can add up fast, with the taxes, service charges and tips. Make it a mission to eat at home. Eating out should only be a special treat once in a while. Also, do you really need to visit the corner coffee bar every day? You can get your caffeine fix at home. You might be surprised how quickly those cappuccino and latte bills can add up.
Next up are the communications expenses. I don’t have a television and live quite comfortably without one. People would disagree with me, but I don’t think there is anything worth watching. I get the latest news from the internet and online versions of major newspapers. Cable television costs a fortune, and there are more channels than you can watch. Anyone can adapt if they get rid of the TV altogether and without it, there will be one less expense to worry about. If you can’t get through the week without catching an episode of your favorite show download them for free at Hulu (available only in the United States). Ask your phone company about special deals where you can get your phone and internet costs bundled into one monthly bill.
I didn’t find out until recently that electricity can be reached by all kinds of things in the home that is plugged in but turned off. For example, a fifty-watt stereo will burn almost twenty watts of electricity an hour even when the music is not on. Buy a power strip at a hardware store and when you’re not using any of your appliances hit the off switch. Look to your refrigerator and trim the fat by placing the food in Tupperware containers. Uncovered food gives off humidity, which makes the fridge work harder – and costs you more money.