Making and sticking to a budget can be a challenge but it’s worth it. Having a realistic idea of how much money you are making and spending every month allows you to manage your spending, know your limits and save up for things you really want. You may think making and sticking to a budget is all about the big expenses such as rent, utility payments and those sections of your paycheck that go to taxes and retirement. However, there are many minor things that seem small but can actually make a large impact (positive or negative) on your budget.
1. Packing Your Own Lunch
Eating lunch every day at a restaurant or the office cafeteria can add up quickly. Even if you eat inexpensive meals from a fast food restaurant, it is still far cheaper to pack your own lunch from home. Plus, a homemade lunch is far healthier than any restaurant food and allows to you to have complete control over the meal.
2. Saving Extra Change
While it’s not practical to have a physical change jar if you don’t often carry or pay with cash, you can still use the idea of saving the extra change by using a digital change jar. There are several apps that allow you to calculate the extra change from credit or debit purchases so you can transfer it to a savings account. Some apps even automatically transfer the money to your designated account.
3. Daily Trips to the Coffee Shop
This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, but buying your morning coffee drink every day at your favorite coffeehouse adds up quickly. You can save a significant amount of money by making your coffee at home or limiting your coffee shop visits to one day a week.
4. Automatic Transfers
Setting up your bank account to automatically transfer money into a savings or emergency account can work very well for people who have trouble saving. For example, if you take $50 every two weeks when you get paid and transfer it to a savings account, you can build up an emergency fund of $1000 in less than a year without even having to think about it.
5. Credit Card Interest
It’s extremely important to understand how credit card interest works so you can make credit decisions wisely. Seeing plainly how much it costs to carry a credit card balance can help you stick to your commitment to not rack up debt.
6. Insurance Policy Discounts
Switching to a new insurance provider for your home or auto policies can help lower your costs, especially if you qualify for certain discounts. It’s wise to re-evaluate your insurance situation every few years, and you can click here to learn more about insurance coverage and discounts.
Spending wisely is an important goal and both large and small expenses make an impact on your budget. There are several small things you can do to reduce non-essential spending and increase your savings. Limiting coffee and lunch purchases and automatically saving your change are small things that have a large effect on your budget. You can also save money by looking for the best insurance deals. Wise financial decisions will pay off now and for years in the future.
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