I’m a frugal character. I don’t deny it one bit. I’ve learned to embrace it and nurture it. I’m always on the lookout for ways to cut costs and save a few more dollars.
Sometimes saving takes work. Sometimes I have to examine our routines and habits and try to find waste so that I can cut it out. It’s so easy to get into a habit of spending without even realizing what’s going on.
How about you? Have you evaluated your spending anytime recently? Are you cutting costs and running a mean household operation?
Today I’d like to offer up 10 ways that might help you immediately begin saving a few more dollars. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but you might find something applicable to your situation. And after all, a dollar saved truly is worth more than a dollar earned (think taxes) on the journey toward financial freedom!
1. Brew Coffee and other Drinks at Home
This one is really simple, but it adds up. There have been studies that suggest some individuals spend almost $1,000 per year on drinks. Sadly, coffee and sodas are often the most overpriced item to buy when out and about. Consider that a $20/month Starbucks budget = $3,540 compounded over 10 years.
2. Cancel Cable TV
If you watch a lot of television, this might not be a popular option, but it’s a good one. $50+ per month is a lot of money, especially with all the online streaming options available. You could go with Amazon, Netflix, or even completely free through a service like TubePlus.
3. Find a MVNO
This is the new breed of cell phone providers. There are several advantages. The first and probably most important is the pricing. Republic Wireless now offers fantastic unlimited plans that start at $10/month. That’s unreal. Even their top of the line 4G LTE unlimited plan is only $40/month. That less than half of any traditional carriers. Which brings me to the next point, no contracts whatsoever. If service sucks, just leave.
4. Cut Your Own Hair
This is more popular with men than women, but I’m proud to say that my awesome wife cuts her own hair now. As do I. For around $20, we have the tools necessary to do this simple task over and over again. This can save you a ton of cash in the long run!
5. Start Cooking More
The average American spends about $1,000 per year on lunches out. Dinner carries an even bigger price tag. Spending 5% or more of gross income per year on restaurant meals is insane. Why not just buy your discounted groceries and cook at home? I actually haven’t eaten a meal out at lunch in probably close to a year. I bring a lunch sack every day. It’s healthy, and it’s cheap.
6. Automate Your Finances
Time is money. Inflation is real. These two truths ought to motivate us to figure out how to spend as little time as possible messing with our bank accounts and investments, while growing our net worth.
This is definitely possible and I’ve had to make a few changes in our own situation. We had far too much money sitting in a local checking account earning nothing. Recently,I moved part of our cash into a no fee, online, high yield American Express savings account earning closer to 1%. That’s much better than what I was getting before.
You can automatically have a portion of your paycheck put into a similar savings account or even direct deposited into an investment account so you don’t have to mess with it each month.
Vanguard offers fantastic ETFs that are free to trade. I’ve written on the topic extensively on my site. To track my investment accounts, I always recommend Personal Capital. It’s free and it is the best tool on the market.
Please share with me any additional ways that you are currently saving money or automating with a comment!
Author Bio: I’m Jacob, one half of the Cash Cow Couple. My wife and I enjoy teaching others how to live an abundant life on a very modest salary. We are attempting to spend less than $12,000 in our first year of marriage because we enjoy a good challenge.