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Delay Impulse Shopping
Itching to make the purchase now? Go home and think about it. Give yourself 24 hours to decide if you really need the item. 72 hours is even better. You’ll save yourself hundreds of dollars this way. The impulse to buy is just that–an impulse in most cases.
Look for Lower Cost Substitutes
If you’re an avid book reader, try a trip to the library or check out the free books on Amazon Prime or other membership sites instead of purchasing. If you’re a golfer, substitute one tee time a week for a trip to the community driving range.
The important thing is not to give up the things you like. Instead make small, occasional substitutions that will save a little bit here and there. The little things add up over time.
Skip the Shopping Spree
Whether it be Target, Amazon, or, the sporting goods store, next time you’re tempted to go shopping, just drive on by. Instead of shopping, go for a walk, grab a cup of coffee, or read a book. Or, if it’s online shopping, get in the habit of watching a favorite music video instead of shopping.
Build a new habit to replace the old one. It’s more satisfying to watch your savings account balance increase than to experience momentary pleasure from buying stuff.
Downsize Where You Can
In his book A New Earth, author Eckhart Tolle talks about our tendency to identify ourselves, and our self-worth, by our things. Well, you are not your things!
The sense of self-respect you get when you make smart financial decisions is worth far more than the ego-centric feeling of driving the fancy car and wearing the latest styles. Evaluate lifestyle changes you can make. It might be your house, your car, your clothes — whatever it is, downsize where you can. Being financially secure is sexy at any age.
Drive Less Often
Carpool or use public transportation once a week, or more if you can. If you’re still working, ask if you can have one telecommuting day a week. Instead of lots of trips, consolidate your errand running and plan it for times when there is not a lot of traffic. Even better, consolidate and carpool all at once by running errands with a friend!
Scour Monthly Home Expenses
Cord cutting is finally at a place that can make sense for most families. With a little bit of research, it can cut your bill in half.
In addition, turn up or turn off, the air conditioning or turn down your heater during the day. Yeah, it’s not quite so comfortable when you first get home, but the savings will add up.
Eat Out Less
Slash your food bill by not eating out so often. Instead, take your lunch once in a while. Before you head out for dinner, try to glance through the pantry first, and see what creative meal you can come up with at home.
If you have to eat out frequently, skip the sodas and iced teas. Drinking water is not only better for you but, for those that eat lunch out every day, this simple substitution will save well over $30 a month.
Find and Use Discount Programs
With a little effort, you can pay 20 – 50% less for most of the things you buy. Like most things in life, time is money. If you’re willing to put in the time, you can find discount codes and sales that save you money. It may take a little extra work, and quite a bit of patience, but remember, you’re getting paid for your time to avoid shopping retail with significant savings!
Warning: many people get lured into spending more because “it’s on sale”. This tactic is not to be used to buy things you don’t need. It’s a strategy where you plan out what you buy already, and find ways to get it for less.
Cancel Gym Memberships
Health and fitness should be a priority, but you don’t need a gym membership to work out. If you’re the self-motivated type, there are all kinds of fitness activities that don’t require a monthly fee. You can walk, run, do yoga at home, buy a fitness video, do push-ups, sit-ups, use exercise bands and a pair of dumbbells.
The free possibilities are endless.
Transform Your Hobby Into a Business
Most people do something outside of their regular job as a change of pace. What if that hobby became a small business? Enjoy carpentry? Maybe look for people that need some home improvement. Decorating? Maybe you could take on a few clients as an interior designer.
Think about what you love to do and ask yourself if you could make a little extra money doing it.