Right now, many are searching for ways to save some money. A few things that people often overlook are items such as impulse purchases. For example, if you go to the grocery store without a list, you are more apt to fall victim to store displays and purchase items on impulse. If you make a list and stick to it when you go shopping, your grocery bill should be less.
Another thing that you might overlook and want to cutout is the morning coffee and/or doughnut at the Starbucks, 7-11, QuikMart, etc. If you stop by there everyday on your way to work, you can easily spend $5.00 or more. You might even decide to buy some snacks for later, items like candy bars, chips, etc. Even though it doesn’t seem like a lot of money, if you spend $5.00 every day that’s $25 a week or $100 a month or $1,200 a year. Instead, make a pot of coffee in the morning and fill-up a thermos with it. Take the thermos with you to work and you have hot coffee. You can also buy snacks at the grocery store and take them into work with you.
Do you find yourself going out to eat at lunch? Depending on where you go you can spend $10 or $20 for lunch. Maybe you go to Jack-in-box or McDonalds or some other fast food restaurant and get something off the value menu. Even if you spend $5.00 each day on these value items, you still spend $1,200 a year. Instead, take your lunch with you. Make a sandwich or take some leftovers. In the end, not only will you save money, but you will be healthier.
One thing that really helps control your spending is to keep track everything you spend by writing it down on a little notebook. Some people will take out $20 from the ATM machine. Then, when they use the $20 and get change back they spend without thinking about it. You lose track of where your money went. This is not something you want to do.
Also, consider going to your local library and checking out books, movies, and magazines. You’d surprised how much you save by not spending money at the bookstore or the local theater. If you really want to hang onto your book, then instead of going and buying it new, buy it used from your used bookstore. You can also check out Amazon, and eBay for great deals. Another place to get books, albeit you can’t keep them, is Paperbackswap.
One other suggestion you might want to consider is to stop using credit cards and your ATM card. Instead, operate on a cash system. Get a little plastic wallet with dividers and allocate your money for each item behind the dividers. In one spot you might put your gas money, then in another your grocery money, and mortgage/rent money in another. Then, most importantly, only spend what you have in each category. Do not dip into the money in the other slots because when you have to pay for that item, there won’t be enough. Remember the slogan, “When it’s gone, it’s gone.”
If you are spending money on a gym membership, consider cutting that out as well. Instead, go for a walk or run. Go online and find workout videos that people post. You might even have a treadmill, a weight bench and weights, or a stationery or even a regular bike. Dust them off and start using them.
The key to saving money is staying on a budget and learning to use cash and to curb your impulse buying. Also, establish an emergency fund. Start putting away a little bit each paycheck. This way when an emergency hits, you won’t reach for the credit card.
Remember God owns it all and you are a steward of His money. Give your finances over to Him.