A matter of pride may motivate you to start saving money each week by simply changing some habits. If you can think of your expenditures as opportunities for others to take your money legally, it may stir your pride enough to make you want to prevent some of them. While an adage cautions that “old habits die hard,” you know that you can change them if you try. A goal of cutting personal expenses and saving up to $50 a week may turn out easier than you imagine when you turn it into a challenging game. Recognize that almost everything that you do after you leave your home costs money, but you can outsmart the vendors by providing for your own needs instead of depending on them. You can learn how to save money with these five tips.
1. Take Your Lunch to Work
When you pack a lunch, you get many benefits that accompany a homemade meal. You probably have a limited time for lunch, and it takes time to go to a restaurant. You end up with less time to relax and get your mind off your work. The food that you buy there may have more calories than you neither want nor need, and the quality may not measure up to your preferences either. The savings of at least $6 per day when you take your lunch amounts to $30 per work week. When you know how to save money, you may find that taking your lunch to work can help you succeed with your savings plan.
2. Put Your Crockpot to Work for Dinner
After a hard day at work, you surely have no desire to prepare dinner for your family. The convenience of a meal that requires no work may seem very attractive, but its price tag costs way too much. An experiment by Business Observer found that food delivery costs at least $25 with tip, and an order every day produces a hefty amount of $175 for a week. You can load your crockpot with dinner ingredients for about $50 a week, and it gives you a ready-to-eat meal when you get home. Even if you decide to splurge and have one pizza or other favorite delivery, you can still stay way ahead of the game. As soon as you commit to saving money each week, the game of outsmarting vendors turns in your favor.
3. Decide to Walk for Exercise
Gym memberships exact a big price for an opportunity to work out with other people, but you can get healthy exercise by walking. A report by CNBC cites the monthly expense at $50 or $60 in addition to an initiation fee in some locations. While you may fully intend to use the membership every day or at least three days a week, you know that many days pass without using it at all. With an investment in a pair of walking shoes for about the price of one month’s membership fee, you can walk whenever you want without driving to the gym.
4. Break the Smoking Habit
Only 14 percent of adults in the U.S. continue to smoke cigarettes, but you can save a lot of money by giving up the habit if you still have it. The rack of cigarette packs and cartons behind the counters of convenience stores indicates that the demand remains high. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the practice stands as the “leading cause” of preventable deaths, and it accounts for nearly 500,000 every year. At a price of about $7 per pack and the consumption of one pack per day, your habit costs about $50 per week. By cutting down or eliminating it, you contribute to your long-term health and your short-term goal of cutting personal expenses.
5. Control Your Thermostat
The comfort that air conditioning provides for your home lets you relax and avoid the heat in the sweltering days of summer, but it carries a big price tag. You may spend as much as 48 percent of your total home energy bill on heating and cooling. You may not even notice when the thermostat settings make it unnecessary to turn on a fan to cool off, but your electric meter keeps track of it.
Each degree of warm or cool air costs about 1 percent of your energy bill’s total. A setting of 78 degrees provides a comfortable level of cooling when your family comes home from school or work, but you can save money by setting it to 85 degrees when everyone goes away from home during the day. In the winter, try setting your temperature at 68 degrees when your family gathers in the evening, but you can save by lowering it by as much as 10 degrees when they sleep.