When the stress of hard times hit, it’s often a near impossible task to figure out where to cut on spending. If that’s you then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you need to know.
By not Meal Planning
By buying for a bunch of different possible meals, that are not coordinated or planned out, you are spending way too much money on random food.
Food that will waste anyway because you will end up running out of food combinations and that will result in you having to run to the store to pick up an ingredient or two (if you’re that lucky to only need one or two) and you will likely end up buying extra unnecessary items while you’re at the store.
Meal planning not only saves you a ton of money and time, but it also saves your sanity.
Plus it’s actually such a simple process, all you do is print out a blank meal planner and start brainstorming meal ideas by combining your family favorites with ingredients that are more affordable at that time.
By Not Using a Shopping List
Ok great, you’ve diligently made your meal plan and you’re stoked about getting to it.
The next step is to list ingredients and compile them into a neat little shopping list.
Now the trick to putting together a shopping list that works is to be real about the things you actually eat on a regular basis.
Don’t buy things you would only cook on a special occasion unless you’ve planned for it, like a birthday.
Another great tip from expert meal-planners is to create a master shopping list, which is exactly what I just talked about – taking all the things that you use monthly or otherwise and compiling them into one big shopping list ‘template’.
A master shopping list is sort of genius because it helps you shop with ease.
You will never have to forget what to buy again.
Not Using Your Resources Wisely
I’m sure at this point in time, everyone is aware of how important it is to use our earth’s precious resources wisely but let this serve as a tiny reminder.
Check yourself, do you turn off the faucets when you’ve not been using them?
Do you waste electricity by running unnecessary appliances all day?
Anyway, you get the idea – save resources, save the planet and save some money in the process.
But those aren’t the only resources you should be tracking, other important resources include fuel and internet.
There are so many ways we waste these, for example, if you don’t service your car regularly it will become much less fuel efficient which will end up costing you a ton of money if you aren’t careful.
In the same way, if you aren’t careful about apps, streaming, and social media, your data bill will go through the rough.
It’s always recommended to switch to an uncapped plan that is in the same price range that you are currently paying.
A great habit to develop is to go through your monthly bills every few months and ask yourself how you can get more out of what you’re already paying.
Alright, if I’m really being honest here, I do still play the lottery but many people that cut on spending will tell you to cut this first completely.
But truth be told, we decided that the odds, no matter how small, are still worth it to us.
It is a personal choice though.
So instead, we cap our Lottery budget at $15/month and we’ve opted to play online instead of buying tickets in store.
Starbucks used to be such a leech on our budget before we knew it we were spending $100 or more a month on coffees and lattes, to be fair they are ridiculously yummy coffees and lattes but that doesn’t justify spending half a month’s worth of grocery money on it.
So now, we make our coffee at home.
We bought a decent coffee machine (second hand) and we now take our own coffee to work in thermal mugs.
At the start of our journey to financial freedom, our house was cluttered to the brink of bursting.
We wanted to (and mostly did) lose our damn minds.
The weirdest thing though – we decided to start selling all this stuff that was stealing our joy, time and money and we actually gained so much more than money.
If it seems like a daunting task to you, do what I did and start with the things that you know you’ll never use.
For me, that meant selling my jewelry, and that brought in so much money that we were fairly motivated to get the rest of the house done too.
If you’ve ever lived near a lake or some sort of body of water, and you’ve had to deal with the army of mosquitoes that go along with the otherwise picturesque location then you already have an idea of what hidden fees do to your budget.
The drain little drops here and there and leave you wishing like hell you could just end them already.
If you pay bank fees, insurance, any type of loan, any type of debt and or have any type of subscription, you need to know exactly where your money is going.
Ask for itemized statements and go through that thing with a magnifying glass and if, or in the more likely case – when you notice discrepancies, query and destroy them ASAP.
And in the future don’t agree to pay anything until you fully, wholeheartedly understand every aspect of what and who you will be paying.
Not Looking at The Bigger Picture
I mentioned that hidden fees are like mosquitoes that drain drops of your blood, and you may be thinking ‘What’s the big deal? It’s only a few drops’
But if you had a bucket and you slowly filled it with millions (or billions?) of drops of water, drop for drop, it would eventually be full.
The same is true with finances.
A penny here and a penny there may not seem like much at first, but it all adds up.
Shifting your mindset from ‘It’s only a dollar’ to ‘well, that saved me a dollar’ can make a world of difference, and as you start applying that mindset to your daily life, you will notice the impact it makes.