This post is brought to you and contributed by Abby Locker.
For most of us, it isn’t just important to save money. It’s also important to eat as healthy as possible while saving money. It’s important for our money-saving habits to allow us to live fully functional lives.
Fortunately, that is easier than ever to do by just making a few modifications to our daily routine.
Meals & Snacks
With the hectic pace of modern life, it is no surprise that food costs can skyrocket as we try to make up for time with foods that are marketed as being more convenient. But just how often do we hit up the drive-through for a quick dinner or our favorite coffee shop for a fast pick-me-up only to end up stuck in a never-ending line? Then we have wasted not only our precious time but we’ve also increased our monthly food budget.
By simply taking a few extra minutes in the morning to prepare our lunch, or to make a decadent caffeinated treat with vanilla coffee syrup from our own pantry, we can end up saving ourselves time, frustration and money.
The initial pushback you may be feeling is probably due to thinking about getting up earlier and having to do another thing before walking out of the house. However, if you think about how much time and money you spend by stopping for that coffee in the morning or burger at night when all you really want is to be home, you may find your resistance lessening.
For those who aren’t sure this is really a painless way to save money, try it for two weeks and see if you don’t have more time and more money.
Fuel costs can be a considerable strain on one’s budget when you take into consideration the cost of transportation and heating or cooling your home. Because it has the potential to be one of the biggest and most regular strains on your budget, it is also an area where you have the potential to save the most money with a few fine-tuning strategies.
Your monthly transportation costs are largely associated with the power, or fuel, required to move you from one place to another. If you are driving yourself there is one very easy way to minimize your fuel costs – modify your driving habits.
This includes things like resisting aggressive driving tactics, driving a little slower, and minimizing idle time. Aggressive driving tactics like accelerating rapidly can cause your fuel efficiency to decrease and your fuel costs to skyrocket. Other habits that increase fuel consumption are consistently driving in excess of the speed limit or allowing your speed to fluctuate wildly. The easiest way to combat both of these is to set your cruise control.
There are probably a lot of energy vampires causing your home fuel costs to be higher than they need to be as well. While everyone has a different temperature at which they are most comfortable, most people will agree that the temperature doesn’t need to be maintained when no one is in the home. Yet, many people absentmindedly leave their thermostat set to the same temperature regardless so that the home will be comfortable upon their return.
Within the past few years, smart thermostats have become more effective, user-friendly and affordable. They provide an easy way to ensure the home is not heated or cooled at expensive peak hours when no one is at home and that the home is comfortable when the family returns at night. Once installed, it requires no additional effort to begin easily saving money each month.
How often do you find yourself paying late fees because time got away from you and you simply forgot to make a payment on time? If you’re like the majority of the overworked population, it’s a frequent occurrence.
You can begin saving money every month simply by switching all of your recurring bills to automatic payments. Most companies charge no additional fee for this service and it ensures you won’t be hit with additional late fees multiple times each month.
Another easy automation tip that can help immensely is to set up a specified amount each month to be transferred from your primary account to a special savings account. People spend the money they have, even when they don’t necessarily need or want anything. By removing a predesignated amount each money you will not only be reigning in any impulse spending by removing the funding temptation but you will also be doing something beneficial for your financial future.
Don’t worry–you don’t have to implement all of these tips at once to begin reaping the money saving benefits. Start with one and add more as you become accustomed to the new routine. Soon, you’ll be a money-saving expert.