How to save money? Every penny counts! (part one)
Living paycheck to paycheck is no one’s favorite way of life – yet many of us do it for no good reason. We always hear that we should have an emergency reserve of at least six salaries on our bank account, otherwise we’re doomed in case of problems like losing a job. Financial advisors are flooding us with advices out of touch with our reality and for so smart rates offer us their unique and often completely needless services ending up in “for fifty bucks per hour I’ll tell you that you shouldn’t be spending so much money”. And we’re constantly exposed to temptations of damn profitable loans. But there are no shortcuts to success. If we actually want to save money, we must start with ourselves and our habits.
Such a change is not easy but if we persist, it can benefit our wallet as well as our health.
What should we change then without going through too much trouble, and how?
Food and drink
Lunch in a restaurant and a fast food snack a few hours later can quickly empty our pockets. Don’t scorn upon homemade lunches! Food prepared at home doesn’t just taste better, it’s also notably cheaper. If you don’t always have time to cook after work, prepare food in advance. Is lunch with colleagues important to you because of the chatting? Go out with them once a week – consider it a special treat you’re giving yourself.
Car expenses can be enormous and often needless. Do you only use your car for shopping and the occasional trip? Get rid of it! Bigger purchases can be completed online and delivered home, and you go on a proper trip by train anyway.
If you still don’t want to give up your precious or don’t live in a city, try at least limiting the volume of travel by car. Walking doesn’t just save money – it can also without any expenses get an out-of-shape office rat fit again!
Give up smoking finally. No matter whether you smoke one cigarette a day or a week, it puts a great strain on your finances (not speaking of your health). Maybe your bad habit isn’t the occasional cigarette or a nice glass of beer. The category of wasteful expenses that only harm you includes, among other things, also visiting your nearby fast food.
If you don’t want to give up your vices completely, replace your cigarette pack with an electronic cigarette and always have some healthier and cheaper small treat ready instead of fast food, even if it’s just nuts or dried fruit. Try to pick food that can really sate your appetite.
Changing long-enforced habits is not easy and therefore don’t expect immediate results. Too high expectations are hard to live up to and can be futile for the progress, especially without careful planning. To make it easier for you, I’ve got you a challenge: Pick one of the recommendations and try to live by it the next week. Log every penny saved in the Wallet by BudgetBakers app. The following week, pick another tip and continue until you try every one. At the end of this experiment, you’ll know exactly how much you had saved each week, and you’ll be able to follow up on it as you like.
We’ve got more useful tips for you in the next part of this article, so stay tuned!