Now that you’ve been tracking your spending, are there ways you can cut your spending and save money? Here’s a list of 10 ways to save money without having to make difficult to commit to life changes.
When you have your monthly, weekly even daily spending habits spelled out for you in receipts, you can see exactly where your money goes. If you are like me, you start to wonder if there are easy ways to maybe spend less without having to give up the things you’re used to. I had already rocked the boat enough by taking over the spending and cutting out most of the soda and junk food. I didn’t need to make any further drastic cuts. I started looking for ways to save money in ways Sam and Zoe wouldn’t notice.
10 Ways to Save Money You’ll Never Notice
1. Save a penny a day. At the first of the year, there are always articles about how to save money. One that is always popular is the 52 Week Challenge, where you save $1.00 the first week, $2.00 the second week through the end of the year. Sam and I thought we’d try something a little different. The Penny a Day Challenge. Where you save a penny on the first day, 2 pennies on the 2nd day. We’ve been at it since the beginning of the year, using pocket change. Today, March 23rd, we will put in 83 cents and we will have saved almost $35 and we haven’t missed any of it.
2. Change Jar. This one is very similar to the penny a day challenge. The only difference is, there isn’t a set amount every day. This is where you put all your change at the end of the day in a jar. The change in your pocket, in the bottom of your purse, change you’re not going to spend time digging for at the store. Put it in a jar. You won’t think about missing it, until one day you see there’s quite a bit of coin in the jar.
3. Direct Deposit. If your company offers direct deposit, specify a specific amount to be directly deposited into a savings account. It goes directly from your company into your savings account. It’s easy because you don’t have to do anything.
4. 401K Matching. If your company offers to match your 401K contributions, why wouldn’t you take them up on that? It’s free money! Some companies only match up to 5% or up to the first $1000 but that’s MATCH so that means 10% is being contributed, or up to $2000 towards your 401K. Once you reach that threshold, and the company stops contributing, you’ve already adjusted to living with your contribution being taken from your check. You’ve got a good start, it only makes sense to continue it.
5. Meal Planning and making lists. I noted in my Meal Planning Week 2 A Recap, making a list and sticking to it saved us up to $80 our first week. This week I took into account the sales the different stores were having, and made my list accordingly.
6. Use the local library. Our library not only has an amazing amount of books, they offer a huge selection of movies, and television series on DVDs and a wide variety of music on CD. You can use their printers for a small fee which is significantly less than the cost of a printer or even ink. Some libraries offer free photography classes, or computer classes, and reading programs for kids during the summer.
7. Timed showers. Sometimes long hot showers are necessary to relax, but not every time. Keeping showers short, saves on hot water. We have set a 15 minute time limit on showers. It means the hot water heater works less to heat water, it also saves water so I am saving on two bills by setting a timer for showers.
8. Turn off lights and television I have to be honest, Sam and Zoe were in a bad habit of leaving lights and televisions on around the clock. They would go to bed with the living room and kitchen all lit up and the television on even though everyone was in bed asleep. We are all making a concerted effort to turn off lights and televisions when we leave a room.
9. Video games. We all have our games we like. I am a huge fan of all the Lego games. Anyway, some games you can play over and over again, even if you’ve beat it already. Some games don’t have ‘replay value”. We take those games that we won’t play again, and trade them towards games we will play more often. We have several places around us that take games in on trade. We buy pre-owned games to save money as well.
10. Don’t Give Up. Make little changes, and keep at it. These won’t make huge changes all at once, but over time you will start to see the savings.
Since I have started tracking our spending, I have started making most of these changes. I am not expecting huge changes but overtime I do hope to see that we are spending less and saving more.
What ways do you save money?
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