Every Little Bit Saved Adds Up
Living on a budget is the key to financial freedom, but the start can be frustrating. When we look at our spending and see all the bills we pay each month, it is easy to give up in disgust. But what about all those little expenses that we incur? You might be surprised how much they amount to.
It is easy to dismiss cutting back on little things. A few dollars a month will not make a significant difference in the big picture. But a few dollars here and there eventually adds up. When you cut back in many small ways, you could find yourself with much more money at the end of the month.
Don’t Waste Money Unnecessarily
One thing we can do that is good for the budget is to stop wasting money as much as possible. This can apply to many areas of our lives. From eating to heating our home or apartment, any waste is money going down the drain unnecessarily.
Cooking for the family instead of eating out or eating fast food is a great way to save money. But if you throw food away, the effective savings is reduced. So if you have leftovers, do not let them end up in the trash. Some dishes freeze well, which makes it easy for a quick dinner when you do not have time to cook. You can also eat leftovers for lunch the next day.
If your home is not insulated well, you risk wasting important money on heating and cooling. Insulation will cost money up front, but it will pay for itself quickly. If you have drafts around doors and windows, weather-stripping can help maintain the temperature of your home. Right now (in 2010) there are rebates on energy saving appliances, insulating your home and other energy saving measures. Check those out and you could have even more newfound savings.
Most households waste an incredible amount of electricity. This can partly be avoided by using energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. Switch off unneeded lights, televisions, computers and other devices when not in use. Keep blinds open to enjoy sunlight during the day so you don’t need to use lights.
Don’t Spoil Yourself: Do It Yourself
Each time you pay someone to do something you could do yourself, you spend money unnecessarily. This applies to small things like buying coffee instead of making your own, as well as major expenses such as home repairs.
Many of us buy coffee or a soda in a convenience store or a coffee on the way to work in the morning. This can really add to money spent over time. Instead, make your own coffee or buy soda in 2 liter bottles and pour into a bottle or cup to take with you. The same applies to lunch. Rather than go to a fast food place, take a sandwich or something you can microwave at work.
Although we may not be good for all types of repairs and maintenance, most of us can do some things for ourselves. Maybe you could change your own oil instead of paying someone to do it. If the walls need painting, think about asking your friends and family to help you do it instead of hiring a painter. Things like these can save us a remarkable amount of money immediately.
The Savings Add Up
When you add up the savings, little things can make a big difference in the budget. So take a look at your budget and see what small expenses are hidden there. If you can eliminate or reduce them, it could have a positive impact on your bottom line. Every little bit of savings helps.
See if you can do better than me. I once started saving all my change at the end of the day. Over a period of a year or so I filled a 5 gallon water bottle about three quarters full with those coins. I paid some little kids to wrap them up for me. When all was said and done I had slightly over $1100 dollars clear to add to my bank account. That was quite a while ago. To this day I still save all my change. Not on a daily basis, but whenever I think about it and deposit about $70 – $160 from one or two beer mugs every time they get full.