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If you are struggling with your finances and want to start saving real money, you need to learn how to be a little more savvy with your spending.
It’s likely that, if you take a really close look at what you spend every week, there are many things that you don’t actually need, and which you might even be able to make yourself, completely free!
Of course, life is for living and it’s not a good idea to cut out all your favorite things, but moderation is key here. There are plenty of money-wasting goods that we’re all guilty of buying without really thinking about it. By being more aware, you can cut your spending, keep cash in your pocket, and in some ways, you might even do your bit for the environment!
You can start by creating a budget, but if you just want to jump straight in, you can cut directly some costs to save money from today.
If you need some quick motivation to save money, here are 12 things that I managed to save money on when I stopped buying them on a regular basis.
Less Takeaway Coffee
A decadent coffee from Starbucks every morning might be your treat before work, but have you stopped to consider how much all of that costs over a week?
Cut your consumption down to perhaps once a week as a treat – perfect on Friday – and the rest of the time make your own coffee at home and take it in a reusable cup. Instant cash saved!
Potential savings – $70/month
Save Money on Bottled Water
Plastic bottles are toxic to the planet – have you seen how much plastic is currently littering up our oceans? Also, a bottle of water every day mounts up over the week.
Instead, use water from home and take it with you in a reusable cup. Simply purchase a filter for your home water supply and you’re good to go. If you need the motivation to save money on this, just think about the oceans.
You can also find cheap filtering water bottles to bring to work.
Potential savings – up to $105/month (for a family of 4)
Stop Subscriptions to Magazines
Much of the time, subscriptions to magazines look like they’re going to save you money, but do you really need all of those subscriptions? Do you even have the time to read them all?
Instead, download them individually as and when, and that’s sure to make you stop and think twice before spending the cash. Subscriptions often leave your bank account without you even realizing it and over time that can be a huge amount.
Potential savings – depends on the number of subscriptions
Creams For Shaving
Sure, it’s nice to have smooth and silky skin post-shave but did you know that you can get the same results by using just soap? It’s true!
Shaving creams cost a small fortune and they market them to make it sound like you’re going to be a god or goddess after using them – the truth is you won’t be any different than before! Stick to soap and save some cash.
Potential savings – $8/month
Makeup Removing Wipes
Did you know that baby wipes do exactly the same thing as the especially marketed make up wipes? You know the ones – the expensive ones that are infused with all manner of added ingredients.
Basic baby wipes do exactly the same thing but even better, why not skip wipes completely and just use a little coconut oil on a cotton wool pad? Same results, cash saved!
My wife even prefers baby wipes + coconut oils as it makes her skin smoother. I can certify it!
Potential savings – $12/month
It’s hard to think about starting to cook when you get home after a long day at work, but microwave packaged meals are so unhealthy and so expensive. If you want the motivation to save money and your health, check the ingredients list, it doesn’t make for great reading!
It’s far cheaper to buy fresh meat and ingredients and make your own meals, you can even freeze the leftovers for another day too.
Potential savings – $180/month (per person)
Paperback And Hardback Books
It’s great to read and it’s a fantastic way to spend your time, but books are mega-expensive these days, even if you download ebooks. Instead, head to your local library and loan the books instead.
It’s free, you get to read the book, and let’s be honest, and the actual book in your hands feels so much better than an e-reader! If you prefer digital books however, you can also borrow ebooks from libraries most of the time too.
Potential savings – depends on the number of books
Subscriptions to cable TV channels are so expensive these day and we seem to think that we need a million and one channels available to use to make us feel complete. You don’t need a million channels, and instead, why not subscribe to Netflix every month? It’s cheap, there’s plenty on it, and it’s always being updated.
Potential savings – $50 to $160
Ordering Takeaway And Eating Out
I’ve developed a love of home cooking, especially when I found the motivation to save money! It’s far cheaper to buy fresh ingredients and make your own meals than it is to buy and expensive (and usually unhealthy takeaway) or to go out and dine in a restaurant.
When you eat out, you’re more likely than likely going to order more courses than you actually need and probably more wine too.
I also started making my own lunch at home and taking it to work with me – it instantly saves money on expensive (and usually quite dry) sandwiches from the local deli.
Potential savings – $60
Cards For Special Occasions
A few years ago you might have been cast out of your social circle if you didn’t send greetings cards for birthdays, Christmas, and other events, but I’ve stopped doing this now.
Instead, I send ecards – they’re free, they’re easier, and they’re animated too! What is the point in spending money on a card that is probably going to end up in the bin anyway?
I know, it’s nice to have your nails done, but have you ever stopped to add up the cost of those regular appointments? I did and it’s staggering!
My wife recently started doing this recently – she bought herself a gel nail kit and I now do them herself. She has learned a new skill and I’ve saved a lot of cash too.
Potential savings – $80/month (2 sessions per month)
Who actually uses a landline anymore? You might have it out of habit, but you never use it. Cancel it and stick to your cell phone.
Most people only use their cell these days and if you choose the right provider, you’ll get free calls to the same network. Shop around and find the best deal, but wave goodbye to that landline!
Potential savings -$60/month
As you can see, finding the motivation to save money isn’t about making massive, sweeping changes to your lifestyle, it’s just about being sensible and cutting out or reducing the unnecessary things in life.
Adding up all the items above, you could save around $625 every single month.
Are you trying to save more? What things do you plan to stop buying to save more?