If you’ve been hit hard by rising costs, you may be looking for ways to cut back on everyday expenses. After all, even a simple night out with dinner and movie can run upwards of $50 for two people. When you really take a look at your days, you may be able to uncover some habits that you can change, and save yourself hundreds of dollars a year.
Habits Are Made To Be Broken
You may need to take a hard look at your daily or weekly spending habits. If you can change a habit and save a few dollars here and there, it may be well worth it. Here are a few spending habits that you may recognize.
Cut Down on Lunch Expenses
It might be easy to run to the local sandwich shop and spend $12 on a sandwich and drink when you are in the middle of your workday. But, that habit can add up to over $50 a week pretty fast. If you can get into the habit of making your lunch at home, you can pocket all that extra money. To make it easier on yourself, come up with a few simple lunch plans and always make sure you have the ingredients on hand.
Skip the Latte
What did we do before Starbucks or Peets? Those expensive coffee drinks, which are now more like dessert, can run $3-$6 apiece. Maybe it’s time to go old school and order a nice straight-up cup of brewed coffee and a little cream?
Dump the Gym Membership
Just like the fancy coffee drinks, gym membership is a relatively new social habit. Why not take a break and save anywhere from $50-$200 a month? You can get plenty of free exercise at home or outside, and you get the benefit of fresh air. Running, hiking, biking and walking clubs are everywhere if you need the social aspect.
Trim Restaurant Bills
The fastest way to trim your restaurant bill is to drink water. Restaurants make outrageous profit on alcohol and many have raised soda prices to the same level. Take advantage of Happy Hour of course, and try eating a big meal out for lunch, when prices are usually cheaper than dinner. If you’re going out for a date, read this article for ways to have fun on a budget.
Avoid Impulse Purchases
Here’s an idea. For one month skip all the little impulse purchases and only buy the necessities like food, toiletries (be frugal here, these can really get expensive), and gas. No new music, no new tech, no new clothes. And, before you check out of any store, take a look at your purchases and ask yourself if you really need all the items you’re buying.
Bottom Line: You Can Make Changes
Most likely, unless you’re already living very frugally, you can make changes. As long as you have the willpower, you can break some habits that are eating up dollars. And you can use SideMoney every day to give you a boost towards getting the things you really want.