Feel like you’re burning through cash like wildfire? You’re not alone. According to a 2019 survey by Ladder, the average American spends almost $1500 per month on non-essential items. The good news with that is it makes it easy to cut back if you need to get out of debt or focus on saving, all of which are key elements of financial literacy. So check out the ten small changes to start saving money.
Take Advantage of Happy Hour
Okay, sure, the night will be very young. So we get that it might not be the party experience you’re used to. However, your tab will be significantly lower if you take advantage of happy hour deals.
Skip the Pre-prepped Food
Yes, it saves you time; sometimes, this is a good thing. However, doing it too much is costly. Pre-prepped food generally costs two to four times as much as the same thing that’s not prepped. If you’ve got a few seconds to chop lettuce, grate cheese, or cut up fruit, do it. Your budget will thank you.
Focus on Quality Purchases
Need a new toaster or appliance? On the surface, buying the $20 toaster seems like the cheaper path. But if it breaks in six months, you’re throwing money away. So instead, do the research and find a quality item, even if it costs a little more. Long-term, you’ll be saving money.
Ditch Subscriptions You’re Not Using
When was the last time you used that membership, streaming service, or app? It’s easy to sign up for all these things, and the recurring monthly charges seem small, but they add up. Check out apps like Truebill or Trim to help you figure out what subscriptions you’re paying for and not using, then unsubscribe.
Stop Paying for Unlimited Data
We know you spend a lot of time on your smartphone. We do, too! But unless you’re spending a lot of time away from accessible WiFi, unlimited data likely isn’t necessary. Look at your past usage history and adjust your plan accordingly. Dropping from unlimited to 5G per month can save you about $60/month on some carriers.
Get Things Done Early
Procrastination causes a lot of rushing around and last-minute stress. It also costs you money. For example, you may wind up paying significant charges for expedited shipping. Plus, you miss out on any deals that may have happened between the time you knew you needed something and the time you finally got around to buying it.
Avoid ATM Fees
Most banks charge about $3 for using an out-of-network ATM. This may not seem like much, but it adds up quickly if you do it often enough. If your bank doesn’t have an ATM in the area, you can also opt for cash back at check-out and not incur a fee. Keeping small amounts of cash in your wallet is a good idea.
Review Your Statements
If you’re like most people, you swipe your card for just about everything. This is fine, but errors do happen. Merchants may accidentally charge you twice or return something incorrectly. By reviewing your statements, you’ll catch these errors early and be able to correct them.
Use a Grocery List
Heading to the store without a list means you’re relying on your memory – and your urges. As a result, you may buy items you already have in stock at home or purchase unnecessary items on a whim. So take a few minutes to review what you need and make a list before you head to the store.
Save on Parking
Most urban areas charge for parking. It feels pretty unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look for the best deal. Apps like Best Parking and Parkopedia help you find free/cheap parking. You may also be able to park a bit further away and walk to your destination for a lot less money. If public transit is an option, price compare that with driving and parking.
Which of these money-saving tips will you try? Let us know in the comments!