When’s the last time you skipped the morning Starbucks drive-thru on the way to work? How many times have you made the decision to walk or bike to your neighborhood grocery store instead of driving there?
These choices might seem unimportant, but even the smallest changes in your daily routine can make a big difference in your bank account. That’s because the little purchases, ones that we don’t think much about because it’s only a few dollars here or there, can add up to tens, even hundreds of dollars. That’s money you can save by adjusting a few small spending habits.
Sometimes, we spend our money because we’re constantly bombarded by convincing ads that scream “Buy Now!” or “Limited Time. Act Fast!” It’s hard to save when you’re asked to spend your money at every turn!
Other times, it comes down to convenience. Hey, we get it, it’s easier to swing by the coffee shop that’s on your morning route instead of prepping your brew at home and bringing it in a travel mug.
But that little $4 Americano can become a $20-a-week expense. And if you’re a creature of habit, like many of us are, you’re spending that money not once a week, but multiple times a week. A small $4 charge can turn into $20 and then $80 or $100 in only a month!
That’s $100 you could be saving each month for emergencies.
But cutting out fancy coffee drinks isn’t the only smart way to save money. Here are some other tips for ditching those small expenses that add up over time.
- Pack Your Lunch – Instead of eating out during your lunch break, pack a lunch and bring it to work. If you want to make it a habit, plan out your weekly meals on Sunday afternoons. Scheduling a day at the beginning of the week to prepare meals will keep you from skipping meal prep time when you feel exhausted after a long day of work.
- Bring A Refillable Bottle – Like packing your lunch, you can also bring your own refillable water bottle wherever you go. Not only is it a great way to stay hydrated and cut out sugary, expensive drinks, it’s also environmentally friendly because you’ll be cutting down on the number of plastic bottles you consume. It’s a win-win!
- Buy Generic – Have you ever been shopping at the grocery store and noticed the generic brands sitting on the shelf right next to the name brand products? The packaging might not be as flashy, and the messaging could be bland, but oftentimes, the quality of the product is just as good as the major name brands. Generic brands are cents, or sometimes dollars, cheaper than name brands, and all those small savings can add up to a big discount in the checkout line!
- Walk, Bike, or Take the Bus – Although taking an alternate mode of transportation isn’t always possible, if you do live somewhere that is biking or walking friendly, it’s a great way to cut down on your weekly gasoline expense. If you’re in a town fortunate enough to have a good public transit system, even better! Take the bus or a train and see how much money you can save by keeping your car at home.
Turn a bad habit into a good habit by monitoring your purchases, cutting out your small spending, and putting that money into savings instead.