Money struggles can come from things you didn’t even think about. Have you added up how much you’ve been spending on your morning Starbucks or lunches out with the coworkers? These things you might see as small, but they can really add up. Here’s how to save money on some of those everyday expenses.
If you’re buying a $3 coffee seven days a week, you’re spending $1,092 just in coffee each year. Yikes. If you make that coffee at home, you’re only spending about a quarter for each cup considering the cost of a two-pound bag of coffee. And that’s including milk and sugar. Though a French press or other coffee machine might be pricey at first, it’s an investment that’s worth it in the long run.
If you absolutely can’t give up getting coffee out, try looking into cheaper places. If you’re going to Starbucks every day out of habit, look into McDonald’s coffee instead. It’s a lot cheaper, and if you’re just getting plain coffee and not a fancy drink, you won’t really notice much of a difference.
Eating out is often a lot more expensive than eating at home. You’re not only paying for food when you go out, you’re paying for the ambiance of the restaurant and having people serve you. Going out to eat is great on special occasions, but it can definitely eat through money if you’re doing it a few times a week.
Try some quick and easy recipes to make at home. With leftovers, you can take them to work or eat them other days of the week for dinner. If going out to eat is usually a coworker thing, see if they’d be willing to get takeout and you can all hang in the break room together. That way you can still eat a packed lunch and spend time with them as well.
Using Your Credit Card
While this isn’t technically an every day expense, it’s probably something you do almost every day. Credit cards make it easy for you to buy stuff and just kind of forget how much money you’re spending since it isn’t actually coming out of your bank account. You don’t have the sensation of actually giving over money like you do with cash, leading you to be willing to spend more.
The problem with this is that the little things add up even more on a credit card, especially if you’re only making the minimum payment each month. Credit card debt compounds interest, so a little bit of debt can turn into a lot very quickly. Cut up those credit cards or keep one just for emergencies. If you do have one, make sure you can pay it off in full each month. Otherwise, stick to cash and debit cards so you actually know how much you’re spending.
Getting Your Hair And Nails Done
It’s understandable to want to look good. But if you’re getting four haircuts a year, a mani-pedi every two weeks and a blowout every other month, you’re spending around $1,800 each year. Try to wait a little longer between haircuts or learn to give yourself a trim. If you get confident enough with trimming your own hair, you’ll only have to go to the salon for major changes.
For nails, get strengthening nail polish to help them grow. That can help you get the length you get from acrylics and then you can paint them whatever color you want. There are tons of at-home tricks to help your nails look like you just came from the salon.
For blowouts, get yourself a professional-grade hair dryer with wattage of at least 1875. That can help you get the sleek look at home. If you really want to splurge on a mani-pedi or blowout, make sure you shop around for the best price. Don’t make a habit of it, either. Use them solely as a treat for a special occasion.
In 2013, the average cost of food at home was $3,935 per year. In non-alcoholic beverages alone, not including milk, the average annual amount was $384 per year. Cutting back on sodas, juices and other drinks can help save a lot. Milk and water are good for you as well, and focusing on those is better anyway. Keep soda to an absolute minimum and just keep one kind of juice in the house at a time.
Another good way to save on groceries is to make sure you’re not going while hungry. This leads to impulse purchases and things you don’t need. Go alone, too, so the kids aren’t throwing random boxes of cookies into your cart when you’re not looking. Warehouse clubs can also have good prices for nonperishables like paper towels and toilet paper.
Take a good look at what you’re spending every day, and see how you can change it. You’ll be able to save a lot more than you know by cutting down purchases of unnecessary items and changing those daily habits!