Having a financially safe and secure life requires discipline, planning and perseverance. You not only have to save as much of your income as possible but will also have to curb your spending on unwanted items. A healthy and positive approach towards money will ensure that you spend it where necessary and spend least on things that are not required.
If you look carefully you will see that there are tons of ways in which we waste money at home. Purging your home of unwanted expenses alone will help you double the money you save very month.
Many a time, we do not even notice that we are throwing away money unnecessarily. If you want to tighten your spending and stem the drain, here are a few tips for you.
1. Stop Shopping Sales
The terms ‘discount’, ‘free’ and ‘sale’ have proven to be highly potent marketing weapons as there will never be a shortage of customers looking for freebies. There are very few among us who can resist a great bargain and say ‘no’ to something that has caught our fancy and is selling at a discounted price. If that great LBD is a size too small but is priced 50% less, there are many shoppers who will still buy it hoping to fit into it by the time the festive season rolls in. This is how powerful an impact ‘sale’ has on a buyer’s psyche. Research shows that sale shoppers on an average spend more money than the others.
Learn to assess your needs and shop accordingly. If you cannot see yourself using something in near future, do not buy it. There are more chances of the LBD gathering dust in your closet than you dropping two sizes in the next couple of months.
Also, do not subscribe to sale alerts from retailers and brands. It becomes harder to not think of shopping when an email from your favorite store says that everything is on sale. We think that sale alerts help us to save but actually they nurture the shopping instinct, so choose to remain ignorant about all the amazing deals. The best way to do it is to cancel subscriptions on deal sites and not opt for sale alerts from brands.
2. Do Not Treat Grocery Shopping as Leisure Activity
When you get time to stroll grocery shopping aisles, there is more likelihood of you spending on things you do not really need.
Exotic spices and ingredients, and unfamiliar sauces and flavor enhancers find their way into the pantry partly because you have more time to explore what’s on the shelves. Club weekly or monthly grocery shopping trips with other activities so that you get only limited time for shopping. In this way, you will stick to the essentials and will be busy ticking off items from your shopping list rather than checking out expensive products you do not really need.
3. Cook at Home as Far as Possible
Though you are very much aware of this rule, many of us find it hard to cook every day. The very thought of having to cook at night after a long day in the office can be depressing. But you can avoid the chore of daily cooking if you are smart and plan your meals well in advance.
Cooking in bulk on Sundays and freezing in batches is one way in which you can avoid eating out on weekdays. Or you can make a big batch of your staple food and just buy whatever sides you feel like when coming back home from work. If you are having pasta for the night you can get salads or roasted veggies from out so that dinner is interesting.
Crock pot cooking is another great way to avoid bringing home take-out dinner. Get the ingredients ready the night before and put them in your refrigerator. In the morning all you need to do is pop them in the crock pot and you are welcomed by a delicious, hot and aromatic meal waiting for you as you walk in the door in evening.
Easier said than done, these are habits you need to develop consciously. Remember that cooking at home not only saves money but also helps you eat healthy and nutritious. A few weeks into this routine and you will find that having home cooked meals is not that difficult after all.
4. Be Careful While Spending on Pets
Last year Americans spent more than $60 billion on pet care. This includes expenditure on veterinary care, grooming, boarding, training and other services.
It is extremely important you factor pet-related expenses in your household budget. The bills for pet food, grooming services, vet visits, treats and toys, and boarding (when you are going out of town) can soon add up to a considerable amount. We all want our pets to be healthy, fit and happy, but it is equally important that you ensure you can afford it.
Buy dog food in bulk and remember that you can forego fancy ingredients like probiotics and wheat germ, and stick to what is known to be good for your pet. Good quality dry dog food is all that you need in most cases. Alternatively, you can team up with a friend to buy supplies and medicines which will help you shop in large quantities and bag a discount.
You can also order online to save money while ordering pet supplies. Just ensure that you are buying from a reputed store.
Good money management will help save more of the money you earn, build a comfortable nest egg and never run out of money for your needs. It is important that you pick up money saving skills and learn to maximize what you have. Learn to identify where you are spending unnecessarily and pare down those expenses. This will help you achieve your financial goals without compromising on your lifestyle or social enjoyment.