Saving money isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Between the necessary monthly costs of rent, utility bills, and groceries it may seem overwhelming to try to cut costs anywhere. The good news is that, while we can’t guarantee you’ll ever be a millionaire, with a few simple habit and lifestyle changes you can easily bring your monthly costs down and finally start to increase your savings. You can start by checking out our previous blogs to make your apartment more eco-friendly to save money on utilities, and to winterize your apartment to save on heating costs this winter. Read on for some other easy ways to cut spending starting today.
Invest in a Smart Strip
We mentioned vampire devices in our previous eco-friendly blog, but it’s worth repeating. Many devices like smart TVs, game consoles, and cable boxes never fully turn off on their own. This allows them to turn back on at a moment’s notice without the need to warm up, but it also means they’re constantly using at least a little bit of electricity. The best way to combat this is to plug the devices into a power strip or a Smart Strip. If you choose a power strip just shut off the power that way rather than from the device itself. A Smart Strip will power everything off automatically after a period of inactivity.
Admittedly, some items are worth the extra money, but for the most part you can’t tell the difference between generic store brands and name brands. Take a few extra seconds while you’re shopping to compare prices. Even if it’s only a few cents’ difference it will add up quickly and you’ll start to see much smaller grocery bills. An added bonus of comparing prices before putting items in your cart is that you’re paying more attention to how much things cost, which will help you manage your budget from month to month.
Go Out Less
This should be obvious, but if you don’t go out as much you won’t spend as much while you’re out. Try your hand at meal prep and make all your lunches for the week on Sunday to keep you from going to a fast food place or ordering in every day. If you regularly meet friends for drinks see if they’d be willing to meet at your place. Everyone can bring their favorite wine, beer, or ingredients for mixed drinks instead of paying $12 for a martini at a local restaurant.
Choose Quality Over Quantity
It may seem a bit counterintuitive, but there is a bit of truth in the phrase “spend money to save money”. For items like food, nonperishable items, and cleaning supplies it’s great to compare prices and pick the cheapest option. But for clothing and other commodities that need to last a while it may actually cheaper to buy the more expensive option. For example, it’s better to spend a little more on a nice coat that will last several years rather than having to buy a new coat each year.