Save more. Live better
When it comes to saving, most people are either really good at it or find it really difficult.
For the people that find it difficult to save, it’s not hard to see why. Saving can seem very daunting, especially when you have bills to pay, long-term and short-term debt, or just enjoy splurging on yourself.
But luckily saving is something that with practice, patience, and dedication anyone can learn to do. Like any habit, it just takes time to develop.
Why you should start saving
Saving is not only a healthy money habit; it also helps you to create a foundation for financial success.
Saving empowers you
When you have savings, you also have more stability in the event of an emergency. If you are ready to start saving more, check out four fast ways to start saving today.
Four fast ways to start saving more money today
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
- Start cooking home-cooked meals
- Take your lunch to work
- Pay off your debt as soon as possible
Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
One of the easiest ways to start saving more is by cutting back on unnecessary expenses. One good way to cut back on spending is canceling your unused subscriptions.
According to a recent survey, Americans spend, on average, $237 per month on recurring subscription services. And 84 percent of those surveyed didn’t even realize they were spending that much on their subscription services.
We’ve all gotten caught in the cross-hairs of this new wave of subscription services. From Netflix to Hulu to Apple Music. These days there is a subscription service for anything you can think of, including streaming services, meal kits, apparel, and even razor blades.
And while some subscriptions are nice to have, the majority of them go unused. I know for me I’ve signed up for a few free trials and completely forgot to cancel the subscription. I ended up paying for a service I wasn’t using for months before I was able to cancel my subscription.
How to cancel your subscriptions?
Some subscriptions are great and can be useful, but do you really need them? If you’re looking to buckle down on your savings, canceling unused subscriptions maybe be a good idea.
Make a list of all your subscription services and evaluate if you really need to have them. If you really love and want to keep them, take a look at other alternatives. Chances are you might find ones that are less expensive.
For the ones you no longer use or don’t need, go ahead and cancel those subscriptions.
Start cooking home-cooked meals
Instead of going out to eat at restaurants, try making home-cooked meals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average American household spends more than $3,000 a year on dining out.
In fact, according to research conducted by meal planning assistant, Wellio, it’s almost five times more expensive to order delivery from a restaurant than it is to cook at home. And three times more expensive if you use a meal kit delivery service.
Take a look at the breakdown in costs between restaurant food vs. home-cooked for popular recipes.
This data suggests there is a huge opportunity for cost savings if you start cooking home-cooked meals more often.
Cooking is something anyone can learn to do, and with a little practice, planning, and creativity, it can also be fun too.
Try making a list of some of your favorite dishes at restaurants and Google the recipes and ingredients and try making it at home. Chances are it might not be as difficult as you would think.
Cooking home-cooked meals not only helps you to save more money, but it’s often a healthier option. Research shows that by cooking at home, you reduce the amount of sugar and processed foods you consume.
Take your lunch to work
If you decide to start cooking home-cooked meals, you can also start taking your lunch to work. Taking your lunch to work helps you to save money because you don’t have to buy lunch every day.
According to a survey conducted by Visa, the average lunch costs $11.14 per day, so if you start taking your lunch to work, let’s say four days of the week, you can save an average of $45 per week and $178 per month. That’s more than $2000 per year. While still treating yourself to a nice lunch on a Friday or whichever day you choose.
Taking your lunch to work is also a healthier option to avoid fast foods that are usually packed with sugar and processed foods.
Taking your lunch also saves you time, because you don’t have to decide what to eat for lunch or drive to go get it. You simply pull out your homemade lunch and enjoy.
This is something I have actually done for years. I would pack my lunch the night before and grab it in the morning from out the fridge before heading out. I liked the fact that I was eating something that was usually healthy and home-cooked and looked forward to lunch dates with my colleagues once or twice a week.
How to start taking your lunch to work?
To get started, just buy four or five microwave-safe containers and portion out your lunch for the week. Stack your containers in the fridge and grab your lunch each morning.
You can also include snacks and fruits to supplement your lunch throughout the day.
Pay off your debt as soon as possible
One way to start saving more money is to repay any outstanding debt that you have as soon as possible.
A Planning & Progress Study, conducted by Northwestern Mutual, revealed that on average, Americans had more than $38,000 in personal debt, excluding mortgages. Credit card debt, student loans, and car payments ranked among the leading sources of debt.
If you have a car loan or credit card debt, make sure to prioritize repaying these debts. This allows you to reallocate the money that was going towards your debts to your savings.
The less debt you have, the more money you can put towards your savings.
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