Setting up a budget is one thing, but achieving it is another. Often to meet the budgeting goals you will need to make sacrifices, forgoing the nice items that you’ve enjoyed for years before. However, you might be surprised at how little your quality of life will change without these items and just how much money you can save.
The problem with these items is that not only are they expensive, but we often buy them because we are lazy. Advice from Cornerstone Support,
With only a little more effort we can replace regularly used items with indistinguishable alternatives that provide us the same joy and save us hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each year.
Cable is becoming less important with each passing month. Most shows can be found online, and with membership sites like Netflix and Hulu available for a fraction of the cost of cable TV, the wise decision is to cut the cable off and switch to an online service.
If you are sticking to cable because you like the convenience of being able to watch your favorite sports live, you might consider a membership directly with the NHL, NBA or NFL. All of these organizations have their online streaming services which cost far less than cable and which give you access to replays and more exclusive content for free.
We all love coffee, for many of us it’s the difference between a terrible day and a brilliant one, but that doesn’t mean that you need to buy it from a shop. Stores like Starbucks cost $3 to $5 per drink once you include tax and a tip, while for only a little more than that you could buy an entire package of coffee beans.
For coffee lovers, a smart financial move would be to invest in a coffee machine, grinder, and portable mug. You can even buy the same Starbucks beans that you enjoy so that you can make it from home. Not only will this save you hundreds of dollars, but it also gives you fantastic coffee to enjoy at home and to offer to your house guests.
Eating Out for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
If you look in-depth at your current spending habits, you will almost certainly see that food is one of the biggest items in your budget. In fact, for many of us, we can reach our budgeting goals by doing nothing else but cutting out eating out for lunch, breakfast, and dinner. While it can be incredibly convenient, the cost of eating out is astronomical.
For example, even at cheaper coffee stores, a bagel might cost a dollar or two, while for that same dollar you could get a bag of multiple bagels from Costco or other budget grocery stores. Making small changes like this will add up each day and can save you valuable money.
To save as much as possible you should consider buying a portable sandwich box or re-heatable containers so that you can bring lunch to work. Your office probably has a microwave and if not you might bring soup in a flask and some fresh bread to enjoy with it.
As well as choosing to eat foods from home more often, you can easily save money on the groceries that you’re buying. The difference between even basics items like salad, bread, and meat between the most expensive stores and the cheaper alternatives can be 50% or more.
Although some items are admittedly lower quality, much is indistinguishable. Figuring out which you can save money on and which you would rather stretch for will take some trial and error, but eventually, it will save you hundreds of dollars each month for very little change in the quality of your life.
Bars and Clubs
On top of our eating habits, the drinks that we consume each month add up quickly and can total hundreds of dollars each month. It only takes one out of control night for your spending to tip into the red, with many of us accidentally spending well over a hundred dollars on a single night out to a bar and a club with our friends.
Instead, invite your friends over to your home and ask them to bring their drinks. Similarly, each person can bring a dish of food and together you’ll have a huge selection to choose from while you can watch something on Netflix or Hulu, instead of the expensive cable that you just got rid of!