Not everybody can save a lot of money right off the bat. Some people just have less to work with and cutting out their normal activities and spending can seem less than desirable. What if you could take baby steps, yet still be able to enjoy the things you already do? Would you do it? Could you do it?
Below are some ideas I came up with to cut spending with baby steps, that way you don’t have to just give up everything to save money. The idea is that you save the money, like right away—by an online transfer, shoving it into a piggy bank or whatever way you prefer, immediately. Right when that money has been saved, get it gone and off to your savings, make a payment on debt, send it to your retirement fund or to investment funds. If you don’t do it, then it probably won’t help you in the long run.
#1 I have to put this first, because it’s so cliche and drives everybody nuts when people suggest it. If you purchase a coffee every workday, replace it just 1 day each week and bring coffee from home. You’re still getting coffee all the other days, so it shouldn’t be that difficult to skip one. Depending on where and what kind of coffee you get, this could save you anywhere between $1-6 each time.
Estimated Weekly Savings= $1-$6
Estimated Monthly Savings= $4-$24
Estimated Yearly Savings= $52-$312
#2 Going to the movies. If you and your friends/honey/family regularly go out to see movies, you could save a good amount by having a movie night at home. Like if you go out once a week, you could cut out one of those and still enjoy the other 3 times, but save at the same time.
You could either rotate who chooses the movies at home or decide together. Since you’re not entirely giving up the activity, you shouldn’t feel deprived. If you normally buy snacks/drinks at the theater, you’ll be saving even more than just the admission price.
Estimated Monthly Savings= $6-$50
Estimated Yearly Savings= $72-$600
#3 Dining Out. Some people really enjoy dining out often, but it is a huge money-waster (most times). If you eat out 3 meals a day, 7 days a week—that can really add up quickly. You could cut down to 2 meals out per day and reap amazing savings.
If you eat out once every day, you could skip one of the days and eat at home instead. Eating breakfast at home is probably the easiest option, you could even pack a quick one if you prefer to eat on the go. Maybe you go out once a week for a nice meal, you could skip one time that month.
Estimated Weekly Savings= $0-$150
Estimated Monthly Savings= $5-$600
Estimated Yearly Savings= $60-$7,200
#4 Regular Purchases. Some people like to buy stuff, whether it’s clothing, shoes, movies, games, books, apps, etc. Obviously, if you haven’t cut it out already, then it’s either important to you, it’s become a habit or you just enjoy it.
Just buying 1 less, can still save money. If you buy an app every week, skip just one week. If you buy 3 or 4 books a month, just skip one of them. Just cutting down a little will make a difference if you save the money you would have spent.
Estimated Savings depends on the frequency of purchase and price of items.
#5 Going out. If you like to go out to bars or clubs often, you can do the same thing. If you go a couple nights a week, scale back to just one. Once a week, skip one during the month. You could also drink at home to spend less on drinks or sneak in a flask; if you drink while out.
Estimated Monthly Savings= $10-$200+
Estimated Yearly Savings= $120-$2,400+
These are just some ideas, and there are tons of other things you can apply this to. It doesn’t just have to be the ideas listed above, those are more of a guide to get you thinking about your own spending habits.