Are you trying to make some significant changes to your financial lifestyle? Then you are making the right decision! Mortgage, retirement, health insurance, and emergency funds are a few examples of life decisions that require significant sums of money. Undoubtedly, there are countless and easy ways to spend money, but life may become unbearable without some expenses. With the average American household paying an annual sum of $768 for cable, this is a lifestyle option people can live without. So, which lifestyle changes can help you save money? Here are a few changes you can make.
- Keep tabs on the money you spend
Developing a habit of tracking your spending habits allows you to analyze your expenses and gives you a clear picture of where the bulk of your money goes. With this regular practice, you will discover unhealthy patterns that may be financially damaging and put an end to them. To make it easier for you, use a computer spreadsheet, or find apps like LearnVest and Mint that automatically tracks your expenses. A good old notebook is also an ideal option for persons who may not be too digitally-inclined.
- Automate your budget
Speaking of expenses, you should also consider automating your payment options. This requires studying your monthly bills or bank account to determine how often certain payments are made. These could be subscriptions, credit card accounts, rent, or utility bills. If such outflows are monthly, create a recurrent transfer request on your bank app. This way, every month, payments are made on your behalf the minute your salary hits.
It is a great way to avoid procrastinating such vital monthly payments. Besides, it helps the user avoid compiling unnecessary and avoidable debts. You can also resolve problems of late or penalty fees with this system. This is why data security is crucial, so be sure to hire services that would offer you reliable data solutions and protection.
- Revert to your employee health benefits
If you are an employee benefitting from employer-sponsored health benefits, this is an excellent way to save up more money. Some companies offer health and wellness programs for staff to fulfill terms and conditions of employment. In a majority of cases, it is an incentive to coerce workers to stay healthy and fit. Sometimes, these benefits come with discounted packages on gym participation or group sessions to quit alcohol intake. You should look at your health benefits to discover what your package entails and how you can revert these packages. You do not want to overlook a Health Savings Account you may be entitled to; this package is associated with deductible health insurance packages. That means you get to save money for possible health expenses in the future. Your Health Savings Account can increase value as you head towards retirement. When you attain the age of sixty-five years, you can withdraw this money without any financial consequence.
- Eliminate eating out
Regularly eating out takes a huge chunk out of your pocket as it fills your belly! Restaurant bills certainly do not come cheap, and if you are one who particularly enjoys eating out, it is time to rethink this expensive lifestyle. It is more affordable and healthier to cook your meals.
Did you also know that a crockpot costs only $ 2, while the average dinner takeout may cost a minimum of $50 for a family of four? Cook large quantities to sustain yourself and your family for a week or two. This way, you can decide on the nutritional value of meals you all consume daily.
Restrict your grocery shopping to once or twice a month. However, ensure you do this on a full stomach. Studies show that going grocery shopping on an empty stomach makes you invest more in food items you may not need. If you work from the office, do well to pack your lunch from home. It will help you resist the temptation to join colleagues who binge at expensive restaurants. Over time, you will realize that your deliberate attempts to avoid junk food become a useful habit that helps you save more money.
- Only withdraw money from your bank’s ATM
Withdrawing money from an ATM belonging to another bank comes with additional fees. Maybe it’s ignorance or laziness that compels you to use the first ATM in sight. However, if you made a deliberate effort to identify a money dispensing machine that belongs to the institution you bank with, it would be better. In simple terms, if the machine does not have your bank’s logo, do not use it. Fees add up, and if you calculate a charge of almost $5 in twelve months, that is $60, you could have saved up for a rainy day. It would help if you resorted to using an out-of-network ATM only when it is an emergency and time is crucial.
- Cancel under-used or expensive subscriptions
It is quite a waste of money paying for services you rarely use. With the introduction of streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, cable TV may be a thing of the past. Whereas a Netflix subscriber pays $8 monthly for a subscription, a cable TV user pays $64 in the same period. Logically, it would be better to go for Netflix, which is cheaper. Whatever else you need, consider buying that à la carte. This means you can pay only for episodes you are interested in for only $1.99. via iTunes.
- Save on electricity
Merely switching off your lights does not help you manage electricity consumption? Instead, go further to unplug electronic appliances that are not in use. Every night before going off to bed, be deliberate in unplugging all these devices and see how that brings a drop in your monthly power consumption.
In conclusion, the saying, ‘little drops of water make a mighty ocean’ is relevant in this regard. The weekly and monthly savings you put away add up to a significant sum over a period. Besides, this small fortune may come of help in a dire situation.