As nice as it would be to not have to worry about spending habits or income, the reality is that most of us could stand to cut back on spending and bulk up on saving money instead. The concept of living on a budget sound like a drag, but with some minor tweaks in your everyday life it doesn’t have to painful to implement:
1. Don’t get disillusioned by coupons
While coupons can be a great way to save money at the register, they can also be misleading and prompt you to buy a more expensive item so you end up spending more than you need to. A lot of times you can buy the store brand of an item for less than the name brand item, even with a coupon. Check the ingredients label and if the store brand and name brand items mirror each other then save your money and opt for the store brand.
2. Actually stick to a budget
Having a budget planned out is great but planning is only the first step. You have to actually follow your budgeting plan for it to be effective, not throw it out the window just because you want to buy something and have already used your allotted spending money for the week or month. Exercising this kind of self-control over your spending habits can be difficult, but sticking to a budget can help you save a lot of money.
3. Get cash for cans
Don’t just throw away aluminum cans, recycle them! Find a local aluminum recycling place that will pay you for old aluminum and then start saving. You can do this by getting a container that you can put cans into to save and as you finish them crush them and throw them into the container. Once you have accumulated a solid amount of cans (this can vary – maybe a trash bag full, maybe two or more depending on when you want to take them) trade them in for cash.
4. Take old clothes to the resale shop
Instead of throwing out old clothes take them to a resale shop and earn back some of the money you paid for them. Resale shops will typically either pay you a flat fee up front for any clothes you bring in or they’ll give you a portion of the sale as your different clothing pieces sell and you can stop in periodically to pick up your earnings.
5. Make minor tweaks around the house
Hang clothes to dry outside instead of tossing them in the dryer, turn off lights as soon as you leave a room, keep the thermostat at a lower temperature, and make other minor changes around the house that will help lower your monthly bills. These may seem like minor steps but over time they’ll end up saving you a good chunk of change.
Making small changes in the way you live and earning a little extra money here and there will help make living on a budget a way of life instead of a distant dream.
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of nanny service. She can be reachable at saradawkins61ATgmail.com.