These days it seems like the cost of living is constantly on the rise making your income seem like it’s stuck in neutral. Luckily, there are simple and painless ways you can reduce your spending and increase the amount of money in your bank account. Here are a few cost-cutting tips to help you win the war on your wallet.
Save by Brown Bagging It
According to the results of a new Visa® survey, American consumers spend an average of $53 a week eating out for lunch. That adds up to $2,756 each year for lunch alone!
Instead of biting into your budget, try packing your lunch 2-3 times per week. That will save you $21-$32 per week, which adds up to $1,092-$1,664 per year. Your financial health is not the only thing to profit from brown bagging it for lunch. An added bonus is that your physical health can also reap the rewards.
Save at the Coffee Counter
Another easy way to save $100 a month is by cutting back on visits to the local coffee shop. If you have a coffee habit, you can avoid swallowing a chunk of your paycheck by brewing your coffee at home. Let’s look at the numbers.
- A ½ lb. bag of coffee bought at the grocery store ranges from about $4-$8.
- You can brew an average of 41 9 oz. cups of coffee from a ½ lb. bag. Depending on how much coffee you drink per day, a ½ lb. bag can last you an entire month.
- When you put pencil to paper, home-brewed coffee costs you pennies on the dollar−between 10-20 cents per cup.
Compare that to $2.70—the average price of a cup of coffee purchased from the local barista, according to U.S. News & World Report (Risen, 2015). You can easily save $110 a month by satisfying your craving for caffeine at home.
Save at the ATM Machine
Let’s face it−you should have access to your money 24/7. While convenient, this access often comes at a price. According to The Wall Street Journal (Sidel, 2015), its costs an average of $4.52 to use an out-of-network ATM. At nearly $5 a transaction, the fees can quickly add up.
The more frugal way to withdraw your money when you can’t get to your bank or credit union is to use an online ATM locator app like this one from Allpoint. You could save $270 when you take a few minutes to locate an in-network ATM.
Save on Technology
You likely have opportunities to put dollars in your pocket instead of the pockets of service providers. This tip can save you well over $100 a month. Why? Because it can be applied to multiple services you pay for on a recurring basis.
Cut the cord on cable or satellite and switch to money-saving options like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Fire TV or Google Chromecast. Having multiple streaming services is still cheaper than paying for traditional TV. Compare your current cable or satellite bill to these options and start saving. A little time can save a lot of money.
Consider looking for savings on your cellular phone bill. Are you frequently going over your data allocation? Conserve data by connecting your devices to Wi-Fi at home. Are you paying for unused data? If so, it is time to look for a plan with rollover data or one that refunds the remaining portion. Also, consider using a smaller provider to save, but ask if they offer roaming for service in remote locations.
The key to winning the war on your wallet is simple−think smart and build your bank account one cost-cutting step at a time.
Risen, Tom. (2015, September 29). Americans pay an average of $2.70 for coffee, while tipping 20 percent. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved fromhttp://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/09/29/americans-pay-an-average-270-for-coffee-while-tipping-20-percent
Sidel, Robin. (2015, October 4). Record ATM fees rise toward $5. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://www.wsj.com/articles/atm-fees-rise-toward-5-per-withdrawal-1443981841