Money doesn’t grow on trees. Or anywhere, for that matter. But you can cultivate a few changes in your daily routine that will end up saving you money in the long run. It doesn’t have to be difficult to be smart with your money.
Reduce your cable bill.
A huge number of TV shows and movies are currently available through popular online services. Rather than paying for multiple channels you don’t watch from the cable company, try reducing the number of channels you pay for and make up your entertainment gap by streaming shows from the web.
Be smart with prescription medication.
The medication you take every day may present a great opportunity to cut your budget. Ask your pharmacist about mail order refills, which often cost less than refills in the pharmacy. You can also ask your doctor about writing you a prescription for a generic equivalent, or for a larger supply of your medication, which may net you some savings.
Keep your car in shape.
Proper auto maintenance not only reduces the risk of a breakdown, it can actually reduce your cost of ownership over time. Properly inflated tires, regular oil changes and clean air and fuel filters can all contribute to better mileage. Furthermore, by taking car of your car, you’ll get more trouble-free miles out of it.
Paying with cash will eliminate credit card fees. You can also reduce ATM fees by taking out all the cash you’ll need for the week on Monday, which has the added bonus of helping you keep an eye on your incidental expenses like snacks and impulse purchases.
Bring lunch, don’t buy it.
Reduce the number of times you eat out for lunch, and the savings can add up fairly quickly. Bringing your lunch can also give you more time to work during the day, or time to enjoy a book or movie over your lunch hour.
Cook big, eat small.
Buy and prepare food in bulk to save money. Then freeze the leftovers to keep you supplied with lunches and dinners for a while. Also, avoid grocery shopping when you’re hungry; you’ll end up buying things you don’t need on impulse.
Exercise at home.
Gym fees add up over time, especially if you don’t go on a regular basis. Try exercising at home using workout videos. Yard sales are an excellent source of used fitness equipment.
Store brands aren’t a sacrifice.
The quality difference between store-brand groceries and name brand products is often negligible or nonexistent. Try a few generic or less popular brands and see if you notice a difference.
Be water smart.
Don’t run your dishwasher or washing machine unless they’re full. They use the same energy even if they’re half empty. And turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth.