Does it always seem that there is more week than paycheck?
There are so many money drains on the household budget these days that it is hard to keep a vigilant watch over them all. It is difficult for seasoned households and even harder for new families and couples.
With that in mind, here is a list of typical money drains and along with it, a suggestion that you put this list on your fridge, in your car, copy to Evernote, any place you need to keep it as a reminder to yourself of where your money “vaporizes” so that you can avoid so much of it disappearing. At the end of each week, I would also suggest taking the money you know you have saved and either starting or adding to your savings account.
1. Store bought coffee – It is not any harder to make your own coffee in the morning. If you like a certain brand, buy that brand of coffee and save the difference by making it yourself. Carry your coffee to work in a travel mug. Why add to that company’s wealth when you can add to your own? (The same goes for breakfast on the road)
2. Bottled water – I would suggest putting a water filter on your faucet if you are adamant about filtered water and buying a BPA free bottle and carrying your own water.
3. Buying Lunch Everyday- Treating yourself from time to time is not a bad thing but make it once a week or if money is really tight just brown bag it every day. You still have lots to be thankful for that you have a lunch to carry and a job to carry it to!
4. Vending Machine Snacks – Not cheap. If you need snacks, buy it at the grocery store and keep on hand in your desk. It will cost less.
5. Unused memberships and subscriptions – review these from time to time to make sure you are really using these and needing these. If not, eliminate them. This includes online subscriptions.
6. Manicures – They are nice but they are a luxury. Do your own and save money. At least do your own most of the time and save the manicures for special occasions.
7. Eating out rather than cooking supper. We all love to eat out and sometimes after a long day’s work it is hard to imagine cooking a meal but with a little planning and research there are lots of meals that can be made quickly with little effort and/or done in the crockpot and get supper on the table fast! Limit eating out to once a month and when you do eat out; avoid the evening meal which is more expensive. Try eating out on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon instead.
8. Unnecessary trips to the store. Don’t run to the store for every little thing on your list. Learn to make do with what you have and wait till you have several things on your list before going to the store. Also try to group errands so that you get several errands done while you are out. Gas is not cheap and if you run to the store for one or two things every day the gas adds up. It also gives you that many more opportunities to find things to buy that you really don’t need.
9. For the working Moms who pay day care. Day care is not cheap. I am not saying that qualified day care workers don’t earn every penny but at the same time, parents need to take a hard look at cost of gas, day care and other related expenses to make sure that Mom working outside the home is really a cost benefit or a cost drain.
10. Sodas and Cigarettes – Both habits that cost in more than just money. They are bad for your health. You are better off without them. I know it is hard to quit but try cutting down and avoid getting either of these things at the convenience stores. You will pay premium prices there.
I hope this list serves as a spring board of ideas for ways you can save. In the end, it is all about keeping your money for what really matters most to you and only you can decide that. May the Lord Bless You and Your Families!