If you’re struggling to trim expenses, you’re not alone–especially around the holiday season. Those who want to get their spending under control should start with these tried and true tips to save money by reducing daily costs.
1. Eat at Home
Grocery shopping and meal planning can make it much easier to stick to a reasonable food budget, especially if you simultaneously cut down on take-out lunches and morning coffee runs. When you go food shopping, make a list and check it twice to avoid splurging on unnecessary items. Instead of planning a night out with friends at a restaurant, opt for a potluck-style game night with a theme (chili cookoff or make your own pizza are popular favorites).
2. Avoid Online Shopping
While there’s no doubt that this modern convenience is a huge time-saver, it can also deal a big blow to your wallet. First, avoid storing your credit card information on the sites of the stores where you shop. If you have to manually type in your information, you might also think twice about the purchase. When you are considering a purchase, wait at least 24 hours before taking the plunge. Unsubscribe to all those sale emails clogging your inbox. Not only will your day feel more streamlined, but you won’t feel tempted to browse (a boon for your productivity, too).
3. Cut Energy Costs
Forbes recommends saving money by lowering your thermostat in the winter and raising it in the summer. You might not notice a temperature change of a few degrees (especially if you put on a sweater), but you’ll definitely notice the impact on your energy bill.
4. Reduce Your Cable Bill
USA Today recommends several tips for lowering an expensive cable bill. First, check your plan to make sure you’re using all the channels and features you’re paying for; if not, downsize to a smaller plan that costs less. Avoid signing a two-year contract, opting instead for a month to month plan that you’re trapped in with a big cancellation fee. Consider cutting the cable cord altogether and subscribe to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu to fill the gap.
5. Get a Library Card
If you think your local library doesn’t have much to offer, think again. In addition to traditional books, many libraries provide access to online resources and learning libraries, Kindle book downloads, streaming movies and audio, and much more, all with your free library card.