Last week, I highlighted buying (good) used appliances as one way to save money for a home, whether that’s for a downpayment, emergency fund, padding for your savings, or otherwise. Although it seems obvious that there are probably many ways to cut back on expenses to expand your savings account, most of us don’t automatically realize all the possibilities. I, myself, sometimes don’t realize I could easily be saving money in a certain area until either I see a particular spending pattern in my bank account or I came across a new (but not new) idea on some website. Allow me to share a couple of tips I’ve picked up that have really made a difference for my savings:
Out of all of my spending patterns I’ve noticed for myself, eating at home as much as possible has probably had the greatest impact on how much I save week-to-week. Consider this: If you’re feeding a family of four and plan your meals, you’re probably spending something like $200 a week at the grocery store to keep the kitchen reasonably stocked. That will include food for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Now, I would say the average cost of a meal out lies in the range of $8-10. Multiply that by three, then multiply that by seven. On the lower end of that range, that comes out to about $168 a week–for ONE person. The math speaks for itself. Plus, eating meals at home gives you more control over what you eat, so it’s easier to lose weight as well.
In an age of streaming services, it has become increasingly unnecessary (not that it was ever necessary, but you know what I mean) for most people to have cable to be able to watch what you want. Don’t believe me? Think of a show (sitcom, sports, whatever) and look up how you can watch it without cable. Chances are you will find at least two streaming services that would give you better access to the show, and if you can’t find it on a streaming service (like, perhaps, news or weather, although these are in some degree available to the public anyways), there’s probably an app for it on your smartphone. Here’s my point: Cable is expensive. Even with the cheapest plans, you’re probably paying $45 a month! Why?! Cancel that, and be OK with one, two, maybe three streaming services, which in total will probably cost you less than $25 a month to actually watch what you want to watch.
Not convinced of these tips? Whip out a calculator and see how these tips could help you get out of your apartment or rental!