One of the easiest ways I found to save a significant amount of money is to start considering every purchase decision an investment. Once I did this, I realized how much money I was spending because of poor planning and convenience. Here are some ways that I have cut costs:
- Pay bills online. While some banks charge you a monthly fee – it is definitely cheaper than one late fee.
- Check your accounts everyday. This is similar to the old school method of balancing your check book. It can prevent you from over drafting your account and help you catch mistakes/identity theft.
- Make your lunch. Is it really worth $50/week to eat lunch in an hour with co-workers or at your desk?
- Make your own frozen dinners. When making a dinner that you can easily freeze (like chili), double the recipe and save half in single serving containers. This way, you can defrost on nights you don’t feel like cooking.
- Return things. If you end up buying something that you don’t use, return it! Even if it is just store credit, it better than having your money invested in something you don’t use.
- Save your warranties/receipts for large purchases. I have had two big things break that were under warranty in the last year – my ipod sound system and $200 hair straightner. The company usually makes you pay for shipping and some times charges more if you do not have a reciept. But it’s way cheaper than replacing your expensive items.
- Evaluate Your Monthly Services. Do you really need a phone line if you only use your cell phone? How many times do you go to the gym? How many movies do you watch?