Happy April 1st! The arrival of a fresh, new month always makes me feel like I can tackle anything when it comes to the goals I’m setting for myself. As I’m in the midst of transitioning from a full-time job to a freelance-based income it’s important now more than ever to do a better job overall at tracking my spending. This month I’m focusing on areas where I want to cut corners, so that there is more money in my pocket. Here are 12 of the ways in which I (and by default, we) should plan to do so!
1. For one month, make a commitment to make coffee at home and don’t purchase a single cup out. Grab the tools you need to make a fancy and fulfilling cup at home like a milk frother or snazzy espresso pot.
2. Write out your food-shopping list and stick to it so you aren’t tempted to throw in unnecessary items as you’re moving throughout the grocery store.
3. Say “NO” to dinner out with another couple or friend. Just forgoing one dinner out for you (and you significant other, if applicable) is one of the easiest ways to save $$$ this month.
4. Don’t purchase ANY bottled beverage for 30 days. Seriously, just drink tap water and watch how much money you save. It’s shocking. If left unchecked those $8 pressed juices, $4 iced coffees and bottled water, they will add up to a horrifying number at the end of each month.
5. Cancel your gym membership and get moving outside by walking or running. BONUS, you’ll also save on the water bottles you aren’t purchasing every time you hit the gym because you were too lazy to wash out your reusable canteen.
6. For one month, give up expensive habits like cigarettes, alcohol or fast food. This will physically and financially cleanse you and give your bank account (and liver) the serious break it deserves.
7. Reduce your use of gas. Walk more places and clean out your car’s air filter to save up to 7% on your gas mileage.
8. Go meatless for a month, and you’ll save a ton of money at the grocery store. Incorporate hearty roasted vegetables and fresh, flavorful salads into your daily routine, and you’ll hardly miss the meat.
9. Go through affordable subscription services like Netflix or Hulu to see what you haven’t watched yet before spending money on new rentals or downloads.
10. Track your finances with a budgeting app. Much like being on a diet, if you’re increasingly conscious of where your money is going, you’ll probably spend less of it.
12. Lower your electricity bill. Taking easy steps to use less electricity can help save money. Turn down the heat and AC, turn the lights off when you leave the house, only run the washing machine when you have a full load, watch less TV, etc.
Make small changes that demand little effort, and watch the savings pile up!