No matter how much you earn, it is really beneficial to cut down the extra expenses so that your savings goes up. Most people save money to secure their future, but some may also save money to buy a luxurious item that they have been dreaming to buy for a long time. Some people even save money as a safety measure because accidents and emergencies can arise any time and during such times saved money can be of great help. Many people find the task of saving money difficult, because it involves a lot of planning and judicial decisions.
It is quite interesting to know that by simply modifying some of the daily household habits people can save a lot of money in the long run. Some of these methods can be listed as follows:
Making a plan for your personal budget
People who are eager to save money should first make out a plan. You would not start an unknown journey without first consulting a map. Why would you start an unknown journey to financial security without have a plan of action and goals. For saving money you need to
sort out items you generally use in your daily life into two sections, that is, necessary items and luxurious items. Minimal spending for buying the luxurious items will leave behind much more money for savings.
Saving paper is one of the several means of saving money. Getting print-outs on both sides of a paper, recycling paper, preventing misuse of paper will add on to the savings by cutting down the expenditure involved behind it. It might seem like quite a small thing, but the average person uses 700 pounds of paper a year. For a
family of four that is over a ton of paper. Granted the market for recycling paper has lost its value. You would only get about $10 per ton, but the money you would save on buying a ream of paper could be quite a bit. This is only a small tip. Estimated savings for the family of 4 is about $5 per month. I am not including the recycling because it is really not enough to count.
Buy Items in Bulk Amount
In many of the shopping centers, you will often come across discount offers on bulk items. You might need a few of those things, but again you want to enjoy those offers. The best way of
doing that is to share the offer with your friends. Both you and your friend can enjoy the same offer but in this case you have to pay less and will subsequently save more. But do make sure that you are able to use the product you bought on discount, completely, before it expires. Sam’s Club is a great way to shop in bulk. They might not have the generic brands that you will be looking for but then you might not want generic brands. The average family of four spends around $500-$600 per month of groceries. If you would buy in bulk you might spend more one month, but save for the next 2 months. The average savings for the 3 month period would be around $100. This means you would save about $33 in a month’s time.
Complete your 'things to buy' list in one go
You might be having a large list of items to buy from the market. It is beneficial to buy all the necessary items by a making single visit to the market. This cuts down the cost of gas and adds
on to the money saved. You could make out a list of items you will have for two weeks or even a month at a time. Your proper planning also saves money on impulse buying that a lot of shoppers tend to do. If you had to drive 5 miles to the store and 5 miles back you would be burning about a half of gallon of gas. If you would only go to the store 2 times a month to purchase groceries instead of 4-5 times a month you would essentially be saving a gallon of gas. With gas hovering around $3.50, that would be your savings for the month. On top of that you could spend your time doing more useful things than just walking around the shopping center.
Many people like to decorate their house with artworks and many other decorative items. Going for some inexpensive art and designs gives a serene look to your house and also reduces
the expenditure. I know most people do not buy any decorations in some months but they may buy a few in one month. It is estimated the average family will spend almost $750 per year on Christmas decorations alone and will add 12% each year. Halloween, 4th
of July, and other holidays combine for about $1000 more throughout the year. We would apply the same 12% increase for all the other holidays combined as well. The average birthday planner spends $50 on decorations for children’s birthday parties. This is close to $2000 per year on just decorations for holidays and parties. The average family spends about $500 year on home decorations. If the family would just reuse items they have purchased in the past and not add the 12% each year, not spend $50 on each birthday party but reuse the same “happy birthday” banner and others, and find cheaper items for home decorations, they could save quite a bit. $510 per year or $42.50 per month.
Alternative to flavored drinks:
Most people spend a lot of money to buy soft and hard drinks for their regular consumption. An alternative to different soft and hard drinks that we get from the market is flavored water or
Kool-Aid. We can prepare such flavored water in our house by adding natural flavor to the water such as lemons, oranges, mint or sugar. The average per drinks about 3 sodas per day. That means the average family will drink a 12 pack a day. A 12-pack of soda cost roughly $4.50. Let us be conservative and only say the family will drink a case a week. That is $9 per week or $36 per month. Water is pretty cheap. Kool aid is inexpensive. The average savings is cut in half. The family would save approximately $18 per month
Prolong the longevity of your clothes
We can ensure that our clothes stay in proper condition for long by following some good habits
like ironing them, keeping them inside out when not in use, hanging them by the holders etc. This reduces the need to buy new clothes and increases the chances of saving money. Wear the pants or clothes a little longer. Shop at thrift stores and yard sales for everyday wear and play clothes. The average family spends $2000 per year on clothes. If you would just follow the tips mentioned above you could save at least 25% and still have nice things. That would be a savings of $500 per year or about $45 per month
Buy products that can be used by every family member
In a family different family members have different taste and choices. So instead of going for
individual needs it is better to buy products that can be used by every member of the family. The same toothpaste, the same hair shampoo, and the same bath soap can save you a lot of money. By doing this simple tip you should be able to save about $30 per month.
Search for generic items and use coupons
Even if you do not want to be the coupon king or queen, you can save an average of $50 each month if you will use coupons to buy your items. If you
will search for generic items you would be able to save an additional $25 on other items you do not have coupons for. There are people who are compulsive couponers and you do not need to do this to save some reasonable money. This tip can save you about $75 per month.
Choose homemade food over fast food:
You can be lured to go for the various snacks and fast-foods available in different food stalls.
But instead of buying fast food you can buy fresh vegetables and cook different type of dishes at home. It is important to remember that by choosing homemade food you will be saving money and it also keeps you healthy. If your family of four only ate at a fast food restaurant one time a week, it would cost you around $25 each time, not including gas. If you would just cook a meal at home of burger, fries, and kool-aid, it would only cost you about $10. This is a saving of $15 each time or $60 for the month.
Take your lunch to work
This is only for the adults. However, if you were to eat lunch out each day of the week you
would spend about $30 per week or $125 per month. If you would just take left over’s from the night before, it would be free. You might have to spend a little bit more to make the supper the night before but usually only about $2 more. For two adults the spending would drop from about $250 per month to about $50 extra at the most. That is a savings of around $200 per month.
The total savings just from the tips I have listed here is $512 per month. What could you do with an extra $512 per month? The tips listed above are not an exhausted list and you know your situations better than I do. You could really save some money if you just put your mind to the process. So these are the various ways of saving money at the home level. Remember that small expenses add up to make a big amount, so making small changes in the family budget can help a person save a lot of money.
Take care of yourself and others. Make today and everyday a great day.