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How to Save Money on Everyday Expenses

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Kids saving money

For most people, it’s not one major expense that causes them to go broke – it’s all the little things. A few dollars here and there doesn’t seem like a big deal at the moment, but it can turn into thousands of dollars throughout the year. And unless you plug these drains, it becomes nearly impossible to get ahead.

6 Ways You Can Save

If you’re anything like most people, your finances are a little loose. This means you have plenty of opportunities to self-correct and begin saving. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Shop With a Purpose

You should never go into a store – supermarket, retailer, or otherwise – without a specific plan and purpose. In other words, you need a shopping list outlining what you need to buy. Otherwise, you’ll find that you’re much more susceptible to putting things you don’t need in your cart.

An even better option than shopping in-store is to shop online. (And you can even do it with groceries, these days.) When you shop online, you’re able to see a running total of how much your bill will be. You can then add or remove items until you reach the desired amount.

  • Pay in Cash

Studies have shown that shoppers spend as much as 100 percent more in a store when they pay with a credit card (instead of cash). By making it a point to only shop in cash, you can resist the temptation to spend money you don’t have and avoid high credit card bills.

  • Stop Eating Out

In addition to being unhealthy, frequently eating out can be expensive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends $3,000 a year dining out. That comes out to $250 per month.

Even if you only cut your habit of eating out in half, you could likely save more than $1,500 this year. And considering that fast food and other quick options aren’t very good for you, eating homemade meals will also save you on long-term healthcare expenses.

  • Save on Healthcare

If you have a chronic health condition or illness that requires you to purchase expensive prescriptions, you’re probably scrambling for a way to afford your medication. Even with health insurance, the out of pocket costs can be staggering.

One idea is to shop around for better prices online. Surprisingly, you may find that the same medication can be purchased at much lower rates in other countries. Canadian pharmacies, for example, often sell prescriptions at less than half the cost and ship them to the United States. It won’t work in every situation, but it’s worth a look.

  • Cut Cable

In case you haven’t noticed, cable is on the way out. The industry is collapsing and younger consumers are shifting towards on-demand or live-streaming options that are far more cost effective.

If you still have cable, you could save a considerable amount by “cutting the cord.” With starter packages ranging from $50-60 per month and premium packages hovering in the $70 to $127 range, you could save hundreds of dollars a year by switching to a more affordable streaming deal.

  • Exercise at Home

That gym membership you use once or twice a month has to go. With an average cost of $60 per month, your workouts are pretty expensive. Instead, purchase some home workout videos or go for a morning jog.

Little Savings Add Up

In the moment, saving a few dollars here and there doesn’t really seem like a big deal. In fact, you can commit to saving for weeks or months and still feel like you’re depriving yourself for little or no gain. But don’t be fooled – little savings add up in a big way.

Let’s say you’re 30 years old and you currently have zero dollars in retirement. If you could find a way to put $250 per month – or $8.33 per day – into a Roth IRA account that earns an average 7 percent rate of return, you would have more than $300,000 set aside by the time you’re 60. If you were able to max out your annual Roth contributions ($458 per month), you’d have more than $555,000 tucked away.

At first, you’ll feel like you’re facing an uphill battle. But before too long, you’ll start to see your savings add up. Don’t miss the opportunity.

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