You may have heard the saying, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” A lifestyle of frugality doesn’t have to be obsessively minimalistic, but keeping this mindset of intentional savings can make a huge difference in your bank account.
Minimizing a lot of small expenses can help you maximize your income by stretching the potential of each dollar. Here are a few small lifestyle changes that you can easily make if you’re looking to save more money.
Buy Off-Brand Items
The primary difference between branded items and off-brand items is simply the packaging. Because both kinds of products are often manufactured in the same facilities, buying generically branded items can be much more cost-effective. In fact, reports show that even chefs and doctors primarily buy generic food and pharmaceuticals to minimize costs because of their identical manufacturing.
A critical part of saving money is budgeting well. It’s common to set savings goals and spending limits, but making this a weekly habit will help you proactively adjust to last-minute expenses. It’s much easier to anticipate these pivots when they are in closer reach, so try setting a time at the beginning of your week to budget your money accordingly.
Do It Yourself
Before making a purchase ask yourself this crucial question: “Is this product something that I can make myself?” Some products are impossible to manufacture at home, and others may take up too much of your free time to prepare. However, if there is a food product or decoration or furniture piece that would be less expensive to create yourself, it may be worth the effort of a DIY project.
A common culprit of impulsive spending is eating out. When fast-food restaurants are on the ride home or take-out restaurants are just a call away, it can be easier to hand over a card instead of taking time to prepare a nutritious meal. However, meal prep can help you manage your time and money much more efficiently by making it convenient to eat at home. By taking time at the beginning of your week to do the grunt work of food preparation, you can store easy meals in the fridge that you can prepare quickly when you don’t have time to cook.
Make Coffee At Home
Many financial experts agree that buying coffee daily from coffee shops is one of the biggest, most unnecessary money-wasters. Entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary said in a CNBC interview, “Do I pay $2.50 for a coffee? Never do I do that…It costs 18 cents to make it and I invest the rest.” Make a habit out of brewing your favorite coffee at home. By doing so, you can get in the routine of cutting wasteful costs of non-essential purchases.