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How Little Changes Can Add Up To Thousands Of Saved Dollars.

Think you cannot save any money? Think putting away $100 a month into a savings account or towards paying off some credit card is impossible? If so, you would be wrong, as there are ways that anyone and everyone could save something – you just have to think a little creatively and look at the small picture rather than your overall monthly income balance sheet. There are hidden pennies and dollars everywhere you look! This is not for the person looking to put away hundreds of dollars a month, but rather for those of you looking to save anything at all – and here is where you can find the money.

If you buy a soda at work every day, stop immediately. At $1+ a pop (no pun intended, for those of you from the midwest), that is $5+ a week, $20+ a month, or $1,000+ (I must have been sleeping during math class) $240+ a year. You can instead A. buy the soda you like in bulk and bring it from home (to save a little) or B. drink tap water that you fill up a reusable bottle with (to save a lot). Either way, you save money. Start putting that in a jar somewhere and send it to the bank or credit card at the end of each month and see what a difference you have made already.

Ever go out to eat? If so, you are wasting money. I know, I love to eat out too. But if you are in a budget crunch or you have credit card debt, you need to stop eating out asap. Know what a single $20 meal a week adds up to over a year? $960! We used to eat out all the time and now we go once a week at most, and sometimes not at all. It’s a luxury we enjoy, but it would be the first thing we cut if money gets tight.

Do you purchase lunch every day with your co-workers? How about taking lunch from home just one day a week? I still know people that buy $15 lunches every single day, yet they complain that they don’t make enough money. Well, $15 a day X 5 days a week X 50 weeks a year equals spending $3,750 just on eating out at lunch. So if you are doing that and you can stop cold-turkey, you just gave yourself a raise.

So how much have we saved in a year so far? $240 from not buying soda at work, $960 from eating out each week, and $3,750 by bringing your lunch from home. Grand total? $4,950 just from small changes. Now, where else can we save a little? Let’s take a look…

Start using the library and stop buying books that you will only read once. If you need a reference book that you will go back to time and time again, by all means buy it. But you know just as well as I do that most books you read you will never read again, so why not borrow it for free instead of buying it? Believe me, I have more than enough books I never read again – I learned my lesson!

Use less of everything you use. Seems simple, right? How about a little less laundry soap, a little less toothpaste, a little less paper towel? You will never see the money that you save, but if you use less of something then that product lasts longer – which saves you money in the long run. And your laundry won’t know the difference.

Quit smoking. Now. At $5 a pack X 365 days a year, that’s $1,825 spent on a habit that only does one thing – gives you cancer. I can think of plenty of things I would rather spend $2,000 on other than giving myself cancer. (Business idea – buy an xray machine and charge people $1,825 to spray them with radiation and give them cancer – that way they don’t have to even smoke to get it. I could be rich!)

These are just a few things you can implement TODAY if you are truly in need of either saving money or paying off debt. Complaining about a lack of money while continuing to do any of these things is an exercise in futility. How can you expect things to get better if you don’t take charge of your spending? Not one of these things impacts your lifestyle in a negative way and they only serve to save you money. What are you waiting for…get started!

For those of you who have found success in eliminating non-essentials from your budget to free up some money, what tips could you offer? Let us all know!

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Comments (13)

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  1. A.B. says:

    While the advice is great, the math is off with regard to sodas. At $1/day, it would be $250/year (you were multiplying the monthly total by 50, rather than 12). I am addicted to Diet Dr Pepper, so this is one area where I am struggling to cut back.

  2. Good points all around. I think as important as the dollar amounts saved is the shift in attitude that occurs when these practices are followed. Now I take tiny measures that will probably save me only a few dollars over the course of the year. But since I’m already in the mindset of having faith in small changes, it’s no big deal to do them anyway. And I’d rather save those few bucks for something I consciously choose to spend them on than mindlessly fritter them away through inattention.

  3. bethh says:

    This gripe isn’t specifically at you, but I’m a little tired of being told to quit smoking every time I see a list of ways to save money! I find it hard to believe that very many people DO smoke anymore, and I don’t think a blogger’s list of tips will make someone quit. Maybe I’m just an Advanced Money Watcher :)

  4. Chelo says:

    Great tips. Don’t forget things like making coffee at home instead of buying it elsewhere. And the almighty coupons…if you are going out to eat why not use a 2 for 1 coupon. This is also a great way to try new places. Don’t forget the coupons for your groceries. I continually save $$ being a coupon clipper.

  5. David says:

    25% of the population smokes – I would say that’s a hefty amount of people. And quitting saves a ton of money, so I am at a loss as to why that should not be a way to save money for those 25% of all people…

  6. Nicki says:

    We’ve cut back on a lot of little things and I truly believe it makes a big difference, especially at the grocery store. I use coupons and stick to only what we need and maybe one treat. You would not believe how much I save.

  7. [...] How Little Changes Can Add Up To Thousands Of Saved Dollars. [...]

  8. [...] How Little Changes Can Add Up To Thousands Of Saved Dollars [...]

  9. Great ways of saving a little each and every day. I consider things like this to be Little Sacrifices which make a Big Difference and some of our lists are similar.

    I think stopping my lunch every day with co-workers really made a big difference to me. It’s amazing how much healthier I eat and feel too! That’s just an added bonus of making it myself.

  10. [...] How Little Changes Can Add Up To Thousands Of Saved Dollars. The little changes mentioned in this article can save you thousands of dollars each year. [...]

  11. Studenomics says:

    Smoking is by far the biggest waste of money, followed by being too lazy to make your own food. The amount of money that people I know spend on food is beyong believable. It bothers me so much because people always complain about money and then when they arrive to school/work their bags are empty. My bag is always full of sandwhiches and food for the day. The other killer is going to fancy restaurants for steak! What is so hard about cooking up a steak in the barbeque and hanging out with friends?

  12. Rodolfo says:

    A nit-pick on your math, but a significant one. You add up your savings as if stopping an activity nets you 100% savings. While I agree eating out daily for $15 can be saved by not eating out, you don’t save the WHOLE $15 by changing this habit. You still have to eat something for lunch and unless you can locate yourself 240+ free lunches a year Monday-Friday it will cost you something therefore reducing your savings. I’ll be willing to say food from home would be 25%-50% on average of what it costs to eat out but it does cost something to eat lunch.

    All in all except for some dubious 100% savings by changing habits a good article.

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