Budgeting involves sacrifices, and when it comes to saving money, we sometimes have to cut out the ‘nice to have’ items in place of those that we need to not only survive but to thrive. What might surprise you the most is not just how much money you can save by cutting out these items, but how indistinguishable the replacements can be.
In many cases, you’ll find that the difference is tiny, and your overall quality of life isn’t affected, while your finances can flourish. Therefore, cutting out these ‘nice to have’ items should be your first step towards a healthier financial future and your budgeting goals.
We all love coffee, it’s delicious and convenient, but paying three to five bucks for a cup from Starbucks or another chain is a waste of money. Presuming you drink one each day, which is less than many of us do, you’re spending up to $90 each month and nearly $1,100 each year on Starbucks coffee.
Sure, it’s a great treat once in a while, but to drink it every single day is overkill. Not only is it ruining your budget, but it’s a waste of money because you can create fantastic coffee yourself. If you’re obsessed with the Starbucks taste, you can even buy the beans yourself to make your favorite drink at home or in the office for a fraction of the cost.
If you take a detailed look at the money that you spend each month and then remove those items which are essential, most of us are left with a list of receipts from different restaurants and takeout spots. After a long hard day at work the last thing you want to do is cook food, and therefore you grab a pizza or a box of Chinese takeout to fill yourself up and put a smile on your face.
But what if I told you ladies that you could eat healthier and still not need to cook every evening? Bulk cooking on the weekend is a lifesaver. Meals like burritos, curry, Chinese food and even casseroles can be prepared in bulk and portioned out into containers that you can reheat at work or home, giving you no excuse to eat out.
Perhaps the worst offender is the lunchtime meal. Accompanied by your colleagues, it’s easy to spend ten or more dollars each day on lunch from Chipotle or a local restaurant that you love. According to Cornerstone Support, “Each year those lunchtime meals add up to thousands of dollars that could be better spent on essentials, paying down debt or investing.”
Us ladies like to look beautiful; it can make us more confident and empower us to seize the day. But that’s no excuse to blow your budget on new clothes. Rather than worrying about being seen in the same dress at a different event, think about all of the money you’ll save by accessorizing that same dress with a different pair of shoes and a jacket.
It’s easy for a quick trip to the mall to end with a few bags and multiple receipts, but if you’re committed to your budget, you can save thousands of dollars each year by skipping the mall. Most of your clothes will last far longer than you think and rather than throwing them out, try to stylize them with different pieces to create a new and more fashionable look.
Of course, if you need new clothes to replace ruined items then you should buy them, but most of us aren’t buying, for this reason, we purchase clothes because we want to keep up with trends.
Bars and Nightclubs
Perhaps an even bigger expense than any of the previous items, especially for younger or single women, bars and nightclubs can be incredibly expensive. Not only are drinks overpriced, but there is often a cover charge and the cost of transportation to think about.
Most of us know the pain of waking up the next morning not only with the uncomfortable throbbing in our heads but with the discomfort of knowing that we spend over a hundred dollars for the pleasure! Instead of drinking at a bar you can save a huge amount of money by having parties at your home.
Inviting your friends over and asking them to bring drinks and a piece of food each will leave you with a vast selection to choose from. You’ll save money, won’t have to deal with long queues and you even get to choose your music!