Reevaluating your finances and making changes can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Here are eight small changes you can make in 2023 that can lead to huge savings.
1) Cut Down on Eating Out
According to The Simple Dollar, the average American spends $225 a month on food outside the home, including meals, coffee, gas station snacks, or needlessly-expensive groceries. Taking the time to trim this portion of your budget can help save you thousands every year. Start a weekly grocery list so you know exactly what you need when you go to the store. Peruse the internet and find healthy, cheap meals that you can make in large quantities and refrigerate or freeze for more than one mealtime. Buy generic instead of name brand whenever possible. Invest in a coffee maker and brew your own coffee in the morning. You don't have to cut out eating out altogether, but doing it less frequently will help put you in better financial shape.
2) Get Cheaper with Date Night
Dates are about the experience, and good experiences don't have to be fancy dinners and $40 at the movie theater. Try enjoying bar happy hours for inexpensive drinks, going for a nice walk in the park, or broaden your intellectual horizons by going to a museum or a free concert. You don't even have to leave your home—try learning a new hobby with your significant other, like cooking or painting, and then make some popcorn and watch your favorite movie. Focus on quality time with the person you're with and not the extravagance of the evening, and you'll have more fun and save your wallet undue pain.
3) Search for Deals Anywhere
Why did over 165 million Americans shop during Black Friday weekend? Because we love deals. Deals and discounts are everywhere, and if you work hard enough, you may never have to buy anything full price. Before you make a purchase, check the internet or coupon apps like Coupon Sherpa for deals on what you want. Download internet apps like Honey, which will automatically add on coupons to every online purchase you make. If you frequent a specific store, check to see if they have a loyalty program that gives you discounts in exchange for purchase points. Shopping at stores like Plato's Closet, Goodwill, or even internet resale websites like eBay can net you high-quality clothes and products at cheap prices. Keep your eyes open, be patient, and your wallet will thank you.
4) Get Rid of Cable
Join the 33 million other people who have cancelled their cable subscriptions and switch to a TV streaming option like Netflix or Hulu, which costs roughly $10 a month. For live events, a quick Google search can pull up websites that allow you to watch sporting events or big press conferences. Cable can be expensive and often includes hundreds of channels you won't use, so switch to something more streamlined.
5) Go Green!
A smaller carbon footprint isn't just good for the planet—it's cheaper. Make environmentally conscious decisions like taking public transportation, lowering the temperature in your house, turning the lights off, and using less water. You can save hundreds on your bills.
6) Pay Off Debts
It might seem counterintuitive, but paying off your debt sooner rather than later can lead to big savings. Debts usually carry interest rates, which means you could pay a lot in interest each month. Getting rid of these expenses as quickly as possible will help you have more available money in the future.
7) Sign Up for Alerts
Set up alerts on your smartphone and laptop for your various credit cards, bank accounts, and your overall spending. At the click of a button, you can see exactly how much you've spent, what's processing, and what bills you need to pay. Technology has made everything in the modern age easier - capitalize on this!
8) Utilize Your Bank
Banks have numerous resources for saving money. You can invest in a Certificate of Deposit, a low-risk savings certificate with a fixed maturation date and interest rate. You can use a money market account, a high interest-rate account that protects your money and allows it to grow. Even using a general savings account helps you avoid spending your money. Banks are designed to protect your assets, so see your representative and discuss your options.
Reevaluating your finances can be overwhelming and challenging, but with these small tips, you can help improve your lifestyle and save money with ease.