If you’re finding a difficult time freeing up extra money in order to take care of all of the money essentials, such as building up an emergency fund, paying off debt, and saving for retirement, then it may be time to take a look at your finances, while specifically paying attention to every dollar going out. If you pull last month’s debit or credit card statement you can go line by line, examining whether or not the charges were necessary, or could have been in order to see a few extra dollars in your account at the end of the month.
While you may not think about credit cards being a way to overspend, see if you have any perks to using your credit card. With the number of credit card options out there, you might as well select the card that offers the best cashback rewards, whether that’s points you can redeem for gift cards, airline miles, or even a check back to you once a year. Missing out on these rewards could leave hundreds of free money on the table, which could add up to many free meals, hotel rooms, or flights you are avoiding taking advantage of.
Cable has probably grown into a part of your life, as it’s hard to think back to a time when you weren’t able to flip the hundreds of channels available to you. Today though, out of those channels, how many do you actually watch, and live, without what is stored on your DVR? If you make the leap to cancel cable, you can free up a couple hundred dollars per month, while opting for a streaming service that runs around $10 per month, and even still being able to get local broadcasting for a one-time charge of around $30 for an HD antenna.
The end of the year is typically the time when you think about joining the gym, as you realize you maybe didn’t get as far as you had planned when it comes to weight-loss, but for those that joined this time and quickly gave up, you have been paying $50 a month for a membership that you are now longer using. Instead, even though it’s getting colder, still plenty of opportunity to take the dog for a walk everyday to get some movement, while eating healthier, you can see the weight fall off, while saving money at the same time.
Impulse Buys at the Grocery Store
Speaking of eating healthier, it starts at the grocery store. By avoiding going out to eat or picking up take out, you can buy healthy ingredients at the grocery store, while saving hundreds of dollars a month at the same time. Take stock of your refrigerator and pantry inventory and make a list before you go, otherwise going in blind may cause extra items to end up in your cart. In addition, don’t forget to eat before you go, as going grocery shopping hungry may increase how every item looks good to you, causing you to ignore your list and continue to make purchases.