Daily Things to Do to Save Money When Living on a Tight Budget
For those of us dealing with this prolonged recession, it has been especially tough to deal with the stacks of bills, the feeling that you have no money to spend on anything for yourself and not being able to see an end to your financial woes in the near future. Going from having money to not having money is the surest way to max our your credit cards. Sure, if you have absolutely no money, you will have to max out those cards or go homeless and hungry. However, there are things you can do to start to live on a tighter budget.
Here is a simple list of things you can do to help save money right now:
- Make your own coffee and tea. Limit your daily trips to the coffee shop. Going to the coffee shop everyday really adds up to money that could go towards your bills.
- Bring your own lunch. If you are working, you need to refrain from going out to lunch on a daily basis. It can be really tempting to socialize with your co-workers and go out to lunch everyday, but you need to put your money towards your bills. Avoid the temptation and bring your own lunch. If you are unemployed, you especially do not need to go out to eat everyday. The costs of eating out add up quick.
- Shopping: Limit your trips to the stores. Go with a list of what you absolutely need. Otherwise, do not go to the store. If you are like me, you tend to be an impulsive shopper. If I go into the store, I want to buy. To avoid temptation, I limit my trips. This limitation prevents me from spending money I don’t need to spend. Avoid your temptations whether it is the mall, the bar or the club.
- Entertainment: Use your public library for DVD rentals and books. You can cut out your premium movie channels and forget about buying books on Amazon. Libraries have loads of free entertainment options, so take advantage and reduce your out of pocket expenses.
- Holiday Shopping: Another neat way to save money is to sell your used books online to a place such a Powells that will buy your used books and give you the option to have store credit. With that store credit, you can buy your holiday gifts without breaking your budget. With just a little extra planning, you may be able to buy all your gifts using this system.
- Travel: Save on gas by carpooling when you can. Others in your situation would be more than happy to split the gas bills and take turns giving rides.
- Exercise/Health: Forget about renewing that expensive gym membership. Talk up walking and save your money. Take the stairs, park far away at the grocery store, go to the park, take up running, and find simple exercises to do in your house when the weather is bad.
- Cell Phone: Opt for the cheapest plan if you really don’t use all your minutes. Take advantage of the free mobile-to-mobile calls.
- Special Treats: Living on a tight budget can be really depressing sometimes. Save your loose change in a jar. When you get a little bit saved up, take the jar to Coinstar or the bank to get the dollars and treat yourself to stuff that you have been sacrificing such as that Mocha Latte or a movie in an actual movie theater.
As you struggle to live on less, hang in there and don't lose faith. Things can change and get better.