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Simple Ways to Spend Less and Save More

Updated on October 9, 2016

Between the Cost of the Car, the Cost of Insurance and the Cost of Gas, Car's are Mobile Cash Shredders

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How Much You Would Save if You Gave Up Cigarettes

We all know the dangers of smoking cigarettes, yet many people just can't kick the habit. Maybe this will help.

In New York City, cigarette packs average at around $10.00 a pack. Assuming you smoke a pack a day, that adds up to $70.00 a week. If you are a heavy smoker, someone who smokes about two packs a week, that cost doubles to $140.00.

A pack a day smoker in New York City could save $3,715 annually if they kicked their habit. For those heavy smokers, savings could reach as high as $7,000. That is in just one year!

Imagine the money you could save if you stopped smoking, and started putting that money into a savings account?

How Much Could You Save if You Gave Up Your Car

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) puts out reports annually regarding the costs of driving and the potential savings that public transit offers to millions of residents all over the United States.

Their most recent report showed that the "average person" in 16 out of the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S could save well over $10,000 in one year by switching from driving to public transit.

The four cities that didn't save well over $10,000 averaged at $10,181, darn. Reseidents of New York City were one of the highest on the list of potential savers, averaging at over $15,000 in just one year.

Across all 20, the average was $10,181. In New York City, the average savings based on APTA's assumptions come to $15,041.

Further research studying expenditures for drivers tracked an adult commuter who drove 2 hours to and from work each day in rural North Carolina. In a place where gas is relatively cheap compared to many other locations in the U.S., this study participant spent $45,000 annually just taking their work commute into account.

This figure represented the money spent on gas alone. It did not factor in oil changes, repairs and maintenance, insurance, lease costs, as well as time.

Be Creative with Dinner at Home and Bask in the Savings

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How Much You Could Save if You Cut Back on Dining Out

We all love dining out once in a while, but do you realize how much money you may be wasting on a meal you could have easily prepared at home?

Taking a family of four that eats out once or twice a week, with an average expenditure of $75 per week on dining out, wastes just under $7,000 each year on food.

For families that are larger, about six to seven people, eating out gets quite expensive once it becomes a habit. Families of this size can expect to spend just under $100 every time they go out to eat. Assuming they go out one to two times per week, this size family ends up spending just under $8,000 a year on restaurant food.

An APTA Graph of Average Savings of Residents in Major Metro Areas Who Use Public Transit Passes Either Annually or Monthly

This graph is a list of average savings in metropolitan cities for residents who use public transit by purchasing a monthly or yearly pass.
This graph is a list of average savings in metropolitan cities for residents who use public transit by purchasing a monthly or yearly pass.

Money Saving Calculator

Don't find yourself in the dark when it comes to finances! There are plenty of online tools available to help you track your spending, plan your expenses, and calculate how much money you could save by making minor changes to your daily life.

Bills.com provides a calculator that will show you how much you could save by making changes to your daily expenses.

Your savings can be huge and seeing the number in can be just the motivation you need to make a few small changes in your habits. Take the first step and start saving a few dollars daily today.

How Much Money You Could Save if You Stopped Buying That Morning Cup of Joe

Are you one of the many people who runs out the door first thing in the morning, then grabs a cup of coffee on your way to work? If so, you could be wasting thousands of dollars a year!

In a study that calculated the savings for an individual who bought coffee six out of seven days of the week, spending an average of $2.50 a cup (which is a bargain if you happen to be hooked on Starbucks!) researchers calculated how much money this person would save over ten years if they stopped buying their morning cup of joe.

The results of the study showed that if the person stopped buying coffee each morning, in ten years they would save $9,250. That's close to a grand a year! Not to mention the fact that $2.50 is a bargain these days for a good cup of coffee.

Do yourself a favor and fix a pot before you go to bed so it's ready and waiting for you. Your wallet will thank you!

Swap Out Brand Name for Generic and Save Big!

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Do you see places in your life where you may be spending money unnecessarily?

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How Much You Could Save if You Stopped Buying Lottery Tickets

Are you one of the many people who loves to play the lottery? If so, these numbers may make you think twice before you purchase your next ticket.

A person who spends just $20 per week playing the lottery could save $5,752 after five years if they stopped their habit.

A person who spends $50 a week on lottery tickets could save over $14,000 after five years by not buying any tickets!

Here are some more eye opening numbers and statistics for you...

You have better chances of getting into a car accident, plane accident, or struck my lightning, than to win the lottery.

In a lottery with six numbers ranging from 1 to 70, the odds of you hitting the jackpot is one in 131,115,985.

In a lottery with five numbers ranging from 1 to 60, the odds of you hitting the jackpot is 2 in 5,461,512.

How Much You Could Save if You Gave Up the Vending Machines

Convenience and saving money don't typically go hand in hand. This definitely applies to vending machines, which happen to be a daily habit for many of us.

Vending machines may be quick and convenient, but they are unhealthy and they are definitely not cheap. I remember the last vending machine that I passed was charging $1.00 for a pack of mints!

To put things in perspective lets break down the numbers. If you spend $25.00 each week on snacks (outside of your weekly grocery trip) and decide to stop cold turkey, after 10 years, you would wind up saving just over $15,000!

Did anything in this article surprise you? If so, please expand in comment section!

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How Much You Could Save by Cutting Back on the Booze

Are you a person that loves a night out on the town every week? If so, you may be flushing thousands of dollars right down the toilet.

The average female between the ages of 25 and 35 spends an estimated $75.00 in one night when she goes out to a club or bar (this includes cover charges, snacks and coat check). Men in this age range average around $100.

By eliminating this expense completely, females who spend $75 a week on bars and nightclubs could save just over $21,000 in only five years! Men, you would save just under $30,000 in the same amount of time.

Now that is a lot of cash.

© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal Romano

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    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Kathleen......I didn't see that poll about whether or not any of these money-eaters are good or bad for us!! Besides.....I plead the 5th and IF necessary...the 6th TOO!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Kathleen, I never said they're good for me, but I'm not willing to quit. I've been smoking for longer than you've been alive, my sweet friend! My personality is susceptible to vices. I've eradicated many - gotta have a couple or I wouldn't know what to do with myself.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
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      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thanks Eric!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Just cause they're cheap doesn't mean they're good for you! (says the girl who just can't seem to quit!) :)

    • Eric Calderwood profile image

      Eric Calderwood 3 years ago from USA

      Money is one of those magical substances that just floats out of your wallet unless you specifically keep track of it. Great article!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Kathleen, considering a tank of gas lasts me two months now that I no longer work outside the home, giving it up isn't necessary. I need my car. I don't buy coffee out, don't eat out, don't go to bars, don't play the lottery, or attack vending machines. The only money sucker I'm guilty of is smoking and I'm not ready to give it up. Fortunately, apparently they cost half in Florida what New Yorkers are paying.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thanks Billy!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      You sound just like me! Bravo on you frugalness! :)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Kathleen......Very important subject matter and also smart of you to present this in black & white for your readers to experience an important a-Ha moment. It's quite true that most people don't look at the overall Big Picture when it comes to continual expenses of the every day things.

      However, I am the original "Frugal Franny." If there's a way to SAVE, I'm on it like white on rice! Being vehicle-less is not a feasible one, but I certainly wish it was and am painfully aware of the $$$ I spend per year on owning, insuring and maintaining my little Pontiac Vibe.

      Vending machines do not exist to me. Lottery tickets are a real rare indulgence. I don't eat out unless invited for a special occasion.....make my own coffee, without exception.....Do not drink, thus have no booze in my home.....If you live 5 minutes from a Reservation, cigarettes are $20.00 a carton....so people around here can kill themselves cheaply. How'd I do? Do I get an A+??

    • ARUN KANTI profile image

      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 3 years ago from KOLKATA

      A very good hub with useful tips for the car owners. Although I do not own any car now I shudder to think how people use the vehicle indiscriminately and almost forget to cover even short distances by walking. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      The only item on that list that others would consider a necessity is the car...all the rest are conveniences or addictions that could easily save thousands each year. I love the message here.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
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      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thank you so much Brie! Yes, I too am car-free and care-free!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Obviously public transit is not an option for everyone, I live in NYC so I haven't had a car for years but I want to move to Arizona, where no car would certainly leave me up a creek with no paddle! Glad to see that you are saving money elsewhere though!

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 3 years ago from Manhattan

      Great article! I've given up all those things for years. I haven't had a car in over 10 years and I don't miss it at all.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

      I read this hub with interest. Of your list, there are only two I am guilty of - dining out and having a car. We could cut down on dining out - but eat out once a week and rarely go without a coupon, so we do cut down the bill considerably. Two of us often dine for $6.00 or less after discounts.

      The car is not a luxury here, it is a necessity where a country mile could realistically be more than ten miles. The closest grocery store to my house is 8 miles and I'm an old lady to be able to walk that far. lol

      Of the other things on the list, what I am saving from not eating/using/doing those things, I guess I'm using the saved money for the car and once a week restaurant!

      Great hub, voted up!