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Five Easy Ways to Save Money

Odd Cents - Saving and Investing

There are so many ways to save money and to cut back on spending. It’s an exercise that can really make you re-think your spending habits. When I decided to revamp my spending habits, it was not easy. It is a very hard process that calls for dedication and focus on the task at hand.

1. Decipher Needs and Wants

Make a list of the items that you currently purchase and separate them into needs and wants. Be honest with yourself during this process. I like to consider needs as those things you cannot live without – food, shelter, clothing and immediate necessities that contribute to these key things. Wants are items that compliment needs which you can definitely live without.

2. Create a Budget and Use It

This is the perfect way to see how your money will be spent. It will give you an idea of your financial limitations and you will know what you should say no to. Budgeting is an ongoing process, but once you get the hang of tracking your hard-earned dollars, it will be a breeze.

3. Take Your Lunch to Work

If you spend an average of fifteen dollars a day on lunch, every day for a week, that’s seventy-five dollars per week. If you had to take that seventy-five dollars and buy groceries to make lunch, you would come up with a whole lot more that would probably last two weeks. I used to spend a crazy amount of money on lunch. In fact, I was spending too much money on it. But by deciding to make my own, I was able to save considerably.

4. Make Shopping Lists

It is so tempting to just go into the supermarket on your way home from work and “pick up a few things.” Sound familiar? What about when you get home and realize that you doubled up something that’s already in the cupboard or you forgot to pick up something that you really needed? A shopping list will save you time, money and gas. Take a few minutes to sweep through your cabinets, pantry, refrigerator etc. to see what you’re out of and make a note of it. You can also plan your meals ahead of time, so that you will know what you need.

5. Just Say No

If a friend asks you out for some drinks, but you know that it would put you in a tight bind, just say no. Entertainment is a great way to relax and enjoy the moment. But, after that moment has passed, you will be stuck worrying about how much you spent on that moment. If you really want to hang out, suggest a get-together at your home and ask that friend to bring some snacks and a cool beverage. Even if you spend some money, it won’t be as much as if you went to a bar.

Are there any other ways to save money that we can add to this list?