Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be as simple as eliminating unnecessary expenses that have become habit. Many individuals spend more on meals, travel, and entertainment than they realize. Disposable income is taking on a new meaning in today’s challenging economy.
Reducing the amount spent on vacations, car accessories, home and garden products, and new clothes may at first seem difficult. Changing one’s spending habits requires not only a plan and a new budget outline, it also mandates the implementing of new habits to replace the old ones.
Here are a few ideas for cutting out some of the wasteful spending and keeping money in the bank.
Dine Out Less Often
It can become easy to forget the kitchen and simply head out to the neighborhood restaurant for dinner, or call in an order for take out or delivery. Many people have abandoned the idea of cooking meals at home altogether, but preparing nutritious foods is not only a money saver, it can actually become quite fulfilling from the standpoint of creating a new money saving habit.
The average family of four will spend approximately $70 for a nice dinner at a local establishment, but preparing the meal at home will likely cost only about one-fifth this amount.
To cut costs, write up a grocery list that falls within the monthly budget, but the reward comes in being able to provide nutritious foods while keeping the price food lover. Learning to shop at the supermarket in a thrifty manner is a challenge at first, but once this habit is established, a typical family can save more than $1,000 per year.
Choose Vacation Destinations Wisely
Some of the most satisfying family vacations can be taken without the need for thousands of miles of air travel or a cross-country car trip. Many travel agencies offer packages that include a night’s stay at a modestly priced motel and vouchers for entrance to amusement parks.
Visiting national parks or nature preserves and staying at campgrounds is a wonderful way to spend time together as a family, and the cost of this type of vacation can be much more affordable. Staycation, or the idea of going on vacation while staying closer to home can also be appealing and less hassle and more relaxed than a more lengthy sojourn.
Eliminate Purchases of Electronics
There has always been a profusion of subtle advertising by manufacturers that asks consumers to keep up with the latest gadgetry. It has become part of modern culture to believe that anything new becomes old and outdated within two years. However, most people’s lives are not bettered through keeping up the latest technological trends.
Buying used electronics equipment saves a great deal of money, and most of the TVs, stereos and home entertainment systems, and chic furniture available at used merchandise outlets is perfectly fine. Shopping at online distributors also saves money versus heading out to the local retailer. And only look to buy, when there is a definite need, not just to have the latest and greatest.
Limiting Mileage on the Car
Fuel costs are one of the biggest single concerns when it comes to saving money. Carpooling and taking public transportation saves money for those in the work force, and reducing the amount of miles driven on the weekends is another way to eliminate unnecessary fill-ups at the gas station. Planning a shopping trip carefully and in a way that reduces the amount of city driving saves a tremendous amount of fuel over the course of a year.
And before venturing out on weekend trips, calculate the gas costs of your destination in advance so you know what you are spending. And the more you are out in your car, the more likely you are to be dining out, shopping, and making other purchases.
Many people view a night out at the casino as a pleasurable form of entertainment, be it with the family or a group of friends. This is one of the easiest habits to form and one of the most difficult to break. Gambling costs money, plain and simple.
Casinos stay in business because they make a profit at the expense of the consumer. No one would seriously consider throwing money down the drain every week, but this is exactly what happens nearly every time a trip is made to the local casino.
A good experiment would be to record every penny that is spent on gambling during a visit to a casino and keep track of the totals for a period of 30 days. A lot of people don’t even realize how much they are losing. The results may just shock you straight out of this money draining, destructive habit.
This article was contributed by John Russell on behalf of www.myfastcashpaydayloan.com where you can find cash advances to get you through a financial pinch.