There’s nothing quite as disheartening as trying to figure out how you’re going to build a savings account when you’re wondering if you’re going to have enough money to pay your electric bill. The good news is there are more ways to cut back than you think, giving you enough wiggle room to cover your living expenses while starting a small savings account. Give these tricks a try.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Finding a roommate, cancelling the cable, and always making your own food are just a few of the things you can do to save money while making sure your bills still get paid. Keep reading to find out what you need to do to get started.
Yes, You Can Save Money — Even On the Tightest Budget.
Brew Your Own Coffee
Seriously. We know it’s advice coffee drinkers hate to hear, but a can of store-brand ground coffee is a few dollars and should last a week or more. A cup of coffee-house brew costs the same amount and will last only as long as it takes you to drink it. What a waste.
Ditch the Cable
Let’s face it. Cable television is insanely expensive, even for those who justify it as their primary source of entertainment. Cutting back on cable could save over $100 per month, depending on the provider and plan. Use a Roku or similar streaming device and utilize your internet connection instead. A combination of Hulu, Netflix, and free apps are more than enough — and you won’t miss out on your favorite shows, either.
Rent a Room
Single and looking for a place to stay? Consider renting a room instead of an entire apartment. Already have an apartment but want to utilize spare space? Find a roommate to reduce your rent and utilities. Be sure to interview potential roommates, whether you’re renting to or from someone else, to avoid a miserable mismatch.
Stop Buying Brand Names
Generic cereals and other ingredients cost a ton less than brand names. Have family members who will complain? Keep the brand name boxes you already have and refill them with off-label items when no one is looking. Odds are no one will ever notice the difference, even if they usually claim to be against generics.
Never, Ever Eat Out
The dollar menu at the local fast-food joint seems inexpensive, but you can still create a cheaper meal at home. A box of pasta and a jar of sauce works out to just a few dollars and can feed several people instead of just one. Simple meals of rice and beans end up working out to pennies per serving, especially when you buy the ingredients in bulk. Spice up simple meals with different seasonings to keep things from getting too boring.
Don’t worry about saving 10% of your next paycheck or putting aside huge chunks of change at the end of each week. Work out your budget, find ways to save, and start tucking the difference away in a savings account. A few dollars here and there will eventually make a big difference, and you’ll definitely feel better with a little cash tucked away for an emergency.