After a summer of vacations, Sunday Funday brunches and endless amounts of impromptu spending, we’re heading into fall with a bit less cash than we had pre-Memorial Day. And before you know it the holidays will be rolling right up on us and we’ll need as much saved moolah as possible. But how do you save money without the struggle becoming completely real? We have some advice to help you cut back on your weekly expenses and start saving money ASAP.
Bring Your Lunch To Work
This might be one of the most obvious areas to save a little money throughout the week, but we can’t emphasize its effectiveness enough. Depending on where you live, lunch can range from $8-$9 to upwards of $15 each day. So why not consider picking a few extra items up at the grocery store and making your own lunch? Not only will you save money, but the likelihood of making healthy, slimming choices will definitely go up when you’re not tempted with a Wendy’s run in the middle of the day.
No Bottles Necessary
Yes, we all love bottled water. But when push comes to thirsty shove, we don’t need it. Unless you’re working in an office environment that serves up free bottles on a daily basis, the few dollars you spend at the local convenience store or CVS to imbibe water in a pretty bottle will start to add up. Instead grab yourself a refillable bottle that can be used throughout the day. You’ll save money and you’ll do something nice for the environment as well.
Walk To Work
OK, so we’re not saying that starting your day off with a five mile slog to work is the right move. Not at all. But, we are suggesting that instead of hopping in that cab a few blocks to your office, consider walking. Of course that can be tricky in winter, but during spring, summer and fall a nice walk to work will not only feel great, but it’ll give you a little extra exercise.
Keep Happy Hour In Check
Knocking back a few can be exactly what the doctor ordered after a hard day’s work. But as tempting as it is to down half a dozen of those $5 margarita’s during happy hour, we’re going to caution you not to. Sure excessive drinking has a host of negative health impacts that we’re sure you’re fully aware of. But what we’re concerned with is the damage it can inflict on your wallet. It’s so easy to fly through $20, $40, even $60 bucks in a relatively short period of time when sip cocktails with friends. For a lower cost alternative, be sure to take breaks between rounds with a glass of water.
Skip The Drinks, Hit A Workout
If you’re the type of drinker who either goes hard in the paint or doesn’t bother at all, might we suggest finding alternative ways to relieve stress and hang with friends. One of our favorite happy hour alternatives: Working out. Not only will you spend a little extra time getting in shape (and ditching the calories of booze), it’s also a great way to do some quality bonding time with a friend or coworker.
Make It Yourself
You’ve just spent 12 hours slaving away in the office, so the last thing that you want to do is head home to do an hour of cooking. It might seem so appealing, so simple to just pick up the phone and order from your favorite restaurant. But if you’re looking to save a little cash here and there throughout the week, we strongly suggest pumping the breaks on take-out. Instead, consider preparing a few meals in advance (over the weekend, in the morning before heading out the door) so that all you have to do is heat and eat when you get home.
Sales Are Your Friend
Whether it’s saving a few bucks at your local pharmacy or cashing in on a sale at Target, keeping your eyes open to deals and steals can result in some serious cash back in your pockets. We’re not saying that you should become the crazy coupon lady, but we do strongly suggest striking when the sale iron is hot.
Sample Sales Even More So
Sample sales are a girl’s best friend. If you haven’t been to one … girl, what are you waiting for?!? Sample sales offer incredible savings on gorgeous pieces from some of fashion’s hottest and most well-respected designers. While in your pursuit of saving money, buying designer threads probably doesn’t seem like a great idea. But you’re not going to completely deprive yourself of the occasional treat yo self. So when you do, might as well be a little more frugal about it.
This one might seem a bit vague, but hear us out. When it comes to spending more money than you’d like to, there is often a common denominator: the unexpected. Whether you’re running late to an event and your subway ride becomes an Uber or if you forget to bring your lunch to work resulting in your $11 salad from Chopt, the unexpected can mean big trouble for your wallet. So when at all possible, embrace a planner’s spirit and save some dough.
Look Into A Financial Planning App
Need a little help to figure out where you can tighten up your spending? Might we suggest looking into an app like Mint that chronicles your financial habits, grouping expenditures into categories and showing the percentage of your budget devoted to them. This bird’s eye view could be just what you need to make smarter decisions moving forward.