If you’re looking for small ways to save money that don’t require you to cancel your cable TV, internet, or phone, there’s hope. You can save a cumulative amount of money by making a few simple adjustments in the way you live day-to-day.
Avoid packaged foods – opt for bulk instead
Food is expensive, period. Aside from using coupons to save money on food, avoiding packaged foods will save you a good chunk of money.
Lunchables, cheese sticks, chips, popcorn, and single-use yogurt cups are examples of packaged foods that lure us into a single-serve lifestyle. Although it sounds convenient, it’s actually quite expensive.
The average Lunchable costs about $2.50, but there’s hardly any food inside. In fact, most of these packaged lunches contain just a few pieces of pre-sliced bologna, a few crackers, and tiny slices of cheese. You can buy a full package of bologna for about the same price. If you bought all the other ingredients separately, you could cut your cost per meal down to less than a dollar. Assuming you eat these meals 5 days per week, you’d be spending $260/year instead of $650/year.
That’s just lunch. Imagine how much money you’re spending on pre-packaged single servings of breakfast foods like oatmeal, dried fruit, nuts, and even K-cups for your morning cup of coffee. All these items are available to purchase in bulk, including coffee. And there are reusable K-cups you can get so you don’t have to brew your coffee the old-fashioned way.
Practice diligence when driving to avoid expensive accidents
Almost everyone has rolled through a stop sign without stopping. Although the “California rolling stop” got its moniker from California, it’s something drivers practice in every state. Rolling through stop signs has become a casual habit that unfortunately costs people their lives and hikes insurance rates through the roof.
Rolling through a stop sign isn’t the only dangerous driving habit, though. If you tend to take blind turns fast, it’s a good idea to slow down. Even when you’re a careful driver, you can find yourself in an accident that isn’t your fault. If another driver is turning the corner from the opposite direction, and you need to avoid hitting them, increased speed can cause you to lose control.
Car accidents are costly to all involved, and are more common than you may think. The Marks and Harrison Law Firm reports, “According to Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) statistics, every year, on average, around 5,200 crashes occur on county roads, causing 25 deaths and roughly 3,250 injuries.” That’s just one county in one state in the U.S.
For all the thousands of people injured in car crashes each year, there are thousands of people who aren’t injured. Non-injured parties have expenses that can include higher insurance premiums and out of pocket costs if they don’t have enough coverage through their insurer. Out of pocket costs can include medical payments as well as damage to vehicles.
Driving safely saves lives and money.
Consume less and produce more
Our society is a consumer society. It’s normal to spend money consuming entertainment like television, movies, fancy food, and even online games. The habit of consumption runs deep, and it’s taking a good chunk of your paycheck.
When you consume, you give other businesses your money. When you produce something to sell in the marketplace, other people give you money.
The less you consume other people’s creations, the more money you’ll have to invest in creating your own contribution to the world. It makes sense to work on creating something you can sell in the marketplace. Creating will make you happier, too.
The Hacked Mind states, “Producing is food for the soul. Even if it is harder, more frustrating, takes more time, and can overtake your life, it will make you far more accomplished and happier. Remember when you made artwork as a child in Kindergarten? It probably was no Picasso, but it made you happy because you produced it. It is time we got back to that.”
Yes, running a business takes time and hard work, but consider that you may not need to launch a large-scale business to sell your work. For example, if you’re an artist, you could simply create pieces of your work when you feel inspired, stock up on inventory, and then sell at arts and craft fairs.
No matter what you create as a contribution to society, you can do it part-time on your own schedule. The extra income won’t be steady, but you’ll be able to build a decent savings account from the proceeds.