Living a Great Life on a Shoestring Budget

New key and stacked pennies

Money and adult life rarely mix. Sometimes it can feel impossible to hold onto your hard-earned money, no matter how hard you try. You might feel secure as your paycheck roles in, but after a few weeks, you inevitably feel hopeless when you find yourself, once again, scaping to get by. However, living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t have to be your lifestyle. When it comes to living a great life, having savings is key. Little things often eat away at your budget. It’s important to know where your money is going, even if it’s just on small, pointless things. Being smart about your money means having a command of all of these little things. Making small changes to some of your spending habits can drastically affect your bank account for the better! Here are some of the things that are likely eating up your budget every month…

Pick Your Phone & Internet Plan Wisely

Phone and internet bills add up over time. Most unlimited data plans cost well over $100 per month, per person, and basic internet packages are an added $50 to $80 dollars a month. However, most people don’t need to be attached to these astronomical, expensive plans. Connecting to wi-fi when you can, as well as spending a little less time on your phone, makes unlimited data plans an unjustifiable expense. Shop around for cheaper alternatives. If you use your data wisely, you can get pretty terrific plans at less than $40 per month. This simple change could save you about $1000 over a year!

Eat Out Less

How often do you eat out a month? A week? Eating out is often the biggest collective monthly expense. Sure, it’s easier than cooking a meal for yourself, and at the moment, it may appear cheaper than shopping for a week’s worth of groceries. However, eating out less is not only a healthier option but the less expensive option. However, eating in is only half the battle. You need to be smart about how you go about buying your groceries. Typically, it’s much cheaper to buy your groceries in bulk. Also, don’t be afraid to use coupons and such, as every cent adds to a larger goal

Find More Affordable Forms of Entertainment

Simply put, cable is freaking expensive, with the average American cable bill arriving at a shocking $80 a month. At the same time, going out to movies adds up to a highly expensive experience, as well. Between rising ticket prices and the astronomical price of snacks, a couple of date nights to the cineplex could cost as much as the aforementioned cable bill! There are too many affordable internet options around today to justify this cost. Netflix, Hulu, Roku, and Amazon Prime have better services than cable, and at a mere fraction of the cost. Cutting back on your entertainment spending could save you hundreds of dollars a year, while you could be getting even better services.

Make Your Cup of Joe at Home!

Like food, having coffee out is actually a much bigger cost than you may think. Having a morning latte on the way into work every day adds up. Most of the time, coffee out will cost roughly $3-$4 per cup. If you’re a daily drinker, that adds up real quick, as you could be spending close to $100 a month on coffee. That could add up to $1200 a year! Instead, opt to make your daily coffee at home. You could buy bags of high quality, gourmet coffee beans and it would still be much cheaper than drinking coffee out!

Be Smarter About Your Transportation

Cars are a very expensive commodity. Not only do you have to pay big money for the car, itself, but you also need to fork out monthly expenses of gas and insurance. And even though you are paying for insurance, there is a good chance that you will be left with the bill if it ever breaks down. As we all know, repairs can be incredibly costly, and be needed at inopportune moments. Try to get by with cheaper vehicle solutions. At times, ask yourself if you even need a car. In many areas, having a bike, as well as a public transit pass, can make getting around quite simple, and even provides a healthier solution.
If you want to know other great ways you can save money, check out this article for ways that you can live large on a smaller budget!

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