Slow and steady wins the race, not only for the tortoise and the hare but also for your finances. Small actions that help you save a few cents every day can pave the road to big savings, but only with patience and discipline. Here are a few places to start saving small every day.
Look to your fridge
Food is an easily overlooked budget item, but when managed well can lead to plenty of savings. The first, help your bank account (and the Earth) by cutting down on food waste. Whether this means buying containers to store leftovers (as suggested by Melissa on Lenny Credit) or simply buying less groceries, being more aware of your consumption can help curb your spending. In that vein, go grocery shopping with a list to prevent overspending on food you don’t necessarily need and might not even use.
Coupons are your friend
A penny saved is a penny earned and with coupons, you’re more than likely to save more than just one penny. With the digital age, stores and apps make it even easier to consolidate coupons and store them all in your phone. The key is to not use a coupon as the sole reason to purchase something; apply coupons only to what you would purchase even without the coupon.
Do what you can at home
Grabbing a cup of coffee on your way to work is great and is also romanticized by society today. The fact of the matter is you can save at least $20 a month (or more!) by cutting out expensive coffee from trendy coffee shops, according to Gabrielle Moss in an article on Business Insider. Compare that cost to the at-home coffee brewer who spends on average $45 a year on coffee. The small habit of cutting out the morning coffee run can save more than $1,000 a year, and just imagine what eating out less can do for your budget and your health.
Keep an eye on your utilities
Thanks to technology, there are several new home appliance options that are energy efficient, which can help cut down on costs but also help us lead more sustainable lifestyles. Look to your lights for the first small change; opting for LED light bulbs can have save energy, and thus a few cents off your utility bill each month. The second small change is with your thermostat; in the winter, consider layering up and allowing the thermostat to dip a little lower. In the summer, allow the default temperature to rise just a bit higher. This suggestion by Trent Hamm on The Simple Dollar also helps keep utility costs low and your household just a bit more environmentally friendly.
Some other tips and tricks include using cash to limit yourself (if you run out, you run out), and not partaking in needless upgrades, as suggested by Joel Falconer on Lifehack. From deleting your credit card information from your online shopping sites to deter impulse spending, to creating your own simple budget on Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets, create your own small habits to help you save big.