(and the math to prove it)
If you’re struggling a bit financially, there’s really only two ways to improve your financial situation: either by cutting back on expenses, or by earning more money. Although there are lots of side hustles out there to help you earn more money, sometimes it’s a bit tough to devote the time and energy to doing so. There are likely a few things you can literally do this week that will help you save $77.50. Don’t believe me? Let’s jump into these examples and the math that proves it.
Bring your lunch to work
I personally bring a peanut butter & jelly sandwich to work almost everyday. I do it not because I love the taste of PB&J and wheat bread, but because it’s a super easy way to save a few dollars. Those few dollars can really add up quickly. Let’s save your average meal out costs $7.50 per day. Bringing a PB&J once you’ve purchase bread, peanut butter, jelly and maybe a bag of chips might cost at most $2.50 per day. So, bringing your lunch saves you $5 per day. $5 * 5 workdays = $25. Off to a good start!
Although gas prices have come down in recent years, driving your car is not free, as you have to put gas in it to make it run. I’m not even going to factor in wear and tear on your actual vehicle. Commutes can vary wildly; with some people maybe having a 5-minute commute while others (like me) having a 30+ minute commute (oh the joys of living in a big city with lots of traffic). This may not work for everybody, but I bet if you asked around, either amongst your coworkers or your friends, that you could find someone that lives/works somewhere near you. Carpooling everyday might be tough, with differing schedules or errands/events post work, but I think it’s reasonable that you could do it twice a week. You can drive your carpool buddy once, and they can drive you once to return the favor. Let’s assume that you burn at least 2 gallons of gas each way, so you’ll save $5 by having your carpool buddy drive you once. $5 isn’t a lot but it’s getting us closer to our goal of $100!
Pass on drinks at dinner
Although I love eating out, and probably do it more than I should, it can really be expensive. Cutting out restaurants from your budget might be a little extreme but how about cutting out drinks? Whether it’s a beer, glass of wine, or even a soda, that’s saving money for you right there. You’ll still get to enjoy a nice meal out with friends, trying new and/or delicious food! If anybody asks, throw the heath card and save you’re trying to cut back on excessive calories. Let’s assume you eat out twice per week and get two $5 drinks with dinner, or one $10 drink, or three $3 drinks. Saving $10 on drinks * 2 meals out = $20 saved.
Cut the thermostat back
This might seem a little trivial but did you know that by cutting your thermostat back a few degrees you can save 10% on your electric bill? Who needs it to be 76 in the winter when keeping it at 70 can save you money? You may not even notice it not being as warm/cool. On a $100 monthly electric bill you’ll be saving $10, or $2.50 per week.
Skip one meal out this weekend
Ah the weekend, the 2 days we don’t have to work and can relax. We work so hard during the week and deserve a break. We want to catch up with friends or family, and a great way to do so it by eating out. Perhaps it’s a new restaurant that’s opened up, or an old time favorite, eating out is pretty awesome. Not having to cook, not having to clean, being able to try new foods makes restaurants amazing. What would it look like to skip one meal out? Perhaps stay in and cook? You could easily invite friends over to share a meal instead, and they could even bring a dish so you’re not stuck cooking the whole thing. By skipping going out, you could easily be saving $25 this week. Finding it hard to deal with the social peer pressure? Here are 11 excuses you can use to get out of a meal with friends this weekend.
Ok, let’s add it all up and see how much we’ve saved this week: $25 on lunch, $5 on gas, $20 on skipping drinks, $2.50 on the thermostat and $25 on eating out. That’s $77.50 saved! As you can see, none of these steps are earthshattering, and could all easily be done, this very week!
This lists isn’t meant to be all-inclusive, and there may be things that work better for you. The secret to financial success is to figure out what works best for you and to go with that!