So where will that $25 in savings come from? We all feel like we operate with little or no cash to spare each month. You’d be surprised, though, to see how much you can trim from your budget with just a few simple changes. Like these:
Months of social distancing have changed our spending habits. Have you been surprised at how much you’d been shelling out for travel, restaurant meals, clothing, and other discretionary items? Now’s a great time to take stock. If you find that your quality of life is the same, or even better, without some of those expenditures, then eliminate them for good.
2. Declare a “No-Buy” or “Low-Buy” challenge.
Choose one or two spending categories to eliminate for one year. Do you already have more clothes than you need? Is the food you prepare at home tastier than restaurant food? You can choose clothing, tools, cosmetics, books, cable TV, tchotchkes or other impulse items for your “no buy” year. Choose wisely, and you’ll save far more than $25 a month.
3. Plug the energy leaks in your home.
Dispose of that extra refrigerator or freezer. Unplug appliances, or attach them to timers. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater. Install a programmable thermostat. Air seal doors and windows to prevent winter heat loss. Switch to LED or CFL light bulbs throughout. You can save hundreds a year on your electric and gas bills, when you eliminate the energy that seeps out of your house unused.
4. Revisit automatic payments for memberships and subscriptions.
How many streaming services do you really use? The same goes for newspapers and magazines, online software and other services you forgot you were paying for. It feels good to unsubscribe!
5. Cancel your gym membership.
Find a favorite online fitness coach and exercise at home. Walk, run or cycle regularly. Experts recommend that you establish a home-exercise ritual: schedule your workouts, change into gym clothes, and configure an optimal space for your fitness routine.
6. Contact your insurance agent and cell phone provider.
Ask how you can restructure your home and auto insurance policies and mobile phone plan to lower your rates. If your current providers can’t save you $25 a month or more, go online and find those who can.
7. Refinance your home or student loans.
Interest rates on loans are at all-time lows, which could save you hundreds on your mortgage or student loan payments. If your credit is good and you haven’t crunched the numbers already, ask a banker if refinancing could be a good move for you.
Stay tuned for more ways to save as you plan for a comfortable retirement.