Save Money and Reduce on Expenses
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Save Money and Reduce on Expenses

You can save money buy reducing certain expenses that add up in the long run. Eating out, buying groceries and entertaining events are some of the areas you can reduce spending and save money on.

You only make a certain amount of money each month, and after paying your bills, what is left over is "disposable" income. You may be wondering where your money goes every month, but even the small purchases add up over the long-run.

Save Money and Reduce Expenses Tip #1: Eating Out

Many employees who work outside of their home often buy their lunches and snacks from restaurants and cafeterias. Even if you only spend five dollars a day on lunch, it will add up to $100 a month. Of course, you can't buy many healthy and filling lunches for five dollars, so realistically you are spending close to $200 a month on lunches. Save some money and make your lunches at home before you leave for work. If you don't have time to make lunch in the  morning, pack it the night before so it's ready to go when you are. Some great ideas for home-made lunches are:

  • Pre-frozen dishes like lasagna, pasta noodles, stir fry, butter chicken or chili
  • Soups
  • Sandwiches or wraps
  • Salads (tossed, spinach, chef's)
  • Fruit salad or fresh fruit
  • Granola bars

Also in the "take-out" category is your morning coffee. Do you buy at least one coffee a day? If you spend two dollars on a regular coffee, you are spending around $40 a month or $80 if you have two coffees a day. Fancy coffee drinks, like flavored lattes, often run about five dollars each or $100 a month. Enjoy two lattes a day and spend $200 a month! Try making some coffee at home and bringing the first cup with you in the morning. If your office has a coffee machine, go for the free option before buying one at the local coffee shop. If you really love your latte coffees, treat yourself to one every second day or once a week. Not only will cutting down on lattes help your pocketbook, they will also reduce your calorie consumption!

Save Money and Reduce Expenses Tip # 2: Grocery Shopping

Of course, you also need to buy groceries in order to eat everyday. You can save money when grocery shopping by following a few simple rules:

  • Make a list of items that you need and mark off those that you would "like" to have, but aren't absolutely essential.
  • Stick to your list when shopping; if you have extra money left over you can buy the items that you would "like" to have.
  • Avoid convenience foods like pre-frozen pasta dishes and TV dinners. With some planning and preparation and some freezer-proof containers, you can make your own dishes and freeze them in smaller portions.
  • Compare prices from local stores and see who has sales and specials being offered. 
  • Join store's newsletter campaigns to have access to special coupons.
  • Look in newspapers and other paper publications for coupons and specials to save some money.

Save Money and Cut Down on Expenses Tip # 3: Entertainment

Going out is often costly and can add up if you go out often. Whether you go to the movies, the nightclubs, out to restaurants or even joining a dart-league, your extra money will begin decreasing the more you partake in these events. Staying home and renting movies will also begin to add up with movies being roughly five dollars each.

Consider the following tips to still have fun but save some money:

  • If your television provider offers free movies, go for it.
  • Netflix is another option for a large selection of movies and TV shows for a low monthly fee.
  • Invite friends over to play board games or Wii games. Ask everyone to bring a food dish or snacks so you aren't shelling out to feed everyone.

Save Money and Reduce Expenses: Bank Statements

Every month you should review your bank statement. You can manually review it or create simple spreadsheet in Excel. Reviewing your bank statements will help you:

  1. Identify any expenses that may not be necessary.
  2. Ensure you are not the victim of bank theft or fraud.
  3. Ensures you are not paying extra for any services you don't need or paying higher interest.

If you find you have many credit cards and are paying quite a bit of interest, speak with a financial consultant to see how you can consolidate and pay back your debt quickly.

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