We all know it’s hard to save money. For some of us, it seems like as soon as we have money, we spend it. “It’s payday!” becomes a euphemism for “Let’s go blow all our money!” But it doesn’t have to be like this. If you really put your mind to it, you can save up $1,000 easier than you might expect.
Cut Out Luxury Expenses
When you need to save money fast, the first things that should go are luxuries. You may think you need Starbucks every morning in order to be a productive worker, but you’ll be surprised at how you can adapt. Instead of buying your coffee pre-made, take the time to brew a pot in the morning, or, if you’re really lazy, use instant coffee. You’ll easily watch the savings pile up. If you skip out on buying a $5 coffee every weekday morning, you’re looking at about $100 in a month and over $1,000 over the course of the entire year.
Lower Your Bills
Are you auto-paying your bills straight out of your bank account each month like an affluent zombie? Not so fast: with a little poking around, you could be spending a lot less for the same services you already enjoy. First, call your cable company or internet provider and ask about their newest special offers for your region; even if you save just $5 a month, that’s $60 over the course of the whole year. Check for lower-priced options from your utility providers, phone company and even your local gym. Companies will actually jump through a lot of hoops to keep your business.
Buy Used Items Instead of New
We all know about used cars and used clothes, but what else can you get secondhand? A lot, actually. Look for computer software licenses for resale on eBay. If you need kitchen implements, check thrift shops and friends’ attics; you can get outdated—but still functional—appliances for prices sometimes in the single digits. Craigslist is a great place to buy used goods, anything from furniture to gym equipment. Just use common sense about the state of the items you choose to bring into your home.
Limit Dining Out
Dining out is a tough luxury to let go of as many of us view it as a necessity. Who honestly feels like actually trying to cook something decent after a long and exhausting day of work? If you’re having a really tough time limiting your eating out, give yourself an ultimatum. You have one night a week to dine out. Will you spend that night on Monday evening when the week has just started or Thursday evening when you’re despairingly exhausted? This is a great way to save money you would have otherwise wasted on overpriced soda, tips and the pleasure of eating dinner next to the table with a crying child.
Stop Loaning Money to Your Friends
You love your friends dearly, but money is divisive by nature. Do you really want it to jeopardize your friendships? Unless you are content with playing the role of due collector, leave the loans to the professionals.