Looking back on my bank statements, I’m realizing I’ve been overspending in certain areas, so I’m making the resolution to be smarter about my money in 2015. The good news is, I’m quickly finding that I don’t have to go to much trouble to keep more green in my wallet. Check out these easy ways to save money this year:
1. Buy in bulk
Buying food in bulk is a great way to save yourself some money at the grocery store. Stock up on items you use the most, like cereal, frozen fruit or granola bars. You can always freeze items so they’ll keep for a long period of time. Of course, food isn’t the only thing you can buy in bulk.
Stock up on birthday cards, thank you cards and congratulations cards for the new year by purchasing an assortment pack. Having these cards at home will ensure you never have to run out to the store last-minute when you forget to send a friend a birthday card.
2. Update your light bulbs
Make the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs throughout your home. It costs about $22 per year to run a traditional incandescent light bulb. But if you make the switch to an LED bulb, you would only be spending about $4 per year, a huge improvement in savings. And for an added bonus, the LED varieties last longer as well. A traditional bulb lasts approximately 1,000 hours, while the energy-efficient alternative can last up to 10,000 hours.
3. Turn off appliances
I’ll be honest, I’ve been guilty of turning on the TV and then leaving the room a few minutes later. Having your TV on as background noise or leaving it on all day can end up costing you lots of money. The same goes for lights. If you’re leaving a room or heading out of the house for the rest of the evening, turn them off. Soon, it will become a habit.
4. Adjust your thermostat
Lowering your thermostat by a few degrees whenever you leave the house or go to bed can end up saving you money on your energy bill each month. You likely won’t notice that change in temperature, but your wallet certainly will.
5. Bring your lunch to work
I know how tempting it can be to go out to lunch every day. It’s easy, and you don’t have to worry about getting up earlier to make a lunch. However, by bringing your own lunch, you can save about $720 per year, according to Kiplinger. Imagine what you could be spending that money on instead.
6. Track what you spend
You won’t truly realize exactly what you spend your money on until you keep track of your expenses for a month or so. When you write down what you’re buying each month, you may experience some financial clarity. For instance, I didn’t realize quite how much I was spending per month on coffee until I took the time to track my purchases. To save some money, I now rely more on my coffee maker for my morning cup of joe.
7. Divide your paycheck
When you get your paycheck, it can be easy to overspend because of how much money is now in your bank account. Prevent yourself from overspending by dividing up your paycheck. Designate a certain amount to go directly into your savings account so you can watch your finances accumulate (a very good feeling, I might add). When it goes directly into your savings, you may be less inclined to spend it.