BOSTON (CBS) – Google “Ways to Save Money” and voila 349 million articles appear. Too many to read in an evening! Some even have some new ideas which is always helpful. Do check them out.
Review your budget. Spend some time figuring out how you spend your money and where you spend your money. What happens to the discretionary money in your budget? The money left over after you have paid your necessities like the rent, electric and health insurance. Why is your credit card bill so high? Review it. That alone is an eye opener!
Most people equate saving with some sort of deprivation. If I give up eating out and having fun I can save money. If you deprive yourself of all of the fun stuff in life you will never stick to a savings plan.
So if you pack your lunch for work and your co-workers eat out every day you are feeling deprived and may even be missing out on some important office conversation. If having lunch with your co-workers is really important, have lunch with them. Suggest inexpensive places. Suggest take out in the break room and then you can bring in your lunch.
If you are eating lunch out every day cut back on the dinners out. Make it a treat, not routine. Take some cooking classes and cook over the weekend so you have leftovers to reheat all week. Invite friends to a potluck supper so you are not doing all of the cooking.
Find ways to head out to dinner on the cheap. Use coupons, sign up for restaurants e-mail clubs, try the early bird specials. I have found some restaurants that consider you an early bird if you are seated before 6 pm. That’s a reasonable hour to eat dinner. If you want to make it an evening with your friends invite them back to your place for dessert.