Save Over $500 A Month By Doing These 6 Things
There are so many sneaky ways that money gets spent without us even noticing. By paying more attention to your daily habits and making simple changes, you may be able to see an increase in your bank account each month without having to sacrifice too much. Simple changes can equal big results. Check out MBG's 6 recommendations for keeping your hard earned money.
Ditch Cable TV
More and more people are ditching their cable for new ways of viewing their favorite shows. Research has shown that the average cable bill in the U.S. is currently $99 a month - a rise of 8 percent each year since 2010. And let's be honest, do you really need 600 channels? Absolutely not. You can still Keep Up With The Kardashians and The Real Housewives by saying goodbye to cable and hello to streaming devices, such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku.
Estimated savings: $100/month
Drink More Water
Feeling hungry? Feeling sluggish? Perhaps you're dehydrated and simply need water. Always keep a water bottle handy to prevent you from spending money on mid-afternoon coffees ($4.00 latte anyone?) and snacks when you simply need to rehydrate. Not only will you feel more energized, but you'll save from frivolous spending.
Estimated savings: $20-$40/month
Learn How To Cook
Simply put, cooking is becoming a lost art. The average price for dinner for two at a mid-priced restaurant is $45.00 - do this a couple times a week and you're already looking at $100 + including tip. And what about take-out food? Services like Grubhub and Seamless are great but can drain your wallet if used too often. According to a 2012 article from MSN.com, Americans were spending an average of 4.5 percent of their income on eating out. Get back to basics and eat out only on special occasions - stop making it part of your weekly routine.
Estimated savings: $250/month
Only Shop Organic For The Dirty Dozen
There is simply no need to buy organic mustard or organic paper towels. Sadly, the food industry has marketed the word 'organic' to signify the be-all-end-all of nourishment. Furthermore, anything labeled 'organic' comes at a premium price, and not everything labeled 'organic' is 100% organic. A recent article on Forbes.com states, "USDA’s organic seal is an endorsement that 'nudges' consumers toward irrationality - the purchase of organic products (food, bed linens, pillows, etc.) at markedly inflated prices and without evidence of palpable benefits." While eating organic does have significant benefits, not everything you buy has to be organic. Use our cheat sheet below for the 12 most important foods you should be buying organic and the 12 that you shouldn't.
Estimated savings: $50/month
The "fast fashion" industry is growing bigger and bigger each year. Stores like Forever 21, H&M and Zara fill the need for the instant gratification of trendy and cheap clothing. As such, fair and safe labor practices, environmental sustainability and product quality are severely compromised. "Fast fashion" and e-commerce have presented people with more shopping choices than ever before, in turn causing more waste as more and more clothes are being discarded for new items. In fact, the average U.S. citizen tosses around 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles a year. Not only is consignment shopping extremely budget friendly, but it's also great for the environment. Consignment shopping is becoming so popular that you can score an entire designer wardrobe for a fraction of the cost. Online shops like ThredUp, Swap and Tradesy will have you looking amazing without the high price tag. Bonus, sell your "pre-loved" clothes to these sites to make some extra money.
Estimated savings: $50/month
Unsubscribe From Shopping E-mail lists
The temptation is real. When I get an e-mail from my favorite store that everything is 75% off with free shipping, it's hard not to put things in my shopping cart. Before you know it, I've received a promo code for an additional 10% off and now I have 15 items in my shopping cart that I don't really need. Yes, I WANT them, but I don't NEED them. Do yourself a favor and unsubscribe from all store e-mails. You can still be privy to great deals by using Honey - a browser extension that automatically finds and applies coupon codes when you shop online.
Estimated savings: $75/month