The words “simple” and “budgeting” often don’t get along all that well. We tend to look at saving money as an insurmountable task, a climb that we convince ourselves we can’t make.
In actuality, we’re just not looking hard enough.
Your budget can be manipulated any way you see fit, a real plus for budgeting in general. We tend to forget that we’re in control of our own finances and how we spend money or where our money goes is dictated by us, so we only can point that blame of finger inwardly when you talk about why you can’t save.
The truth is there are plenty of ways to save money, most of which being a little more crafty and creative, without actually having to sacrificing having those same services or products but rather just putting a different, money saving skew on it.
Think first, about restaurant dining, specifically how often you do it versus cooking or preparing meals at home (preparing will be the most important element of how you eat and save money simultaneously).
If you eat lunch and dinner out three times per week on average, you’ll spend close to $3,000 on food. That staggering number is only eating out on a semi regular basis, less than half the time during the entire week. The biggest difficulty most face when it comes to eating out at restaurants versus making food at home is the convenience, as the prospect of cooking at night after work can be unattractive, so the cycle continues with dinner ordered in and then nothing in the fridge for lunch (or even the idea of preparing it seems just as annoying as making dinner).
And thus you’re a few thousand dollars lighter as a result.
In addition to saving thousands on cooking at home and actually preparing foods the night before or making it a point to have lunch packed before bed, you’ll also want to save money on something else right in front of your face.
Or, in this case, just under your nose.
The average landscaper charges around $75 to cut your lawn, so if he’s doing it twice per month over the course of six months between spring and fall, you’re going to spend almost a thousand dollars for their time and effort. Consider that when you balk at a self propelled push mower for a few hundred, and realize that purchase up front pays for itself in a month.
Budgeting can be hard if you want it to be, and that simply means not thinking about ways to save money on the every day comings and goings of your life, most of which you could handle yourself and save money in the process.
Previous: End of Daze: How to put stop to bad money habits Next: Broken Downer: What not to do when you’re flat broke