10 Small and Easy Sacrifices to Help you Save Now

10 Small and Easy Sacrifices to Help you Save Now

Written by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated July 14, 2014

Saving money is often seen as an inconvenience and therefore is almost always put off or ignored completely. Even though saving money can be one of the most difficult things to start, it’s also something that everyone one, no matter their financial situation, should be doing. One of the best ways to start saving now is to cut back on your spending by making a few easy sacrifices. Here are 10 small but effective sacrifices to help you start saving now.

1. Beverages

We all love our morning coffees and they’re often an important part of our morning routines. But stopping at your favourite local coffee stop every day or even 2 or 3 times a week could be one of the biggest reasons why you’re having so much trouble saving your money. Make it a point to make your coffee at home 7 days a week and you’ll start to see the difference very quickly. Coffee is not the only beverage that you could be spending your savings on, cut back on bottled water and soda and your savings will start to grow.

2. Take Out and Eating Out

Just like getting your morning coffee from a coffee shop is costing you your savings, constantly going out for meals and ordering in is doing the same. The convenience of picking up lunch at a restaurant close to your work and ordering in supper is undeniable, but the cost is also undeniable. Packing a lunch to take to work and creating a week day meal plan are two of most financially responsible things you can do. If you love going out on the weekends with your friends but are trying to save your money, invite them all over to your place and ask everyone to bring something. This way everyone will be saving some money and you might even start a new tradition.

3. Meat

Meat is expensive and if you’re not careful can spoil very quickly, which is then a complete waste of your money. If you don’t want to completely cut out meat from your diet at least try to cut back a bit, you could start a meatless Monday tradition among your friends and family.

4. Cheese

Meat may be expensive but it’s nothing compared to the price of cheese. Cheese is definitely a food product that no one wants to give up, but if you do you’ll be able to notice the savings on your grocery bill and the extra money in your bank account right away.

5. Name brands

Name brand products are almost always more alluring than their generic counterparts, but with the extra marketing the packaging comes the extra cost. Almost all stores have their own store brand line of products which are significantly less expensive than the name brand products. If you’re still not convinced check out the ingredients on the packing, they’re probably identical.

6. Magazines

With so much content online these days magazines can sometimes be redundant. Plus, do you ever really read an entire magazine cover to cover? Try not to pick up a magazine every time you’re waiting in the checkout line and only buy the ones you know you’ll read as a treat once and a while.

7. Gum

If you’re always buying a new pack of gum just because and then losing it a couple of days later then you should think about curbing that habit. One pack of gum might not cost that much but if you buy a couple packs a week every single week of the year, the cost will definitely start to add up.

8. Heating and Air Conditioning

Heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer are obviously, depending on where you live, necessities. But what is not necessary is constantly running them even when you’re not at home. Set you heater or air conditioner to automatically go off once you leave in the morning, this will definitely help you start to save money.

9. Birthday Cards

Buying cards for your family and friends is a great way to show them that you’re thinking of them on a special day, but the cost of cards can sometimes be astronomical. Spending $5 or more on a generic message is a great way to throw away money that you could otherwise be saving. Buying less expensive blank cards and writing your own personalized messages is a better option.

10. Cleaning Products

Obviously some cleaning products are necessary but why not do some research and see if you can save some money by making an all-purpose cleaner for your floors or bathroom and save the $10 you would have spent on a fancy brand name product.

If you think smart and start making small changes in your life style and spending habits, saving money doesn’t have to be such a huge inconvenience. Small cut backs and sacrifices are the best ways to help you achieve your savings and budgeting goals. Make the sacrifices that work best for you and your financial situation.

Caitlin is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security. One of the main ways she’s built good financial habits is by budgeting and tracking her spending through the YNAB budgeting app. She also automates her savings so she never forgets to put aside a portion of her income into her TFSA. She believes investing and passive income is key to earning financial freedom. She also uses her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect Aeroplan points so that she can save money when she travels.

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