The holiday season can be very expensive. From extravagant feasts with family and friends to Christmas and Hanukkah gifts, your money goes quickly over the holidays. When you have big expenses like the holidays you are likely to notice the results in your bank account. But how about those small daily costs, are you as aware of those?
You may not want to cut back on your holiday traditions but there are some ways you can cut back on daily and monthly spending that will help you save year round. These 5 tips will help you cut back on spending that you won’t even notice. You can use the money you save to put toward the next holiday season or save for something big like investing in a new home.
Decrease you grocery bill – There is a startling fact that in the U.S. we waste between 30-40% of our food. This means that a large amount of the food bought by the average family goes uneaten. If this is happening in your home it’s time to make a change. Meal planning, resisting impulse purchases and avoiding extra shopping trips are all great tools to prevent overspending on food you won’t end up eating.
Monthly services and subscriptions – If it’s been months since you’ve had time to stream a movie on Netflix, it’s time to put your subscription on hold. These small monthly charges may not make a big dent in your bank account but if you subscribe to several things every month, this can quickly add up. Monthly subscriptions are very popular right now so if you receive anything monthly that you don’t have time to read or use, it’s time to cancel and save that money for something else.
Pay your bills on time – Getting organized to avoid making any late payments can save you money in monthly bank fees. Paying your credit card or your mortgage late can incur a hefty late fee and if you are getting a couple a month it can really add up. Set up reminders or recurring payments for bills that are the same amount every month.
Know your weakness – Understanding what triggers your spending impulse can help you keep it in check. How many times have you walked into the store for toothpaste and walked back out with a cart full of extras. Pay attention to this spending habit. The more you organize your shopping trips the less likely you are to get out of control.
Track your spending – There are a number of options for apps that will help you keep your eyes on your budgets and your spending. Mint allows you to track budgets and spending and Digit helps you track spending and lets you make weekly transfers into your savings account.
Budget tracking is important no matter what your financial goals are but it becomes especially important when you are looking to buy a home. The ability to afford your mortgage payment will involve the ability to stick to a budget and make wise financial choices every month. Doing this will even give you the opportunity to splurge a little over the holidays!