Feb 5, 2015 Fifteen Ways to Save Money Fast (Part 1)

There are infinite life changes that can help you save money, but here are a few of the easiest. These fifteen tips and tricks will help keep your wallet fat and happy.

1. Learn to Make Starbucks at Home
Whether you learned the habit in college, from parents, or at the office, a warm morning drink is an American stereotype. Rather than continuing the habit of paying $4.00 at Starbucks every morning, give a homemade brew a shot. Not only will you save an exponential amount of money each day, but a nice warm drink being just a few steps away will motivate you to get out of bed in the morning.

2. Unplug Chargers When Not in Use
The fact that you are not using a charger does not mean it has stopped consuming energy. A bad habit of modern society is to leave phone, tablet, and laptop chargers plugged in when not in use. The trouble with this is that these chargers are using the same amount of energy, regardless of whether or not they are being used. These “phantoms” or “vampires” will quickly suck the money out of your paycheck if not watched carefully.

3. Carpool When Possible
Whether this be for family dinners, the morning commute, or shuttling the kids to soccer practice, the savings from carpooling will quickly add up. If a neighbor frequently makes trips to the same grocery store or school, discuss alternating who will drive. If a coworker lives close by, commute together when working the same shift. If reliable, give public transportation a try, as it can be a great way to network or simply switch up your routine. The money you save in gas will make it worth any time it takes to schedule new routines.

4. Plan Meals One Week at a Time
This tip falls under the category of “listing,” which anyone serious about watching their budget is sure to become acquainted with. At the end of each week, sit down and plan your meals for the next week. Once you have completed your schedule, compile a list of all of the necessary ingredients. Finally, plan your shopping trip for a time when you will feel slightly rushed, giving you less time to wander down junk food isles. Ideally, these practices will lead you to buy only the required quantity of the necessities.
5. Have a Weekly/Monthly Budget for Dining Out
One of the easiest ways to lose money is to make a habit of dining out. Whether you don’t have the time or cooking skills, there always seems to be some excuse to validate this habit. If this is actually the case, opt for simpler, easier meals such as soups or casseroles. In addition to consciously trying to eat in more often, you should create a budget as to how much money you will spend each week or month on dining out. This will not only increase your awareness of how much money you are spending on dining out, but also provide a cap to this bad habit.
It is important to note, however, that in some instances eating out serves as a great networking opportunity. Should you find yourself frequently eating out with coworkers and clients, know that it is acceptable to occasionally turn down an invite, and try pitching your own idea for a more economical place to eat.

Stay tuned for parts two and three for more incredibly easy ways to save!

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