"Resolve" to Stop Wasting Money
The New Year is the perfect time to take a look at your spending habits and "resolve" to avoid wasting money where you don't have to. Here are some main areas that many of us waste money unnecessarily...and some simple steps to ensure a bright financial 2010.
Meals at the Workplace
Working Americans spend an average of $6 when they buy their lunch at work. The average cost drops to $2 when we bring our lunch from home. That's a difference of $4 a day, or $20 a week, or over $1,000 a year. Consider adding this savings to your savings account, and after just a few months you'll really see the difference add up.
Utilize the Public Library
By obtaining a library card, you can save on books, magazines, and especially DVD rentals. If you average 3 DVD rentals a month, you're spending approximately $144 a year. That's $144 that could be deposited into your bank account. For every book you check out, find out what it would have cost if you'd bought it. Deposit that amount into your account, too.
Don't be Afraid to Ask for Discounts
If you're paying bills or buying items such as airline tickets based solely on the price you're quoted, you could be wasting money. Many companies provide discounts on goods and services but only for those customers who request them. It never hurts to ask so start asking.
Consult the owner's manual of your car and learn about the manufacturer's recommendations for optimal gas mileage. Put the suggestions into action and see what happens. After a month, you should be able to see if you're spending less on fuel. Take the savings and stash it away.
Sell Your Junk
Come Springtime, go through your closets, garage, and CD collection. Figure out which items you no longer use. You can either hold a garage sale or locate stores which buy and sell used merchandise, and sell the items to them.
Do Away with Disposable
From razors and batteries to paper towels and plastic bags, your home is filled with products which are meant to be thrown away. Most of these disposable items have either a permanent or semi-disposable counterpart. Switching over to these more durable items can yield a savings of $4 a week or $200 a year.
Get the Most Out of Your Utilities
Many of us are overspending on our utility bills for no other reason than our own apathy. If you haven't already switched over to low-flow shower heads and toilets it's probably time to do so. Also, get into the habit of turning off lights when not in use. Did you know that most utility companies offer a free online energy audit? This way you can see exactly where you're wasting money.
Here's to a bright financial future in 2010!