Budgeting & Savings

Cutting small expenses equals big savings

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The little things can really add up. Have you ever heard of the “Latte Effect”? It’s what some personal finance guru’s call unnecessary daily spending. Meaning you can save “X” amount of dollars per year by skipping you’re daily latte, cigarettes, bottled water, etc.

Sometimes we forget to add the small expenditures into our budgets because “it’s only $2.50, come on!” but that $2.50 a day for coffee adds up to be $840.00 a year. Who couldn’t use an extra $840.00? We are going to share some tips and ideas that will help by cutting the small expenses and help save you money.

Ways to decrease expenses and save

  1. Ask your utility company to perform an energy audit of your home to show how to save energy consumption and cut down your monthly bills.
  2. Set the water heater to the lowest acceptable temperature (approx. 140°).
  3. Eliminate premium cable and extra phone services or long distance. Look into Skype or VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) to save money when calling out of the country.
  4. Comparison shop for insurance and ask how to receive special discounts and save money.
  5. When shopping for food, look for advertised store specials or buy the generic brand. Never shop for food on an empty stomach. You’ll end up spending anywhere from 10-25% more.
  6. Avoid costly convenience stores and convenience foods. The vending machine at work is also a good thing to avoid.
  7. Use coupons and rebates when shopping for anything. Look online for Promo codes or deals. You can also sign up for coupon sites like Groupon, Living Social and Google Offers.
  8. Drink water, iced tea, hot tea or drink mixes instead of more expensive beverages, i.e. soda, energy drinks, cappuccinos.
  9. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about generic equivalents for your prescription drugs.
  10. Browse clothing thrift shops and consignment shops for your clothing and other items. Even if it’s just for accessories like belts, scarves and hats.
  11. Cut back on expensive gifts; shop year round at sales to stock up on holiday, baby shower, wedding and birthday gifts.
  12. Discover great “finds” at yard sales and garage sales, but check the items carefully and stick to things you need, not things you want.

There are many ways to cut back on the small things and save money. You have to find what works best for you. Understanding the difference between a “need” and a “want” is the first step. It’s all about making smart financial decisions that will save you money. We hope that these tips and ideas can help you in the future.

Let us know how you save money on the little things or if there’s something you don’t buy anymore because it’s an unwanted expense. We’d love to hear from you!

Author: Lauralynn Mangis
Lauralynn is the Online Marketing Specialist for Advantage CCS. She is married and has two young daughters. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, cooking, video games, sewing, and gardening. Lauralynn has a degree in Multimedia Technologies from Pittsburgh Technical College.

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