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If you want to know how to start saving money today, you should definitely make these 9 lifestyle changes to save money.
These money saving tips I’m going to share with you have helped me through some tough times of financial hardship.
I’ve done them for so long now that they’ve become habits and a part of my daily lifestyle.
With these simple lifestyle changes I can now save enough money every day to equal up to hundreds of dollars every month.
Now, I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a financial guru. But there is somewhat of an art to saving money.
And I have learned quite a few money saving tricks and ways to cut expenses during my adult life that allow me to live pretty happily if I do say so myself.
They’re pretty simple, actually.
You might have thought of them before, but never acted on the thought or never followed through out of overwhelm.
But once you realize how much money you can actually save…
Well, I’m sure you will be happy to make these changes.
You might also like: 5 Changes That Will Simplify Your Life
FIRST, A LITTLE MONEY SAVING PEP TALK
If you’ve been unable to save money in the past, it can seem like a challenge you’ll never win.
Trust me, I know…
But you’re here. And that means you not only want to save money, but you NEED to save money.
So now is the time to suck it up and go on a financial diet. Because saving money is important!
It’s important for your future, for your mental health, and it’s important for your family’s overall well-being.
Now let’s jump in.
9 LIFESTYLE CHANGES THAT WILL SAVE YOU HUNDREDS EVERY MONTH
Before we go through the list of these simple lifestyle changes to save money, I want to preface this by saying that I can’t guarantee YOU will save hundreds every month.
YOU have to do the work and make the changes to see results. And obviously, every family’s financial situation is different.
You could save more or you could save less. It’s totally up to you and what changes you’re willing to make.
What I can promise, however, is that if you make the changes and stick with them, you will have the knowledge to save money for the long term.
#1 – DINE AT HOME & AVOID TAKEOUT
Cooking meals at home can save you so much money. Especially with a big family.
I know that cooking your own meals might feel like an added strain when you work all day, but the money savings is worth it.
I typically cook dinner 4-5 nights each week, sometimes more. So over the years, I’ve collected some go-to recipes that are quick, easy and the whole family enjoys.
Here’s how cooking dinner at home helps our family save big:
We typically spend $100 a week on groceries for a family of 5. That’s dinner, snacks and lunches.
Most weeks, we will dine in a restaurant once and get takeout once to give me a break from cooking and so everyone doesn’t get burnt out on the same things.
Getting fast food, we spend an average of $35 each time.
If we actually dine in at a non-fast food restaurant we spend an average of $60 each outing.
Total, that’s $195 a week in food, equaling $780 a month.
So if we ate out each night of the week, 5 times fast food and 2 times dining, we would spend around $295 a week.
That’s almost $1200 a month in food.
Total savings for the month = $400.
Looking at our habits and totals, you can see how this could work for your family. If you need to save more money, you could cut eating out altogether.
#2 – MEAL PLAN WEEKLY
Meal planning weekly will help you to save even more money when you’re eating all your meals at home.
Since I’ve started meal planning, I am able to make one big grocery list for the week and only grocery shop once a week.
Meal planning to save money keeps me from stopping by the grocery store on the way home from work each day.
And staying out of the grocery store keeps me from buying all the things I don’t need.
Not to mention, it makes eating at home so much easier when you have everything already planned out.
INSERT EASY MEAL PLANNING SOLUTIONS
I know the thought of learning to meal plan is probably overwhelming.
I mean, there is already so much to do in so little time. Work, school, after school practice, laundry, homework.
So if you really want to save money but are scared to add something else to your list of things to do, here is your solution.
#1. THE $5 MEAL PLAN
With the $5 Meal Plan you get a delicious meal plan weekly where every meal will cost about $2 per person, and in most cases less.
Each meal plan also comes with a grocery list, so it makes things even easier. And it’s only $5 a month.
Anything that saves me time and money is a no-brainer for me.
If you want to upscale your meal planning and save even more time, this freezer meal planning option is the best choice for you.
With freezer cooking and prep-ahead meals, you end up saving money with the budget friendly recipes, but you also save tons of time, cut down on food waste and free up some mental space from the burden of the “What’s For Dinner” fight that can happen every night.
With MyFreezEasy you’ll have 10 to 12 meals prepared and stocked in your freezer in less than one hour.
#3 – PACK YOUR LUNCH DAILY
This simple lifestyle change to save money is so easy. But so many of us neglect to take the time to actually do it.
The problem is, you’ve been in the habit of going out at lunch to grab whatever you’re craving.
What will it take to fix this?
The simple solution is, when you’re meal planning dinner for the week, go ahead and decide what you’ll be taking for lunch this week.
Having something available and ready to grab as you head out the door will keep you from feeling overwhelmed in the mornings.
#4 – DON’T BE AFRAID OF STORE BRANDS
Buying store brand or generic products is a money saving tip that not everyone is thrilled to jump on board with.
My husband, for instance, took some convincing.
For some reason, I’m guessing the in-your-face advertisements, the majority of the population think brand name is best.
That’s just not the case for everything.
I do have a name brand preference for some things, like my Coke Zero and Always Radiant feminine pads.
Yes, you read that right. lol
But there are many other things that I prefer generic, like pop-tarts. Mmm… pop-tarts!
It’s really all about taste and preference.
Just do me a favor and try a few generic products that you usually buy name brand. I’m sure you’ll find some great alternatives.
#5 – WAKE UP 30 MINUTES EARLIER EVERY DAY
You might be wondering how waking up earlier is going to save you money.
- You will have extra time to pack your lunch, so no excuses to eat out for lunch.
- You can make your coffee at home, avoid the $6 latte at Starbucks and actually have time to enjoy it.
- Waking up earlier will give you more time to get to work, so you don’t have to be pedal to the metal all the way to the office burning up that new tank of gas.
- You’ll also have time to eat a healthy breakfast, which means no stopping on the way to work and no overeating at lunch because you skipped breakfast.
I’m telling you, 30 minutes can really make a difference.
#6 – STICK TO CASH ONLY SPENDING
Practicing the cash only method to save money will take a little preparation, but it’s really simple.
Hide your credit cards, keep your debit card for emergency only use and put your cash into labeled envelopes. For instance, groceries, gas and household expenses.
Obviously you will need to know about how much you typically spend vs how much you want to spend each month or week on different expenses.
Put only that amount into each envelope and only spend that for the week or month.
#7 – START TRACKING YOUR EXPENSES
Tracking your expenses will open your eyes to frivolous spending habits and help you stick to the cash only method.
Before we started tracking our monthly expenses, we were watching all kinds of money fly out the window and were oblivious to it.
By tracking your monthly expenses, you will catch fluctuations in utility, cable and phone bills. And you will probably be surprised by how much all the little things add up so quickly.
If you want an easy way to track your expenses and manage your finances all in one place, you have got to check out the Empower Finance App.
Empower is an all-in-one app that connects all of your financial accounts in one place and tracks all of your spending habits.
It gives alerts regarding your spending habits and even provides you with suggestions on how to save money.
It tracks your credit utilization, can cancel unwanted subscriptions you never get around to doing and will even look for lower rates for you.
The app used to be free, but since it’s grown it’s now free for the first 30 days and $6 a month after. But $6 is a typical fee for any bank account. And did I mention you can earn cash back with this one?!
#8 – INVEST IN A QUALITY WATER BOTTLE
If you drink water like I do, then buying a quality water bottle is a quick money saving hack.
I really try to stick to the “half your body weight in oz of water every day” rule.
For me that’s about 80 oz of water every day, which is 5 bottles of water.
With our entire household drinking bottled water every day, we can go through a case of water a day.
I’m sure you can see how that adds up.
Wanna know which water bottle is my favorite? Check it out here.
#9 – INVEST IN EDUCATION – KNOWLEDGE IS KING
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Knowledge is power?”
That’s because knowing how to do something yourself keeps you from being dependent on others.
And, in this case, learning how to manage your finances and budget your monthly expenses to income, will help you save more money so you can be financially free.
If getting control of your finances is something you want to do, and it should be if we’re being honest, then let me suggest you check out CarolineVencil.com.
Caroline provides some super awesome and super simple financial tips to help you save more money. She’s even giving away a free money saving workbook for those that sign up to her email list.
LET’S RECAP THE 9 LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO SAVE MONEY STARTING TODAY
So, to save the most money every month, here’s what you need to do:
- Eat at home as much as possible
- Meal plan every week
- Pack your lunch
- Opt for store brands
- Wake up at least 30 minutes earlier
- Stick to the cash only method
- Track your expenses
- Invest in a good water bottle
- Invest in your financial education
Remember, these money saving tips are only as good as the effort you put into making them happen. I’m excited for you to put them to use and take back control of your financial situation!
Want more money saving tips?
Try these 11 Ways to Cut Household Spending.