In the summer it can be easy to splurge on a few extra nights out at a good patio with friends, take an extra long vacation, or enjoy a number of walks to the ice cream shop to indulge in your favourite flavour when the mercury rises. As everyone gets ready for September, whether it’s for back to school or back to the usual work grind it seems like a natural time to form, or reinstate some good financial habits. These habits can either help you build on your down payment for a house, work off your existing mortgage, or get ready for that renovation you’ve been dreaming of.
Here are 8 small manageable tips to help you save money, in the spirit of back to school:
1. Pack a lunch
A 2015 Visa survey found the average working American spends $53 a week on lunches. That’s nearly $3,000 a year! You don’t need to brown bag it every day, but by packing your lunch just three days a week you can save literally 1K or more each year, plus odds are you’ll be eating a little bit healthier.
2. Go for a walk at lunch
Many people go to the mall or hit up online shopping on their lunch breaks. While the weather is still nice, stretch those legs instead of your wallet.
3. Move bank accounts
If you’re paying large amounts of money for banking with someone each and every month, maybe it’s time to research an account with no fees for accounts that hold a certain balance, or at least negotiate slightly lower fees.
4. Plan out your meals
Write a list before you go to the grocery store that allows you to plan out your meals and snacks. Stick to the list and you’ll save a lot of money on impulse items that you don’t really need.
5. Drink more water
Buy yourself a reusable bottle and get chugging. Not only is sipping on water good for you, it’s much cheaper than spending money on sugary drinks that will have you drinking your calories instead of eating them
6. Make big batches of a meal and save it later
Double your soup recipe and freeze half of it for lunches or an easy dinner when you’re strapped for time. Making use of great casserole and crock pot recipes are a way to maximize your time and money. When you buy a bigger supply of ingredients in bulk amounts you’ll end up saving money.
7. Swap Books, DVDs and music with friends
This way everyone else gets to enjoy the latest movie and save some cash. Alternately go visit your local library and take out some media you’re sure to enjoy.
8. Avoid Stress spending
This is easier said than done, but consider waiting 30 days before splurging on that item “you have to have”. If you still want it after 30 days go for it. If not, look at all the money you saved!