Where to Cut on your Budget and Where to Splurge

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Cut

Lunch out: Consistently eating lunch outside not only puts a huge dent on your wallet but your overall health also. You are spending about $1820 per year if say your average lunches cost about $7 and you eat out 5 days of the week; this is if your lunch actually costs this low – which chances are it does not. It is best to rely on home-cooked meals; leftovers can actually be a great friend! We understand that restaurant food can be amazing – but think of how much you would appreciate if you were to not have it all the time.

Coffee from Starbucks: $4+ on coffee every day or even a few times a week is insanity. Most of their Lattes and Frappuccinos contain 20-50 grams of sugar so ingesting them consistently in your body is ill-advised.

Electricity: Having multiple electronic devices running at the same time is just bad policy; it makes no sense to have a TV running while using the computer. Also, it may be in your interest to upgrade really old appliances as newer ones are significantly more energy efficient; not exactly a necessity, but can be a great investment in the long run.

Home Entertainment: It is quite important to evaluate your TV, phone, and internet plans every year or so; technology changes quite quickly and you may be paying more for the services you have. Observe the channels you watch and see if you’re actually getting the best out of your high end package; if your favorite shows are on Hulu or Netflix, then it just makes sense to pay for such services rather than a huge TV plan. It can also work in your favor to package all three services from one provider; interestingly, even if you don’t use landline, sometimes having it in your plan saves you money. Don’t hesitate to switch to a different provider; don’t let comfort stop you from saving. Sometimes, providers offer limited offers – like free channels for x amount of months – if you tell them you intend on terminating their services.

Shopping full price: We understand that people LOVE buying expensive branded items. However buying them at full price is not the best time to get them. Everything drops in value over a matter of few things – EVERYTHING! So be patient and look for holidays or sale events to get better deals. Also, instead of shopping at the mall, try out outlet stores as they tend to have discounted prices. Lastly, never hesitate to use coupons – they are made for you to use!

Groceries: The trick for a successful grocery trip is to make a budget and then a list – but of course also sticking to it. It is encouraged that you learn what fruits come in what seasons; off season fruits are priced way too high and don’t even taste that great. Also, avoid packaged/processed foods as they serve not health purpose (in fact instead hurting your wellbeing) and stick to natural foods as much as possible. Lastly, as we mentioned before, do not hesitate to use coupons!

Splurge

One or two new pieces of clothes per season: When it comes to clothes, you do want to look get the best; after all, how you present yourself makes a big impact on how others perceive you. In this case, we want to focus on quality and necessity. It simply makes sense to stay updated on your fashion sense especially if you work in a really professional environment and/or work with a lot of people. Don’t by cheap jackets to get through winter; spend some extra money and get something that would last. However, do not use this as an excuse to consistently buy things you do not need or have enough of as is.

Healthcare/ fitness: Spending money on your health is the best investment you’ll make – getting old with a long list of illnesses will drain all your savings when you need them the most – your retirement. So spend money on healthy supplements, gym memberships, private lessons, healthy food, etc.

Traveling: Traveling is a privilege a good portion of this world doesn’t get – and it is one that is quintessential in attaining a well-rounded spiritual experience. So if you are in a position to travel, do not hesitate to spend a little cash to make it a delightful time. In fact, try to create a separate savings fund to raise money for vacations!

Savings/401(k)/Retirement: You must start allotting about 10% of your paychecks into a separate savings account if you don’t already; funds in this account should only be used emergencies – and that’s it. Next, invest as much as you can into your 401(k) to get the most benefit out of it – at least invest enough to get the full benefit from your employer’s end. 401(k), 403(b), 457 or the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan allows you to stash $18,000 annually – make use of it and secure your retirement.

Education: Any opportunity for you to advance your intellect is money well worth spent. Instead of sitting at home on your off time, dedicate a few hours into learning a new skill. Take new classes; fine art, cooking, music lessons, languages – there’s so much that you can learn! Spend money on books!

This doesn’t affect you directly, but if you can, try to save as much as you can to help pay for you children’s higher education. For couples with young children or are planning to have any in the future, start planning now! Student loans are just a huge disaster in the United States and your children will be in a much better position if you can provide any financial relief – granted of course they show stern indication in wanting to excel in higher studies.

Music: Many would agree that we would be completely different people if it wasn’t for the music we loved. However, a good portion of the listeners almost never support their artists; this is mainly true for artists that are not signed to any major labels. We encourage you to not download any material illegally and if possible, go check them out live and buy some merchandise from them. They helped you be the person you are, help them earn a living. Opt out of two Starbucks coffee (which will only give instant gratification) and get something from your favorite artists that will last you forever!

One Comment

  1. very nice article well written and well explained as well 🙂 entrepreneurship quote

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