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Financial stress is one of the more common causes of unhappiness and grief today. It may seem like you work many long hours each week with little to show for it. You may even have two jobs and have barely two pennies to rub together at the end of the month. Whether your goal is […]

Financial stress is one of the more common causes of unhappiness and grief today. It may seem like you work many long hours each week with little to show for it. You may even have two jobs and have barely two pennies to rub together at the end of the month. Whether your goal is to increase savings or to finally treat yourself to an extended vacation on a warm tropical island, the secret to getting on top of your finances is to reduce spending. You may think that there is little to no room in your budget to cut back any more than you already have. However, these may be some excellent ideas that you have not yet thought about.

Eliminate Frivolous Extras

When you think about frivolous extras, you may think about enjoying a movie at the theater or taking a vacation. However, even the very smallest frivolous items should be eliminated from your life if you want to save as much money as possible. For example, if you are in the habit of picking up a candy bar from the vending machine in your office each day, this could potentially be costing you $30 or more per month, and this equates to several hundred dollars over the course of a year. A small cup of coffee, bottled water from the gas station and even a magazine that you impulsively pick up while grocery shopping are some of the many frivolous items to eliminate. Your purchases may unknowingly be taking thousands of dollars or more out of your bank account each year.

Stop Driving

Driving a car to and from work, to run errands and more may seem like a necessity, but this is a luxury for most people as well. For example, you can always sell your car and plan to ride a bike, take the bus or walk. This is not convenient if you have been used to driving, but it may save you hundreds of dollars each month. Consider that you can eliminate a car loan payment, auto insurance, gas, auto repairs and more from your budget by making this change. You may also improve your health as a side benefit.

Buy Generic Items

Take a look inside your fridge and pantry. If you see brand name items, there is a solid chance that you can save a substantial amount of money on your monthly grocery expenses by switching to generics. In most cases, generic items are almost identical to brand names in terms of quality. When you try out a few generic items, you will be able to determine if the difference in quality is noticeable and if it is worth paying more for.

Eat at Home

When you think about paying $10 to $15 for a lunch out with your coworkers in the middle of the week, this may seem like a reasonable amount of money to spend. However, when you consider that you can purchase fruit, bread and sandwich fixings for the whole week with that same $10 to $15 dollars, you can see that you can waste a tremendous amount of money eating out at restaurants. On those instances when you need to eat out, order water rather than soda or tea. Do not buy expensive alcoholic drinks, and consider only buying a la carte items or sharing an entrée with your spouse to save money.

Plan Your Meals for the Week

Many people are inclined to head out to a restaurant when their fridge is empty or when they are not interested in eating what is in the fridge. To overcome this expensive habit, have a dedicated grocery shopping day. Plan your meals for the week ahead of time, and make meals that you are looking forward to eating. Consider using coupons or planning some of your meals around sales that your grocer is offering. Remember to only buy items on your list.

Drink Water

Many people do not drink enough water for their health, and they also consume unnecessary sugar and calories by drinking juice and water regularly. More than that, these types of drinks cost a small fortune in comparison to the free cost of tap water. Invest in a reusable water bottle, and fill it up several times each day. You may go through sugar and caffeine withdrawal initially, but you will soon get over that and find that you love drinking water each day.

Shop for Lower Insurance Rates

Insurance providers adjust rates regularly. In addition, your need for different types of coverage as well as the factors that affect insurance pricing can change. Get in the habit of comparing insurance rates annually. At the same time, adjust your coverage types and limits so that your current needs are covered.

Consolidate Debts

If you have multiple credit cards or other types of debts, you may be able to get relief and save money through debt consolidation. This may be achieved by consolidating your credit card balances to one card. If you own a home, you could use a home equity loan for consolidation. A personal bank loan is another great idea.

Cancel Subscriptions and Memberships

Check your bank account statements and credit card statements for recurring charges. Many people are paying for subscriptions and memberships that they no longer use. This is wasted money that can be immediately eliminated simply by canceling your memberships or subscriptions.

Some of these savings ideas may be more financially beneficial than others, but you will find that the combined financial benefit of these tips can be tremendous. By following these tips, you can live more conservatively and save money for that dream vacation or for any other goals that you have in mind.

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