Saving Dos and Don’ts: 14 Ways to Cut Back Spending

on saleEven if you’re making a decent paycheck, saving money can be difficult when you don’t cut back on spending. Reducing your expenses isn’t always easy, but there are some small ways that you can keep your spending in check and put more money into your savings account.


1. Sign up for Loyalty Programs

Most grocery stores offer reward card programs that entitle their members to discounts and coupons. They may ask for your email address so they can send you coupons. If you decide not to sign up to receive emails, then all you need to sign up is a phone number. It’s quick, easy, and can save you a lot of money. The only downside is that the cards will take up space in your wallet.

2. Give Handmade Gifts

Learning how to make a few simple crafts means you can make thoughtful gifts for loved ones around the holidays. Not only will your friends and family be impressed by your considerate present, but you’ll avoid overpaying for something you could have made yourself.

3. Have Friends Over Instead of Going out

If you find yourself going out frequently, try switching up your routine by having a fun dinner with friends at home. It’s much less expensive to host a potluck or group barbecue instead of visiting a restaurant. It’ll be just as much fun as going out, and chances are your friends will reciprocate soon.

4. Learn Basic Mending

It’s easy to throw out damaged clothes, but if you know a little basic mending knowledge — hemming pants and skirts, sewing on buttons, adding patches — you can repair them instead. If you can fix up torn clothes, you’ll end up spending a lot less on new clothes.

5. Quit Smoking

Expensive habits, like smoking, can end up eating away at your budget. At more than $5 a pack, cigarettes cost a lot, but give you nothing in return. In fact, they may end up costing you a lot more in the long run, considering how detrimental they can be to your health.

6. Visit Yard Sales

If you’re hunting for odd and ends or used furniture, check out local yard sales. Often the clothes, items, and furnishings folks give away are in fine condition and cost very little. And if the prices are a little too high for your taste, haggling might not be out of the question.

7. Go to the Library

Many still believe that libraries are dusty old tombs lined wall to wall with books, but there’ve been leaps and bounds in what public libraries offer. Most of them offer the newest best sellers and DVDs — including new releases and popular series.


1. Get Cable

While keeping up with the latest shows is great fun, cable is expensive. Many companies charge their customers over $100 a month for the full package. Consider drastically less expensive online alternatives: Netflix ($8/month), Hulu Plus ($7.99/month), or Amazon Prime ($79/year). All offer a wealth of shows and movies for much less than cable.

2. Make Big Purchases Without Waiting 30 Days

The thirty day rule is designed to help you decide whether you want to buy something new. Before spending your money on an item that you don’t really need, let it wait for 30 days. You may find that your urge to purchase has decreased once you’ve given it a little time to reflect.

3. Buy Lunch Every Day

Instead of going out for lunch every day, try bringing a packed lunch. It’s much less expensive to buy groceries and prepare food for yourself the night before rather than spend $10 every day. It will also be easier for you to eat healthily when you pack food for yourself.

4. Go Shopping Without a List

Visiting the grocery store without a list is an easy way to overspend on items that you don’t need. Make up a list of all the food you need at the beginning of the week, and make a point to visit the supermarket only once a week. Cross items off your list and make sure not to stray from what you already decided upon.

5. Throw Away Leftovers

At the end of a meal, don’t throw away the excess food. Instead, put it in plastic containers and keep it for later lunches and snacks, or combine it with other meals.

6. Shop to De-Stress

Many find themselves turning to shopping as a way to release stress. It may feel great to buy yourself a few new things when you’re down, but it puts an unnecessary dent in your wallet. Instead of shopping, try going to the gym, curling up with a good book or TV show, or taking a hot bath.

7. Drive When You Can Take Public Transportation

With gas prices rising, driving keeps getting more and more expensive. If you live in a city with a decent public transportation system, consider taking advantage of it. It will cost much less to ride the bus or subway than fill up your tank and drive through city traffic.

Sometimes, the smallest tricks can make the most difference when it comes to your savings. Make your best effort to cut back your spending and keep more money in your savings account.

Donna Parshall writes articles for Check n Go about online commerce, responsible borrowing, investment, and budgeting. Visit their site to learn more about Check n Go payday loans and other services like installment loans.

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