3 Ways To Keep More Money In Your Pocket Every Month
November 6, 2020
Money is easy to gain, and just as easy to lose, in the same week. We live in a world where just about any minimum wage job can be won, but depending on location, it still may not be enough to pay the rent. Regardless of your income, finding ways to make your money stretch is not only a good habit to develop, but it’s crucial to survival in case of emergency.
Here are three simple, worthwhile, but arguably difficult ways to make your paycheck stretch and allow growth to your bank account.
1. Get (As Many) Roommates (As You Can Stand)
Unless you’re raising a family, roommates are a viable option at any age. Whether it’s a house or an apartment, roommates can cut down costs by hundreds of dollars a month. The more roommates you are willing to put up with, then naturally the less you’ll have to pay.
Obviously, monthly rent will go down. But furniture costs and household items like vacuums will be split. Utilities and even groceries can be split and you can save hundreds.
Here is a graph taken from Insider going over possible savings in just a few major cities. These numbers are assuming you would want your own room and therefore would need a 2-bedroom apartment. If you were to split a 1-bedroom place or even a studio, your expenses would automatically be split 50/50.
The more roommates you’re willing to put up with in a space, the more you can save. Of course, your peace, quiet and personal space may be worth the extra few hundred dollars a month.
Keep in mind, you can make your dollar stretch even more by getting a place in the suburbs. Everything is more expensive in the cities. There’s nearly a $600 difference on average between city living and the suburbs, just for rent alone.
2. Eat At Home And Don’t Get The $18 Steak, Either
You’ve seen a lot of advice from weight loss experts talking about cooking at home so you can completely control what goes into your body. It’s also known to be significantly less expensive. It helps keep you skinny and your wallet fat. The perfect life.
Let’s look over some numbers.
The average meal dining out is about $13. This number fluctuates for the individual based on where they are eating. If you frequent fast food places and get a chicken sandwich for $2-$5, then your dining out expenses would be less than if you were to commonly buy a nice italian dish for $18.
However, let's break those down just a bit.
You can get a pack of chicken breasts for less than $10. A pack of hamburger buns is about $3. Mayo, the flour, spices, and oil you should already have in your kitchen and the price per serving comes down to a few cents. Yes, it might take you a bit longer, it will be messier, but at the end of the day you can have multiple chicken sandwiches that average out to be less than $2 each. Plus,(depending on your cooking abilities) it will taste much better.
This difference may seem minor, and yes, a $3 difference doesn’t seem like much. However, if you’re trying to break the habit of eating a fast food chicken sandwich twice a week, that could take your yearly chicken sandwich expenses from $260 down to $156.
It’s also important to note that just because you’re buying and cooking food at home, does not mean throwing the budget out the window. A nice steak, for example, can get quite pricey at the grocery store. There are many cheaper alternatives that could be considered.
3. Practice Self-Control When The Sales Roll Around
Just because something is on sale does not mean you MUST have it at that moment. Many are guilty of this. Amazon announces Prime Day and everyone floods to the site to see what they can grab. Black Friday rolls around, and though in theory you’re saving 75%, if it’s not something you genuinely need or at the very least had considered purchasing for some time prior to the sale, then you’re actually just spending money you should have kept in your pocket. The greatest saving is 100% in your pocket and no 70” TV.
If you’re in the grocery store and you see chicken is on sale, then by all means grab the chicken if you know you’re going to eat it. You might need to adjust the rest of your grocery list depending on how strict your budget is, and if your budget is planned down to the dime, then maybe pass.
Alternatively, practicing self-control and waiting for a sale is a great way to save money as well. If you have the patience to wait for a sale and still have the desire to purchase by the time it rolls around, then perhaps it is worth the money.
A good rule of thumb is if you see something you desperately want, go home, sleep on it. If the next day the item is still on your mind, then perhaps it might be worth getting (depending on the item, but that’s up to your own judgement).
Many times we can make impulsive consumer choices. We’re human, it’s in our nature to crave comfort food from time to time, or feel like we ‘need’ a product. The more you can delay instant gratification and reactionary spending, you’ll not only begin to see your savings grow, but you’ll very likely find that you’re happier with less.
This is all well and good assuming you have the budget for it. Just how much self-control should be exercised is dependent upon income, necessary expenses, and your financial goals. Unless the purchase you’re looking to make will fill a valid need of some kind in your life, take a moment to step back and ask yourself if it’s worth the price and the space in your house (or if it’s a digital product, if it’s something you will commit time to). Just because you have the money for it still doesn’t mean it’s a worthwhile investment.
Building a healthy savings account can be difficult in a world full of unforeseen emergencies and expenses. Any steps to keep a few more dollars into your pocket are good steps to take. At Digifox, we encourage any method of saving and cutting back expenses. This includes offering ways to grow wealth within the app such as depositing through Celsius and earning 10% interest. Our goal is to help our community build a healthy financial future any way we can.
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