Small Swaps, big payoff!
Find yourself skipping Sunday brunch with the girls because those bottomless mimosas come into direct contradiction with the bottom of your bank account? Bailing on a nice dinner out because payday isn’t until next week? Sound familiar? We’ve all been there!
A good paycheck is hard to come by these days, even if you do work full time. Live in an expensive area like New York? Cut that check in half just paying your rent/mortgage. In a payroll panic reading how much of your check should go into your 401k/ IRA?
How about that face you just made reading that experts say you need 3-6 months worth of living expenses socked away for emergencies, MINIMUM. Can a girl live?? Have no fear; I have you covered!
I’ve put together a small list of a few tried and true tips on saving and cutting spending in ways that don’t involve you eating ramen noodles every night (unless you’re into that!).
These three small changes can add up leaving you with a bit of extra cash that can cushion any account (and they’re super easy to do!).
The Starbucks stops here.
With specialty drinks commonly priced at $5 a pop, this change is an easy one to make that can save you big bucks. Swap your weekly morning vanilla latte out with a cup of home brewed coffee with warm sweetened milk and you’ve saved over $20 a week!
Even if all you order up is venti drip coffee, this simple swap gives you an extra $15 by the weekend. A bag of GOOD beans costs anywhere between $10-12 bucks and will last you weeks (of course there are cheaper beans out there, I’m going off the assumption we all take our caffeine super seriously here)
Have a Keurig at home?
Stop buying those ridiculously priced (and bad for the environment) K-Cups. Bed Bath and Beyond sells reusable cups for as little at $8 that you can fill with your grinds from home!
I invested in both the single serve reusable cup as well as the reusable carafe cup that’s compatible with my Keurig 2.0. That way, I can make a pot of super strong java and chill it in the fridge (or share with my husband, if I’m in a sharing kind of mood) Find the reusable K-cup I have here!
Total Savings: $15-21/a week
Ditch the brown bag, but bring your lunch!
There are SO many cute options for lunch bags. (I linked some of my faves below) There’s no reason lugging in your lunch has to look anything less than enviable.
If you stop at the corner deli or cafeteria at your job every day, you’re sinking $10-15 bucks daily for what you could be eating for much less. It may take a bit of your time on Sunday, but meal-prepping is WORTH IT!
By making your lunch ahead of time, you only need to throw it into your awesome lunch bag and head out the door, saving you time AND money (win-win IMHO).
If you’re not into full on meal prepping just yet, making a sandwich or salad the night before using what’s in your fridge works just great! Even taking last night’s leftovers work in a pinch.
This small change saves both your wallet AND your waistline. Food that you make at home tends to be healthier than most grab and go options.
Total Savings: $50-75/a week
Not good at contributing to your savings account? Use a self-saving app like DIGIT.
I found the Digit app just last year and have already saved over $800! It’s a huge lifesaver come holiday season! This app is super smart, painless and safe! (Accounts are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000)
After you give Digit permission to access your accounts, it begins watching your spending habits (revolving deposits, withdrawals and daily spending). It then decides the best way and time to save based on parameters you set.
Digit will withdraw a few dollars at a time and put them into a saving account you can withdraw from at any time.
Digit is also customizable, so you can tell Digit to stop saving if your account goes under a specified amount (so there’s no worry of overdrawing) as well as tell it to save more aggressively if you feel up to it.
You can use your newfound savings in any way you like. Transfer it to a savings account (one that will gain interest hopefully) or just have in the case of an emergency (and yes a girls night out may count as an emergency)!
The app is so easy to interface with, you can send a text message (you know, THE preferred method of communication these days) to Digit and get updates on savings balance, checking balance, recent spending and more! Digit becomes your very own personal and digital wealth manager! Click here to give Digit a try!
Total Savings: $70-80/month
*based on my average monthly saving
These three tiny saves rack up to a grand total of $330-$464 a month! You could use that to grow your emergency fund, finance a vacation or pay down some debt. (Or a combination of all three!) Finding small ways to save money is almost like getting a raise, from yourself!
What could you do with a few extra hundred a month? Tell me in the comment section below some of your tips on saving/finding some extra money each month!