Want to boost your savings? These tricks work for me.
I try to save money as often as possible. You never know when an emergency expense might strike, so I figure it pays to have more in the bank rather than less. I also have a number of goals that need more savings, such as buying a second home.
To ensure that my savings stay on track, I follow a household budget that maps out my expense categories and lets me know how much I can afford to spend. On top of that, these three habits are instrumental in keeping my costs down.
1. Not wasting electricity
As someone who works from home full-time, I need to keep my house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As a result, my utility bills tend to be high. But I still take steps to lower them.
For one thing, I make a point to turn off lights when I leave a room. And because I have a two-zone heat and air-conditioning system, I only cool or warm the part of the house I'm in during the day. I also do my best to not run the water until I'm ready to use it (even if that sometimes means hopping into a colder shower), and I pull down my window shades during the summer to block out as much heat as possible.
Do these moves save me a ton of money? Probably not. But do they save me a little money? I'm sure they do. And hey, I'll take a little savings rather than none.
2. Shopping around for grocery store specials
Providing my children with healthy meals is a priority, but my children are also picky (as kids tend to be) and insist on certain brands. The problem is that their preferred brands aren't always on sale, so I frequently seek out grocery store sales and stock up when I can.
Researching grocery deals takes extra time, and sometimes, it means inconveniencing myself to shop at two stores instead of one. But I can say with certainty that our grocery bills are lower because of it.
3. Buying in bulk
For a lot of people, warehouse clubs aren't worth it because they don't go through bulk products quickly enough to consume them before they expire. That's not the case in my household. There are enough of us who eat the same things consistently that buying them in bulk makes sense.
Take strawberries -- one fruit every member of my household eats. At my local warehouse club, a $6 carton lasts us almost a week. At my regular supermarket, $6 worth of strawberries lasts two days at most.
I buy a lot of produce in bulk, and by my estimates, it cuts my grocery bill by about $30 to $50 a week, depending on what I'm buying. That more than makes up for my $100 annual warehouse club membership fee and puts me ahead financially.
Sometimes, little things add up to good-sized savings. These habits help me save more than I otherwise would, and if you're looking to grow your cash reserves, consider adopting them as well.
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