10 Simple Changes That Can Save You $20,000 A Year
Saving as much as $20,000 per year might seem impossible, but by making some simple sacrifices and maintaining financial discipline, this goal is within reach for anyone. Here is a list of 10 lifestyle changes that save major cash.
1. Make Your Own Meals
Drink the free coffee at work instead of picking up that $4 Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) latte. Save another $4 per day by eating leftovers for lunch instead of getting that club sandwich at Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
Instead of going out to dinner at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. and The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated twice a week, cut out $20 per week by trying a couple of new recipes at home instead.
Annual Savings: ~$4,000
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2. Ask Friends Over Instead Of Going Out
Sure, playing games with friends at Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLAY) is a great time, but so is having friends over and just playing card games. Instead of costing more than $30 a week, eating, drinking and entertainment is virtually free at home.
Annual Savings: ~$1,600
3. Try Generic Brands
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Target Corporation have generic versions of nearly every product, and it would be easy to cut $40 from the weekly grocery bill by replacing those name brands with generic brands. Many times, it is surprising just how similar the generic products are.
Annual savings: ~$2,100
4. Cancel Unused/Premium Subscriptions
If you haven’t been to the gym in more than six weeks, you probably don’t need to be paying $30 per month for that gym membership. As awesome as Spotify is, you can save $9.99 a month by using a free Internet radio service, such as Pandora Media Inc’s (NYSE: P) free option.
Annual Savings: ~$2,100
5. Don't Overspend On Your Kids
An empty cardboard box can provide more entertainment for a 2-year-old child than the most expensive toy car Mattel, Inc. has to offer. Don’t deprive children of toys, but cutting back on spending by $25 a month might even encourage children to explore their creativity and imagination. Moreover, instead of spending $80 for a babysitter twice a month, try finding another trustworthy couple with children and trade-off babysitting duties with them.
Annual Savings: ~$2,200
6. 401(k) Matching
Many companies make matching 401(k) contributions up to a certain percentage of an employee’s paycheck. If a company matches up to 6 percent of a $50,000 salary, that’s an extra $3,000 a year of free retirement money.
Annual Savings: ~$3,000
7. Pay Off Credit Cards
The average household credit card debt is about $15,600. An annual interest rate of 17 percent on that balance means the average household with credit card debt is paying nearly $2,700 per year in interest only. Pay off that Visa Inc or American Express Company card, and that money can go straight in a savings account.
Annual Savings: ~$2,700
8. Promotional Offers for Internet/Cable/Entertainment/Phones
Often times, internet, cable TV, phone and other entertainment providers will provide promotional discounts or bundle opportunities that can drastically reduce rates. Sometimes, these companies provide financial incentives for switching accounts from rival providers. By shopping around for special offers from all there providers, it’s reasonable to shave off $30 per month on all these services.
Annual savings: ~$500
9. Group Vacations
Instead of staying in a hotel room for $150 a night, consider splitting a large house or condo with friends. It may seem pricey to rent a $1,200 vacation house for two five-night vacations, but splitting cost among six people saves $110 per night.
Annual Savings: ~$1,100
10. Cheap/Free Hobbies
Here is just one example of cutting back on a popular hobby to save money: one round of golf per week costs about $40. Playing tennis for free on a public court instead of paying for golf twice a month saves $40 every two weeks.
Annual Savings: ~$950
The Grand Total
By making each of these 10 simple changes, annual savings could total $20,250.
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