When you think of creating a budget, you may feel like you have to make many dramatic changes to stay afloat with all your bills. But, much like a diet, it is important to change your mindsets about budgeting, spending, and determining what you really need to spend your money on. With some dedication, creativity, and organization, you won’t even know you are making changes to your daily habits – so think of a budget like a new financial “diet” for you.
While budgeting can be difficult, it doesn’t need to be a headache. Here are some creative tips on saving money during your monthly budget, in ways where you don’t even know you are cutting back.
Reprogram your thermostat.
A programmable thermostat is one of those appliances that any homeowner should have. A programmable or smart thermostat will allow you to program your HVAC system to work only when you want it to, resulting in less energy use. The key here is to efficiently warm or cool the home when you can actually utilize it, turning it off when you go to work or throughout the night when you are cuddled up in blankets. By doing this, the less you’ll spend on utility bills, and you can save a few extra dollars to put towards other necessary monthly bills and household expenses.
Meal prep your heart out every Sunday.
According to the USDA, the average American family spends about 9.5% of their food each year. This is including takeout, which we all know and love as an easy way to end our day without dirtying the dishes. However, all of these unnecessary expenses can really add up and ruin your entire monthly budget if not monitored. So instead, consider meal prepping for the week ahead every Sunday. When you have meals already made right in front of you, you’ll be a lot less likely to overspend and go hog wild on takeout.
Consider changing up your living area.
Sometimes, making a big change in your budget requires an overhaul of your lifestyle, but in a good way. For example, are you noticing that you are spending a ton of your money on household expenses? If so, consider changing things up and choosing to move into an RV. There are many pros and cons of living in an RV, but one pro is saving tons of money on energy bills and mortgage payments. Plus, who knows, you may find out that you really don’t need a ton of space to live, so living in an RV might turn out to be the best option for you.
Avoid impulse shopping.
For many, impulse shopping is a detrimental action for our spending habits. To prevent unnecessary spending, we recommend you delete all shopping apps from your phone, so you are not tempted to burn a hole in your pocket. Additionally, before you head to the checkout, think to yourself how long it would take for you to work to afford that item. So say you make 20 dollars an hour, and the item you would like to buy is $200. Would it be worth you working eight hours before you can afford the item? If the number you come up with makes sense and seems fair to you, then go ahead and buy the item. But if you feel wary at all, don’t. This tells you that you may not necessarily need what you are about to buy.
As this list shows, making a budget doesn’t have to be hard. All you have to do is make some small changes and watch your bank account grow.