Does it seem like you just can’t get ahead?  Like its paycheck to paycheck, and zero room for errors?  I’ve been there.  When I was in college, I was living on 59 cent bread and 49 cent lunch meat.  I could barely make rent and pay payments on the thousands of dollars I racked up in credit card bills.  The financial pain of higher education is incredible these days.  But you may have other reasons why there isn’t anything left at the end of the month…

Today, I want to look at some possible cost cuts you can do to increase your monthly saving habits (or generate some new ones).  I have compiled a chart that will show you how small monthly or daily cuts in your budget can really save a lot of money over time.  But it takes discipline, and you must be ready to commit to saving money as a daily habit, to achieve any real monthly savings.  Here’s some things to ponder:

Monthly Saving Potential 

Est Daily Cost Savings Est Monthly Cost Savings Est Yearly Savings
Cutting 1 coke a day at the vending machine $1.00 $22.00 $264.00
Drinking office coffee instead of Starbucks $5.00 $110.00 $1,320.00
Use a water filter instead of buying bottled water $2.00 $60.00 $720.00
Only go out to eat once a week (Pack a lunch!) $10.00 $300.00 $3,600.00
Eliminating movie/sports cable packages and using only basic cable $1.33 $40.00 $480.00
Cutting either your home phone or your cell phone, use one phone only $0.83 $25.00 $300.00
Use basic internet service instead of super duper high speed $0.50 $15.00 $180.00
Drop the gym membership (Are you really going to use it? Run around the neighborhood instead.) $1.17 $35.00 $420.00
Turn the thermostat up/off when you are not at home $3.33 $100.00 $1,200.00
Shop around for car insurance $0.67 $20.00 $240.00
Totals $25.83 $727.00 $8,724.00

What could you do with an extra $727 per month?? With a little discipline, you can make this happen very easily.  Think about your purchases.  Carry less cash around so that you aren’t tempted to spend it.  I carry almost zero cash money around, as it just burns a hole in my pocket.  I have identified carrying cash as a weakness to my financial success and have come up with leaving it in the bank as a viable workaround.  Sometimes we will not be able to overcome the temptation to spend money, so we just need to prevent the temptation from appearing in the first place.

You don’t have to have the expensive house and car, or be the one that always buys dinner.  You can have friends and a good time right at home, or in a park or on a lake, with spending little or no money!  I love playing a domino game called forty-two with my cousins.  There is fierce competition and a lot of fun when we play.  You don’t have to spend money to have a good time.  Think about the future, and use that monthly saving to get to early retirement!  Stay tuned for “Tips for Monthly Saving Part 2″…

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