In a society where consumerism increases each year, it’s difficult to watch your spending during the week. From eating out to satisfying your caffeine cravings, your weekly budget quickly disappears by the time the weekend is here.
You may feel discouraged about your spending habits, but you can always change that around. If you’re cognizant of where your money is going, then you’ll be able to get your weekly budget back on track.
Here are 5 ways to cut your weekly spending down. From saying no to eating out all the time to finding free activities to do, your weekly budget will significantly increase if you practice any of these suggestions (or all).
Say No to Your Daily Starbucks Ritual
Although getting your latte at Starbucks is already your daily routine, say no to going every day. Most people are surprised by how much buying specialty coffee drinks can add up. Instead of grabbing Starbucks every day, buy your favorite drink once or twice a week. Your weekly spending will go down even if you only limit your coffee trips to a couple of times a week.
If you want to eliminate going to Starbucks altogether, then there’s a great money-saving alternative for you. Invest in a bag of coffee from the grocery store, buy your favorite creamer, then make your coffee before heading to work. The bag of coffee and creamer will last for a long time while saving you so much money.
Daily Cost: Latte or cappuccino – about $4 (so at least $20 a week)
Easy Solution: Bag of coffee from the store: $6-10; Creamer of your choice: $4 (lasts for weeks)
Defer Eating Out During Lunch
It’s quite easy to get into an eating-out-at-lunch routine, especially when you dine with co-workers. However, eating out can get very expensive–and take up most of your budget. Before you know it, you’ve spent so much money on lunch that you won’t be able to treat yourself to a nice dinner on the weekends.
If you pack your lunch instead of eating out, then you’ll save so much money–plus, the options will be healthier for you. There are tons of ways to pack delicious lunches while watching your budget. Feel free to treat yourself to lunch once in a while, but it’s best to pack your lunch most days.
Daily Cost: Lunch at a restaurant: at least $10 (about $50 or over a week)
Easy Solution: Purchase frozen meals (about $4 each)
Download Money-Saving Apps
Besides not eating out and buying your daily Starbucks drink, you can save on necessary purchases, such as groceries, or even miscellaneous costs, such as restaurants and entertainment. There are so many apps out there that can help you save a few extra bucks, and those savings can quickly add up after a couple of weeks.
Download a few apps, and use them when you go out to eat or check out at the grocery store. The more you save, the less your weekly budget will disappear. Saving on everyday items will help you stick to your weekly budget and allow you to splurge once in a while on other activities and items.
Daily Cost: Restaurants – $30-50; Groceries – $100 or over; Miscellaneous (i.e. shopping): $30
Easy Solutions: Restaurant apps: Mogul, Blackboard Eats; Groceries apps: Grocery Pal, Key Ring; Miscellaneous: Ebates, RetailMeNot
Take Alternative Transportation to Work
Gas is so expensive and probably takes a huge chunk out of your weekly budget. Depending on whether or not you own a pretty fuel-efficient car, filling up your tank once or twice a week can take its toll on your bank account. However, there’s an easy solution to eliminate many gas tank fill-ups and also break up the monotony of your work commute.
Instead of driving your car to work every day, you can commute with a close co-worker who lives nearby or take public transportation. If you’re a fitness person, then you can even bike or walk to work. Taking alternative transportation will significantly increase your weekly spending budget.
Average Weekly Costs: Gas – anywhere from $25-100 (plus depends on how far away from your work; how fuel-efficient your car is
Easy Solution: Carpooling with co-workers; walking (if nearby); public transportation (i.e., subway or bus); biking
Do Free or Cheap Activities on the Weekend
Doing fun, cheap activities is also another way to cut down on your weekly spending. Instead of going to an expensive restaurant and heading to the movies after, plan cheap activities that you and your family would love to do, such as going to the beach or park.
Activities can be expensive, so limiting how much you spend on them will help boost your weekly spending budget. It’s fine to go to the movies once in a while, but going every weekend will hurt your bank account. There are so many fun activities to do for free or at a low cost, so take some time to search for affordable events and activities.
Average Costs: Movies – about $30 if you indulge in snacks and drinks, too; Dinner at a restaurant – about $40-60 a meal
Fun (and Cheap) Solutions: Visit your nearest park, go on a bike ride, explore the downtown scene, or try a new dinner recipe
In order to cut your weekly spending down, take a look at where your money goes before trying any of these tips. If you notice that you eat out a lot, then start packing your lunch the night before, so you aren’t hustling to pack it in the morning. If you spend most of your money on gas, then try commuting with a co-worker.
These 5 tips may or may not apply to you, so it’s best to examine where your money is going before trying a solution. Hopefully, these tips help and inspire you to cut back on your routine payment. Try one or all of them during the same week. You’ll definitely notice a difference in your bank account.