It’s hard to save money when you already think you’re doing your best to be frugal.
Whether you’re struggling with student debt or trying to pull together money for a vacation, it’s tough to figure out where to cut corners when you’re just trying to live your life.
While there are hundreds of potential ways to save money, here are a few painless ways to start:
Read more: Don’t Know How To Make a Budget? Click here
Drop your memberships and subscriptions
How often are you making it to the gym? If it’s just a few times a month, think about whether that membership fee is really worthwhile. It may feel like having that tag on your keychain burns calories but trust us, if you’re not using it all the time, it’s just burning a hole in your budget.
You can still save money and stay in shape, consider streaming fitness videos off of Youtube or Netflix for no to low cost and work out in the privacy of your own home. Just like going to the gym, this more enjoyable if you have workout buddy.
Read more: Yoga on a Budget? Just Say ‘Om’
Same goes for subscription boxes. If the items (clothing, makeup, snacks) that arrive every month leave you saying “meh” more often than “wow,” give it the axe. Buy the things that you need rather than subscribing to boxes that tell you what you should be buying.
Rethink your cable TV bill
On average, Americans pay about $103 a month for their television. There are lots of new services that will allow you to cut the cord and still have access to your favorite channels and allow you to surf the web at a lower cost.
If you’re not ready to say sayonara to cable, call your provider and tell them you’re thinking of abandoning your service. They’ll likely present you with a cheaper option or help you find a package that suits your budget rather than lose you as a customer.
Leave your credit card at home
It’s easy to just pile unnecessary groceries or clothes into the cart when it’s all going on your card and you don’t see it till the end of the month. Or just to say “charge it” when there’s an impulse buy in front of you.
Physically handing out cash, or carrying a certain limit for shopping, such as twenty or thirty dollars, keeps you mindful of how much you’re actually spending.
Don’t go out drinking (so much)
We all like to go out and blow off steam but all those beers are blowing a big hole in your budget. Out of every $100 American consumers spend, about $1 goes to alcohol. While that number hasn’t changed much over the past three decades, the amount we spend drinking at bars and restaurants has gone up.
Think about how much you pay for a glass of wine on a night out versus buying a bottle to enjoy at home with friends and family. It’s enough to give you a hangover before you even make your first toast.
Lindsay Goldwert is Senior Editor at Stash.