Although it is now difficult to pinpoint when and how this particular phrase came into being, people such as George Hebert (poet), Thomas Fuller (scholar), Edwards Ravenscroft (writer), and of course, Franklin have all said stuff that more or less means something similar.
Coming from such wise people, there is surely some truth to the phrase.
However, in today’s times, it is becoming more and more difficult to save a penny. From takeouts to home deliveries, online shopping, branded products, paid apps, and irresponsible couponing, we seem to be spending senselessly on a lot of things without paying any attention.
Although these expenditures may seem insignificant at the moment – would spending $4.99 on that app really hurt my savings? – over time, they can cause a huge difference. And one day, you’ll find yourself running through your bank statements, wondering where all your cash went. To prevent this from happening, you must start saving money every single day.
It may seem difficult at first, but little savings can go a long way. And by holding yourself from spending on small, unnecessary things, you may be able to save up for some bigger, more useful items in the future. Here are a few ways you can start saving pennies right now.
1. Bring Lunch From Home
One of the most common unnecessary expenditures people make is buying lunch. According to USA Today, the average amount people spend on eating lunch during work hours is $11 – and that’s a low estimation.
If you bring lunch from home, you’ll likely be spending a little over $6 per meal. This means that you can save about $5 today and $25 this week. Every month, you can save up to $100. That is a lot! And if you’re eating out multiple times a day, you can save even more.
2. Cook at Home
Now it is completely okay to treat yourself and have a nice meal at a fancy restaurant once in a while. In fact, it should be encouraged. But making it a daily habit can cause a huge dent in your bank account over time. Similar to taking home-cooked food to work, start cooking most meals yourself. Establish a routine where eat at home most of the time.
Take some time out each weekend to plan a menu and do your grocery shopping accordingly. If you develop these habits in your 20s, it will be easier to stick to them as you grow older. Not only will this increase your savings over time, but you will also inevitably be eating healthier when you cook yourself.
3. Give Yourself A Monthly Allowance
Hoarding money like a greedy landlord while you work like a horse will make you miserable over time. What’s the use of working so hard if you aren’t having fun, anyway? To make sure that you can spend some money on things you enjoy here and there without going overboard on your expenditures, set aside a bit of fun money for yourself.
The amount depends on your budget and helps you stay focused. By doing this, you’ll find a balance where you can splurge when you want to without overspending.
4. Responsible Couponing
Yes, coupons can save you a lot of money over time. However, if you’re collecting coupons just for the sake of it, you may be spending more than you save and not even realize it. Coupons shouldn’t be used as an excuse to buy things that you wouldn’t have bought otherwise. Even if you’re only spending an extra $5, you may start to unconsciously repeat the habit. And this way, you aren’t actually saving any money. Instead, invest in coupons to buy the things that you already need and use.
Try to find coupons that help you save on grocery shopping and other services. Sign up for loyalty programs and newsletters at your regular stores and favorite restaurants to get the best deals.
5. Look For Store Brands
One thing that you absolutely need to buy is your grocery. So saving on them seems to be a practical step for saving money regularly. One way to do this is by opting for store brands, as they are usually cheaper but provide similar quality to higher-end brands. However, practice some trial and error before determining your regular store brand products.
Buying 10 cans of store-brand mushrooms may not be a smart choice if you haven’t tried the mushrooms at all. The quality may vary from item to item, and some store brands are better than others. For instance, you may love the cereal from a particular store, but you may find that the mustard isn’t that great. So slowly try a few store brands and various products they make, and find the ones that you like best. Additionally, you can also buy store-brand household items to save some extra cash.
6. Stop Paying Interest
The interest charges you pay for your credit cards can really eat away a huge chunk of your savings over time. To prevent this from happening, make it a priority to pay off your credit cards in full and on time every month. This way, you won’t have to pay any additional interest and instead start investing your money and start earning interest. You can easily do this if you avoid going into debt.
At first glance, these ‘savings’ may seem insignificant. However, once you start adding them into your daily life, you soon notice that your savings are gradually increasing at the end of the month, and you have more money to spend on things that actually matter.