Whether you need to pay down debt or you simply want to develop better spending habits, making small changes to your routine can have a big impact.
Tips to Save More Than $5,000 This Year
In fact, the cost of just five little luxuries can add up over time, and cutting them out entirely or reducing them won’t hurt one bit! (OK, it might hurt a little, but you won’t miss them as long as you have alternatives in place!)
1. Cell Phone Service: Save $360 a Year
The average U.S. cell phone bill was around $93 a month ($1118 a year!) in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For example, one unlimited line with Verizon costs $70 a month, plus taxes and fees. But did you know that you can get Verizon’s service at a cheaper price? Visible is owned by Verizon but costs a fraction of the price at $40 a month or $480 a year.
You can see all of the best cell phone plans and deals here.
2. Cable: Save $1,829 a Year
The average cable bill is $217.42 a month which adds up to $2,609 a year! Do you really need all of those cable channels?
Use Team Clark’s channel chart to see which live TV streaming service has the channels you actually want to watch at a much cheaper price. You may find everything you need in a service like YouTube TV for $65 a month instead of the average $200+ monthly cable bill. That switch saves you $1,829 every year.
See Team Clark’s top live TV streaming picks here.
3. Dinner Out Every Week: Save $2,240 a Year
Bloomberg discovered that the amount that Americans spend on dining out overtook grocery purchases in 2015 for the first time ever. On average, Americans spend $2,668 per year on eating out.
Let’s say you opt to eat dinner out once a month instead of once a week, and spend $30 instead of $50 by sharing an entrée or choosing a less expensive restaurant. You could also go out for lunch instead of dinner to save money or splurge a little on something at the grocery store instead of a full meal out.
Whatever you choose, making changes to food spending makes a big difference! Spending $30 on food out once a month is $360 per year.
4. Twice-a-Week Coffee Trips: Save $490 a Year
ABC News reported that American workers spend around $1,100 annually on coffee, and according to the US Small Business Development Center, 66% of Americans go out for coffee.
So basically, venturing out to a coffee shop on a regular basis, instead of drinking it at home, is costing you a lot more than you think.
For example, someone who goes out for coffee twice a week and each time spends roughly $5 on a fancy latte — that extra jolt of java can add up to about $520 a year!
Coffee at home costs about $0.28 a cup. If you have opted to drink those two cups a week at home that you would have gotten out, you’d spend $29.12 per year instead of $520 for the same amount of Joe.
Here’s a list of cheap coffee brands to consider.
5. Movies Out Twice a Month: Save $480 a Year
There is no doubt movie ticket prices have increased over time. At an average of $9.16 per ticket in the second quarter of 2019, it’s certainly a jump from the $0.34 price in 1948. Add in popcorn and snacks, and you might just be spending $40 for two! But to keep it simple, we made it $20 per night out at the movies, twice a month. This is equal to about $480 per year.
There are cheaper ways to have fun with family and friends. If you want to watch movies, you can do it for free!
Here are more ways to save on entertainment.
Savings Grand Total = $5,399
The full price options add up to a grand total of $7,117, but if you reduce expenses in each of these areas, you end up saving more than $5,300 in a year!
Just because you want to save money doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying life — it just means you may want to make a few adjustments to help you reach your financial goals. Making small changes can save you big over time!