With the New Year comes — wait for it — New Year's resolutions! While, statistically, losing weight always finds its way onto the very top of the resolution list every single year, there are far more important things that one should resolve to do besides losing weight. Granted, most resolutions that have been made are totally moot by February, but let’s try to keep things positive and just pretend that the changes you plan to make will actually stick, shall we?
A great resolution to make for 2015 is to try to save money. Everyone loves money, so having even more of it is that type of thing that makes people happy. While it’s usually fun to spend money, there are certain areas in your spending habits where you can really cut back and see some major savings — because, let’s be honest, you really don’t need to get delivery every night; your kitchen has a stove and fridge for a reason, and that reason is not extra storage.
We compiled a list of the things people tend to spend their money on every day, and how and where they can realistically cut back and reap the benefits of savings. Before you know it, you’ll have enough money to go someplace amazing and faraway for a week or two, and that will make for far better social media fodder than posting yet another photo on Instagram about how Starbucks spelled your name wrong again.
Here’s how much you’ll save in 2015 if you…
1. If You Make Your Own Coffee
If you’re the type of person who absolutely, positively, can’t go a single day without coffee, and are buying it every day, you’re spending a lot. It may not seem like a much, especially if you opt for a $3.00 coffee as opposed to some fancy shmancy triple shot, double pump venti something or other at Starbucks, but it still adds up fast.
If your daily coffee expense is that aforementioned $3, and you make your coffee instead of buying it (you can get a cheap coffee machine that does the job for less than $30), you’ll be able to buy a pair of Christian Louboutin heels by the end of the year.
Weekly amount saved: $21
Yearly amount saved: $1,095
2. If You Ride Your Bike to Work
Trading in your car by opting for your bike isn’t just great for your wallet, but awesome for the environment, too. Don’t you want to leave this world with the tiniest carbon footprint left behind as possible? Yes, you do.
Right now, a gallon of gas will run you, depending on where you live, about $1.80 to $3.50 a gallon. Cars, depending on their size, can hold anywhere between 12 to 16 gallons of gas. So if we say you have a medium size car with that holds 14 gallons of gas, and you live in a place where you’re spending $2.30 on gas, and are filling up your tank twice a week, you’ve got major savings in the bag.
Weekly amount saved: $64.40
Yearly amount saved: $3,348.80
3. If You Bring Your Own Lunch to Work
Again, this is going to depend on where you live and what you like to eat for lunch. But, if you spend about $10.00 on lunch and you work five days a week, that’s 50 bucks right there that could go to far more exciting things. Besides, haven’t you gone to Chipotle enough this past year?
Weekly amount saved: $50
Yearly amount saved: $2,600
4. If You Make Dinner 3 Times a Week Instead of Going Out or Getting Delivery
As a New Yorker, I’m guilty of spending way too much on food, and ever since the invention of Seamless, there have been months where I’ve spent, well, a disgraceful amount that would rival some people’s monthly rent.
When you go out to dinner or get delivery, you have to figure that you’ll spend at least $25.00 (including tip), and that’s only if you skip alcohol. If you currently get delivery or go out three times a week, that means there’s some major savings to be had.
Weekly amount saved: $75
Yearly amount saved: $3,900
5. If You Actually Compare Prices at the Grocery Store
The problem with name-brand food is that once we’ve been eating it for years, it’s hard to go to the generic. Even if the food is made the exact same way, because we know it’s different, we will taste a difference — even if it doesn’t exist.
But what we fail to realize as we’re munching on name brand goodies is that the savings could be extraordinary in our wallet. For example, a name brand can of vegetable soup will run you about $3.69, while the generic brand will cost only $1.69. Choosing generic over name brand will result in, at least, a $1.00 to $2.00 savings every time.
Let’s just say for the sake of argument that you buy 20 items when you go the grocery store once a week, and each item is $2.00 less than the brand you were buying before. You'd save...
Weekly amount saved: $40
Yearly amount saved: $2080
And if you go for all these resolutions? You could save a combined $13,023.80 in 2015. Now that will make for one hell of a five-star, first class, two-week-long trip anywhere.
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