With the holidays just behind us, and a new year looming on the horizon now is a great time to start thinking about ways to save money in 2019. In addition to reducing energy usage and costs, these simple steps will help you build up a nest egg for 2019 and beyond.
Make a Shopping List and Commit to It
We’ve all been there, you need a small bottle of vanilla to whip up your favorite traditional holiday recipe, and you walk out of the store after dropping $80 (if you’re lucky) on things you don’t really need but looked oh-so-tempting in the store. The theory behind this is two-fold. 1. If you make a list, your focus will be walking up and down the aisles looking for that specific item, rather than scanning all the items and picking up things you don’t need. 2. If you make a list, you are less likely to forget something, eliminating the need to go to the store later and repeat the process of buying more than you need.
Cut Back on Vices
Most people cut back on vices in the as a New Year’s Resolution for health reasons, but did you know that cutting back on vices also saves you money? While some vices are easier to quit than others, consider how much you would save if you stopped buying soda pop at the grocery store, and swapped a drink for water while eating out? Instead of your morning fast-food breakfast run, pre-make healthy breakfast options the night before so you can grab and go in the morning. Not only are you saving money in the short term by not buying things daily, but in the long run the health benefits will start to emerge as well. It’s really a win-win.
Avoid Instant Gratification
If you are about to hit “submit order” on a high-ticket item, consider waiting 48 hours to decide if you really need that item, or if you will regret the purchase later. Most times, we online shop when we’re bored or incredibly impulsive and you end up with the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors’ sonic screwdrivers, a pen in the shape of pizza or a Chicago White Sox garden gnome. Turn off “1-click ordering” on your Amazon account, or consider not storing credit card information in PayPal, just debit card info. Plus, if you wait a day or two a coupon may magically appear in your email inbox so you can save money if you do decide you need that seventh eyeshadow pallet.
Check Out Free Local Events
Going out near your apartment in Dupage County doesn’t have to be an expensive affair every time. There are several great online resources, such as Trip Advisor that can help you find free events near you. In addition to monthly festivals, farmer’s markets or public parks, your apartment community probably hosts monthly events. This is a great way to meet your neighbors and spend some time close to home, but out of your apartment. Check out your community’s Facebook Page or log into the resident portal to see if any events are posted. Take this one step further and invite neighbors to watch football together in the clubhouse. You can even check this blog for places to go in the Fall and Winter (keep an eye out for Spring and Summer within the next year), many of which are either free or cost effective.