If you are serious about saving extra money, then you will have to make a lifestyle change. Depending on your finances and how serious you are about finding many ways to save these major decisions. We have compiled a list of the latest three lifestyle changes that can have a big effect on your income and budget.
Right Size Your House
We admit that this is the main lifestyle change and especially hard to trick if you have children. However, if you can swing it, you must make right-size your house. That means that you should find a house or apartment that is just as big as you need it, but not as big as you want it. Or, move to a location that has lower cost prices. This could mean selling your house and putting the money toward a smaller house in a less thriving neighborhood. Or it could mean moving to a smaller apartment or to an apartment in a more comfortable neighborhood. However, your rent and mortgage costs (including real estate) is usually your biggest monthly expense. Making strict changes here could single hand add cash to your savings every month.
Another similar lifestyle change that can debit your monthly housing bills would be to take on a roommate. Either move from one place to another new place with a roommate or rent out a room in your house to a new tenant. Sometimes, it even makes sense to add a separate door and make a temporary wall so that the new tenant will have privacy and you and your family will not feel scaring.
Downgrade Your Car
Many people buy new cars on a four years schedule. There is no fastest way to throw away your money than to spend it on waste money. When it comes to getting a car that exceeds your future budget, you should do three things – purchase used, downgrade your car, and keep it longer.
First, a used car is a better deal than a new car. The average new car loses 20 percent of its value right away after buy, and over 40 percent within 3 years. Find a car that is a year or two old and that has the manufacturer’s warranty. You will immediately save 20 to 30 percent on the car.
Also, when purchasing a car, downgrade your vehicle to a lower class. For example, if you are used to purchasing a higher class car that gets lower mileage, you could consider purchasing a middle-class car with higher mileage. If you are used to purchasing middle-class cars, you could consider getting an economy class car. Purchasing a lower-priced car can also down your car costs by an additional 20 to 40 percent. And remember, lower-priced cars typically get good mileage and have reduced insurance premiums, saving you even more.
The last way to save on your vehicle costs is to keep your vehicle long term. Instead of owning the same car for 5 years, try increasing that to 6 to 9years. Cars newer than 8 years typically have lower maintenance costs than older cars, and you will have no car payment for the 2 to 5 years after it is paid off.
Change Your Eating Habits
Once you have your two largest expenses in order, it’s time to turn to your food costs, which are often the third largest expense in a family budget. The single widest way to save money on food for some families is to eat out less repeatedly. If you eat out most nights, then cooking and eating at home is a big lifestyle change. Not only will you save money on restaurant charges, but you will likely eat much healthier, which can have great long term worth savings. If you already eat at home altogether often, here are some other tips to save money on food.
- Eat more vegetable entrees. They are lower cost and healthier than meats.
- Buy in bulk and freeze into portion sizes.
- Always have things in your pantry like pasta and sauces that can be used to make fast meals when you do not have much time or capacity.
- Shop in advance as much as you can.
- You are much additional likely to go out to dinner if you don’t have food early available.
- Purchase store brand items when it doesn’t matter, as they are much lower than most name brand items.
- Forego organic unless it matters.
- Do your search and find out which items are important to have organic.
- Make twice batches and hold it one for the future.
- Use coupons, offers, and store specials to stock your fridge and freezer.
- Fruits and vegetables are purchasing in season.
- They will be fresher and less expensive.
- Freeze some for the winter.
While these three lifestyle changes have the biggest monetary impact on most budgets, there are thousands of more ways to save more money if you keep your eyes and mind open.