Reducing spending doesn’t have to be a painful or negative experience. Here are some simple ways you can cut your spending this week without dramatically changing your lifestyle:
1. Track your expenses. The first step to altering spending habits is to determine where your money is currently going. Seeing how you are currently spending may reveal some easy changes you can make right away.
2. Make a list before shopping. This will cut down on impulse purchases and also prevent you from forgetting items that would call for a follow-up trip later. Also don’t forget the No. 1 rule of shopping for groceries: Never shop hungry!
3. Check ads and look for coupons. While it’s important not to purchase items just because they are on sale, looking for items you already plan to purchase or planning meals around what is on sale can make sense financially.
4. Organize a bring-your-lunch-to-work day. Lunchtime may be your favorite time to catch up with co-workers, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend money eating out. Decide on a day that everyone brings their own lunch and enjoy the social experience without the restaurant price.
5. Unsubscribe from daily deal emails and sale announcements. This may seem counterproductive but think about what actually happens. When you get one of these daily deal emails, you often purchase an item you had not been in the market for simply because it’s a “good deal.” This isn’t actually saving you money unless it’s an item that you would have purchased anyway.
6. Buy used, not new. Not everything you buy has to be brand new. Certainly this doesn’t mean buying junk, but there are plenty of good options for buying used items from thrift shops and yard sales, to Craigslist and eBay.
7. Bike! Now that spring has finally arrived it’s a great time to use your bicycle for getting around locally. Whether it’s commuting to work or just running to the corner store, biking means less money spent on gas and has the added benefits of exercise.
8. Evaluate your energy use. Unplug appliances that are not in use and turn off lights when they aren’t needed to save on your energy bill.
9. Call your cable and Internet providers to negotiate a lower bill. Most offer a wide range of products with various prices. Service representatives often have some discretion over prices for these services, so a little negotiation can make a difference on your monthly bill.
10. Take advantage of Horizon Bank’s Online Banking. One of the easiest ways to track your spending is by using your Horizon Bank’s debit/credit card and our Online Banking. You can download our mobile app from both Apple iTunes for iPhone and Google Play for Android devices.