While even small adjustments to your spending habits can lead to substantial savings over time, it’s crucial to identify which specific habits contribute most effectively to achieving your financial goals.
A user asked, which habit of yours has saved you the largest amount of money? and here are the top picks:
1. Calculate Money In Hours Worked
‘Since I am young and get paid by the hour, I use that to calculate whether or not I should buy something. Say, some new gadget I want is $20.00. I get paid about $7.25 an hour so that new gadget would cost me roughly 3 hours to earn. Am I really willing to work that much for this thing I’ll use for maybe 20 minutes? The answer is usually no. This has saved me money more times than I can count.’ shared one
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2. Find A Cheaper Alternative
‘I used to do this with movies. Going to the movies is about $9, and popcorn and drink are about $12. That costs roughly 3 hours of work. Renting a new movie (before Netflix and redbox) was $3. Buying popcorn and some 2 liters for friends to come over for $4. That equals 1 hour of work for a fun night with friends.’ shared one.
3. DIY Or Doing Things On Your Own
‘Using the internet to learn how to do something rather than paying a “professional” to do it for me.’ shared one
‘’My first thought when something breaks is “can I fix it?” My second thought is “can I do without it?” It takes a long time and a serious problem for me to escalate to a professional. I’ve saved a ton of money on everything from car repairs to fixing sheetrock to a laptop that needed a power connection resoldered.’ shared another
4. Drinking Water
‘Drinking water. Not only saved me money but I’m in much better shape.’ said one.
‘Spending money on alcohol at bars is the one thing that always makes me feel guilty. You can waste so much money that way. $8 for a beer can get you a six pack. Not to mention I never feel like I get my moneys worth with mixed drinks.’ shared another
5. Using the Library
‘Hitting up the library for books and dvds.’ shared one
‘When I see a book I want, I look it up on Amazon, and add it to my Wish List. Then I go to my library’s website to see if the book is there. If it is, I put that in the wish list comment. That way, I don’t forget to get the book at the library, and I don’t buy the book. Usually 8 out of 10 books are at the library.’ shared another
‘Hitting up the library online for free ebooks. Don’t have to leave the house, and never pay a fine again.’ shared another
‘If it’s big ticket, you have to. I’m in my mid-30s and have saved over $100k lifetime by negotiating car purchases, house purchases, and job offers. Sure it can be unpleasant, but it beats saving money with single ply TP.’
7. Avoid Using Cars
‘Riding my bike instead of driving. Last year I went from May to December without paying for gas. Probably saved about $500.’ shared one.
‘I bicycle commute mostly everyday now. Roughly cut my fuel bill in half. Now I fill up every 2 weeks for $90 dollars.’ shared another
8. Thrift Store
‘Secondhand clothing for my 9 month old daughter. I spend around $50 a month as opposed to a couple hundred dollars. Infants/toddlers grow fast. Buying new clothes will break you unless you’re really well off.’ shared one
‘I don’t think I’ve dropped more than $50 on my 3 kids clothes the past 4 years… my mom loves garage sales, and so does my step-mom. They pretty much have too many clothes (we don’t have dressers big enough, seriously).’ shared another
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9. Meal Planning
‘Me and the Mrs have created about 24 set menus, each is a weeks worth of meals, with these set menus is a complete shopping list. By sticking to this rather nerdy plan we save money and have different things to eat every meals for 24 weeks at a time.’ shared one
‘I’ve made an online tool for doing something similar. You enter info about the types of food you like, special diet rules, etc, and then it generates a weekly meal plan with recipes and a shopping list. You can set it to save-money mode and it will prefer cheaper recipes’ shared another.
10. Not Going For Big Brands
‘Not buying name brand. I mean I compare the ingredients and see if its really worth the extra two bucks or not.’shared one
‘Yep, at Whole Foods for example, their store brand (off brand) is 365. The 365 products are almost always the generic of the best company that is offered on the same shelf. This comes from Whole foods employee. And all butter comes from the same place, no matter the brand.’ shared another
‘Making coffee at home and not going to Starbucks or Coffee Bean all the time’ shared another
11. Building Up Savings
‘Pay myself first. As soon as I get paid I put $1500 in the bank. I’ve learned to train myself to forget about the money so I never talk myself into making a withdrawal. Now it seems like I don’t even want to use it because I’ve worked so hard to build up that savings.’ shared one
‘Every 2 weeks I put $200 into my checking account which is linked to my debit card. It’s the only account linked to it, so basically I have $100/week to spend on random things. Definitely stops me from spending all my money.’ shared another
‘The habit of immediately transferring a set amount of my pay to my savings account and only touching it for bills. Ever. That was a hard habit to get into and the one I’m happiest to have.’ shared another
12. Extra Payments On Mortgage
‘Making extra payments on my mortgage. By the time I’m finished I’ll have cut a few years, and a couple $10’s of thousands off the full-term amount’ said one.
13. Spending Only Cash
‘Trying to only spend cash. Swiping the card is too easy and you end up hemorrhaging money, nickel-and-dime-ing yourself to death’ said one.
‘Also- taking 10 minutes out of the beginning of each week/month to budget, then ATTEMPTING to adhere to it.” shared another.
‘Making most of my food myself instead of ordering out all of the time.’ said one.
‘Learn to really cook;
- Make a list of dinners each week and a grocery list to match;
- Explore wines, cheeses, local fresh anything, olive oils, charcuterie, nuts, olives, pickled things, fresh breads and simple homemade pastries.
This may sound expensive, but it isn’t. Let me explain. The key is you do the cooking and you plan what you need. Also, you plan so that nothing is wasted. It takes years to become expert at, but it is a fascinating journey of exploration that never ends. There is always something more to learn and experience.
Soon you are making $100 dinners at home with wine/cocktails for $15–and you had quite a night. Then you throw in the redbox movie–that you pause when have your homemade pastry (or you eat the $4 piece of creme brulee you splurge on at the bakery!).’ shared another
16. Quit Smoking or Drugs
‘My whole family does it and it’s roughly 5$ a pack and that lasts around 1-3 days. That’s at least 10$ a week, up to like 40$ a week. Such a waste of money.’ shared one
‘I love smoking but damn… once I did the math I quit. Plus the whole cancer thing was a concern.’ shared another
17. Spending On Games
‘World of Warcraft…15 dollars a month kept me from spending any more than 15 dollars a month on entertainment for probably 3 years…’ shared one
We hope you enjoyed this Reddit discussion on which habit of yours has saved you the largest amount of money?
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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.