While not everyone celebrates the Easter holiday, many people are familiar with Lent, the forty-day observance before it (which started yesterday, March 5th). It’s during this time that many people choose to give up certain luxuries as a form of penitence. Even if you’re not a religious person, this can still be a great time for cleansing and renewal (a “Spring Cleaning,” if you will). Why not use it as a time to start fresh with your finances? Here are 4 ideas for things to “sacrifice” for the next month – choose one or choose a few! We’d love to hear any other suggestions you might have, too!
1. Going out to eat. I think going out to lunch or dinner is a luxury that starts to feel like a necessity simply because people feel like they’re too busy to prepare a meal. Packing your lunch and cooking dinner at home will really cut down on your spending, and it’s often healthier (since you’re consuming less fried and prepackaged foods, and often in smaller portions than what’s served in restaurants). *Time-saving tip: prepare lunches or dinners ahead of time so you can pull them out of the fridge and be ready to go!
2. Your daily coffee run. The cost of every cup really adds up when you’re doing a daily (or even twice-daily) coffee shop stop. It’s much more convenient to make your own brew at home, and you can customize it to meet your taste preferences. The best part? It’ll cost you a fraction of the price!
3. Junk food. Not only will this help you get healthier, but it’ll lower your grocery bill! Cutting out things like cookies, chips, and soda will save you a few extra bucks every time you go to the store.
4. Your car. Maybe you can’t cut it out completely, but you can definitely make efforts to reduce how often you drive. Walk to the nearest store instead of driving. Take the bus to work. Ride your bike to a friend’s house. You’ll save a ton by not fueling up as much, and plus, it’s better for the environment!