Easiest ways to save money to get out of debt and start living off the land include ways you might not expect. It's not so much giving up the big car payment or mortgage (although these can certain help), but rather examining and changing the little things. Here are some ideas on how you can easily save more funds each month.
One of the best ways to save money is by looking at the smaller ways you are spending money every day. It's the little things we think don't matter that eat away at our funds in big ways.
Keep a Daily Expense Journal
Start by purchasing a small notebook with sufficient room to write down your daily expenses. Then every time you buy something, write it down.
Let's say your daily routine includes stopping by a nearby coffee shop for a frappuccino before heading to work. You also pick up a newspaper while you're there. Then around ten you buy a snack from the vending machine.
You like to get away from the office on your lunch break, so you hit the fast food place with your friends. Then, for your afternoon break, you get a cookie from the snack bar downstairs for a quick pick-me-up. Because you worked overtime, you stop by the fast food place after work to pick up food for you and your spouse.
So here's your expenses for the day:
• Frappuccino - $4
• Newspaper - $1.50
• Morning Snack - $1
• Lunch - $6
• Snack bar cookie - $1
• Dinner - $12
That frappuccino you buy five days a week costs you a whopping $1,040 per year, and the newspaper costs you an extra $390 per year. Then there are those snacks; they cost you a whopping $520 per year. Bring snacks to the office and you could save $400 per year or more. Get a newspaper subscription (usually about $40 a year), and you could save $350 a year.
Even better, you can make your own frappuccino every morning before you head off to work and save more than $1,000 a year. Making it yourself is one of the easiest ways to save money.
Here's my favorite recipe:
• 1 cup of cold coffee
• 3 tablespoons of sugar
• 1 cup of milk
• 2 cups of ice
• 3 tablespoons of chocolate syrup
• Whipped topping
Put coffee, sugar, milk, ice and chocolate syrup in a blender and blend it on high speed until all the ice is crushed and your drink is smooth. Pour some into a glass and top with the whipped topping. This recipe makes two drinks.
One of the easiest ways to save money is to get back to the basics. That means making your own chocolate syrup once every few months. This easy recipe comes from Any Dacyczyn's awesome book, The Complete Tightwad Gazette:
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 1 cup water
• 2 cups sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla