10 Ways to Save $10 a Day (or $3,650 a Year!)
Cutting back to save money doesn't have to be a big, budget-rocking goal. It can be accomplished on a small scale and eventually add up to impressive numbers: Saving just $10 a day will net $3,650 a year. Even $5 a day saves more than $1,800 a year. Here are 10 ways to save money a little bit at a time.
Photo by Carolyn Franks/shutterstock
Pick up a lunch special for dinner.Many restaurants serve the same dishes for dinner and lunch; it's just that the lunch portion is smaller and, therefore, cheaper. The next time you don't feel like cooking, order carryout during the lunch hour instead of waiting until dinnertime. Then stash the food in the office refrigerator and heat it up when you get home.
Adjust the thermostat.Cheapism.com has plenty of energy-saving tips for beating the summer heat without blasting the AC. According to the Association of Energy Service Professionals, simply using the manufacturer's recommended settings can save up to 30 percent on energy costs.
Mind your beverages.Do you drink coffee in the morning, water throughout the day, and a glass of wine with dinner? Brew coffee at home instead of hitting the coffee shop on your way to work; drink tap water instead of buying bottled water; and avoid alcoholic drinks that add a hefty price to your dining tab.
Get fit for free.Drop your gym membership and save money by exercising at home. Try "taking a class" via YouTube or check out Cheapism.com's list of ways to work out without the gym.
Shop with a grocery list.Make a list that contains only what you need, and don't deviate from it -- all those extra items that end up in your cart can really balloon the tab. While you don't have to go extreme-couponing crazy, try to plan meals and make a shopping list around stores' weekly circulars and foods you can buy with coupons.
Collect rewards.If you regularly use a credit card, make sure it has a good rewards program. Even if you don't use credit cards, you can take advantage of loyalty programs for the stores where you shop. These rewards savings can quickly add up to an easy $10 every time you go shopping.
Stream your tunes.Instead of buying albums or paying to download songs à la carte, listen to the music you like for free through streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify. This also lets you sample new artists without making a financial commitment.
Pack your food for the day.No list of 10 ways to save money would be complete without this perennial piece of advice. To avoid eating lunch out or hitting the vending machine for an afternoon nibble, bring lunch and snacks to work. Leftovers from dinner the night before are an easy thing to grab in the morning. Get in the habit of making extra so you can have a good lunch the next day.
Find an alternative way to commute.It's no secret that gas prices pump a lot of money out of your bank account. And think about the cost of wear and tear on your car. Save by driving less: Walk, bike, take the bus or train, or set up a carpool system with coworkers to cut down on fuel costs and other auto-related expenses.
Read for free.Of our 10 ways to save money, this is one of the easiest: Stop paying for newspapers, magazines, and books and head to the local library instead. Many libraries even offer e-book lending. And, of course, countless periodicals and other news sources are free online.