Before you go reading the sep ira rules to invest your money, you want to ensure that your hard-earned money is going to the right places, so it can be a good idea to take a look at your whole financial picture. In order to examine every dollar that is coming in, and more importantly, going out, you can pull last month’s credit or debit card statement and actually go line by line to see what your purchases were, so you can begin to make changes to reduce unnecessary expenses and free up extra money. After all, if you can reduce the spending sprees, that extra money can go towards more important areas such as building up an emergency fund to give yourself a cushion in case any unexpected charges come in, and saving for retirement.
Buy a Programmable Coffee Maker
You might not think a few dollars for a coffee in the morning on the way to work is a big deal, after all, we all need our coffee to give a little jumpstart in the morning. While of course I’m not suggesting giving up precious coffee, you can actually save the trip and brew it at home. By buying a programmable coffee maker for around $30, you can set the timer to actually have the coffee made by the time you are about to walk out the door for work, put in your travel mug, and give a few extra minutes to get to work on time.
Go to the Grocery Store
I never claimed to be the best cook, in fact, I prefer not to, but that doesn’t mean that going out to eat is always the best decision either. Sure, it’s great to order whatever you want off the menu, have the meal prepared, served, not to mention cleaned up after you, but that comes at a cost. If you were to opt to going grocery shopping instead of going out to lunch at work, grabbing carryout on the way home for dinner, even more money taking the family out to dinner, you can save hundreds of dollars a month by preparing your meals at home.
Check Your Credit Report
Now that you have shaved off money off the food budget, let’s take a look at your larger monthly payments, those of which came from looking at your credit report. By having the best credit, you can take advantage of the lowest interest rates on the market, so anything more than that is costing you money, so it’s a good idea to at least look at a copy of your credit report at least once a year to ensure everything is accurate. The major credit bureaus will provide a free copy of your report once a year. While the score will not be included, you can find on your monthly credit card statements now to make sure you monitor every month going forward to watch it continue to rise.
Cut Your Cable Bill
The next part of making cuts are where sacrifices come into play. While some of us may remember getting cable for the first time, others have grown accustomed to having cable their whole life, so the thought of cutting the cord might be way out there. If you actually think about how much TV you’re watching, live TV for that matter and not from your DVR, and how many of those channels available are you tuning in to, you may be able to get rid of cable without missing it too much. After all, most of us watch streaming services that we’re paying for anyways, and now you can cut cable out of the picture and save money in the meantime. You can buy a $20 HD antenna as well so you can still get local network channels as well, to really make sure you’re not missing anything.
Set Spending Limits
While some are able to use a credit card to make all of their purchases and watch the rewards start to add up, others see that as an easy trap to fall into debt, so perhaps cash is the better option to them. If you can set spending limits with cash, by the time the money is spend that is it until next paycheck, it’s as simple as that. Once it’s gone it’s gone. This may help to really appreciate the value of the dollar and what it means to make a purchase and see the money leave your hand and go into the cash register, hopefully making you second guess every purchase.