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Quick and Easy Steps That Will Make a Big Difference to Your Budget

Posted by on December 18, 2020 in Economy, Loans and Frugal Living with 0 Comments

As we head into the new year, many of us will be thinking about setting new goals and deciding on a New Year’s resolution. For some, this may be to drink more water, do more exercise, or to learn a new language. For others, they’ll want to spend 2021 getting their finances in order.

If you’re one of these people, then you may be wondering where to start and how to make sure that you stick to your resolution.

There are many different ways you can save cash, but the trick to making your steps to frugality a success is to make small and easy changes first. Don’t stop spending altogether as you’ll eventually cave and want to start splurging for things you enjoy again.

Instead, you want to find a balance between things that you enjoy and making cost savings. Here are some quick and easy ways to do that.

Ditch Cable TV

When was the last time you watched a traditional TV channel? Chances are, if you’re under 35 and live in the United States, it may have been quite a while ago. According to research conducted by Nielsen, 29% of Americans between 18 and 34 didn’t watch any live or time-delay television during the first quarter of 2020. This is significantly more than the rest of the adult population.

Instead, more and more people are switching to streaming services to get their entertainment. Platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are offering a cheaper alternative to cable TV, while also providing the convenience and flexibility to be able to watch content whenever you want and on almost any device.

The average US household spends more on their cable bill than they do on the rest of their utilities combined, so it slashing this expense will make a huge impact on how much you save each month.

You aren’t restricted to just the big streaming services either. There are plenty of niche platforms that offer a range of unique and interesting content too. For example, poker fans will find a wealth of live-action, interviews, and other programming through services like PokerStars TV and Twitch. Meanwhile, those who enjoy learning from documentaries will find hours of interesting content on services like Nebula, Curiosity Stream, and even YouTube.

Quit the Gym

Many of us like to head to the gym to work on ourselves and for the social aspects. However, depending on the one you’ve joined, you may be spending a considerable sum each month.

If you can get out of your contract and still maintain the motivation to keep working out elsewhere, then this may be a great way to save money. You can get your cardio in by heading for a run, power walking, or by cycling in the fresh air.

You can also do much of your resistance training without the need for special equipment, using your body weight instead of heavy pieces of metal.

If you’re one of the 6.3% of Americans that has a gym membership that goes unused, then you definitely need to cut this expense. Combined, $1.8 billion is spent on unused memberships each year, so you could save yourself hundreds of dollars each year.

Learn to Cook

Each year, the average US household spends more than $3,000 on dining out. That’s a lot of money that you could be squirreling away for your future.

Of course, no one is saying you should stop eating out or ordering delivery from your favorite restaurant entirely. But if you can cut down to just one or two meals a month, you’ll be keeping hold of a lot of cash.

Some people head to a restaurant because they’re meeting friends and socializing. But not dining out doesn’t mean you have to go without seeing your friends. Instead, you can just host a dinner party or arrange a picnic in the park instead.

If you’re often reaching for your phone to order an Uber Eats because you’re too tired to cook, then the solution could be to cook in batches. When you are rustling something up in the kitchen, instead of making enough for one sitting, make several more.

You can store these in the fridge or the freezer to have another time and then heat them up like you would with a ready meal that you bought from the store.

These are just three ways that you can have an effect on your budget, but they are all easy to implement and will make a big difference to how much you spend. When done right, they needn’t feel like chores as you can still enjoy all the things you love doing, but at a much lower price.

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