One of the toughest aspects of shrinking your budget is cutting costs from your daily routine. Here are six ways to save money from the moment you wake up:
6. Time your showers
Limiting showers to 10 minutes can save you a significant amount over a year. Set a kitchen timer when you shower in the morning. Each extra minute you stay in the shower adds to your water and heat costs.
5. Use fewer personal care products
Advertisers want us to think that we need all the lotions, conditioners and hygiene products they promote. But we don't. In fact, we often use too much of even basic toiletries, such as toothpaste and shampoo. Using a little less shampoo each time you shower will stretch your supply.
4. Make your own breakfast
Some people try to save by skipping breakfast, but this tactic usually leaves them hungrier and more likely to spend money on snacks. Make time to prepare a healthy breakfast in the morning at home and vending-machine food will be less tempting.
3. Brew your coffee
You hear this tip time and again, but it's one that proves the point that small purchases can add up quickly over time. A $4 cup of premium coffee a day can add up to more than $1,000 over a year. Think of the amount you'll save by filling a thermos with coffee at home each day.
2. Brown bag your own lunch
Bringing your own lunch, whether it's a sandwich or leftovers, will cost less than buying a meal. Making time to prepare your lunch might seem difficult at first, but once it becomes a habit, you'll wonder why you didn't do it before.
1. Commute early
You waste time and money when you get stuck in traffic during your
. Avoiding rush hour will help you get to work faster and keep you from wasting gas while idling in traffic.
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Jeffrey Strain has been a freelance personal finance writer for the past 10 years helping people save money and get their finances in order. He currently owns and runs SavingAdvice.com.