PHOTO: Neerav Bhatt
Getting control of your finances can be overwhelming. Here are some easy, everyday steps you can take to get on track.
Plan Your Meals. It's tempting at the end of a long work day to opt for take-out instead of deciding what to cook for dinner at home. Make it harder to eat out by planning meals for the week before trips to the grocery store. Just by having a plan, and sticking to your shopping list, you'll save money by curbing impulse purchasing, and by eating at home.
Pro-tip: Plan meals with similar ingredients to use up the food you purchase. Trent at The Simple Dollar, for example, writes about how he used a whole chicken to make two different meals, plus one leftover meal for a family of four—along with chicken stock for future meals.
Wash Laundry in Cold Water. On average, washing a load of laundry with hot water costs 68 cents, whereas washing clothes in cold water costs a whopping 4 cents. You are literally throwing money down the drain exclusively washing in warm water.
Plan a Night Out In. Socializing doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Invite your friends for dinner at your place, with each of them bringing their specialty dish. You’ll get to try different dishes, save money, and have a night with friends; what could be better?
Keep Your Money in Your Pocket… Not in the Bank’s. If you’re using an ATM to take out money frequently (not a great idea anyhow), make sure you’re at least using one of your bank's, so you aren’t hit with a $2-$3 fee each time. Better yet, join a bank that doesn’t charge fees for ATM withdrawals from any machine. If neither of those work for you, then pull out money in larger amounts less frequently to save on the number of transaction fees.