We live in a world of convenience and consumption. Fast-food eating, frozen meal shopping, buying this and that. Making minor changes to the way we live our lives can make lasting impacts that will benefit us in the long-run.

Below is a list of 5 items that we casually purchase with minimal thought. By purposely cutting down on a few of these items we can save our hard-earned money.

1. Bring homemade food to work. By bringing meals from home instead of going out for lunch, we can save $15-$75 a week.

Which can easily turn into $3,900 per year. Or, for a 40-year career $156,000.

2. Buy clothes during the off-season or check out second-hand stores. The fashion industry has created a total of 52 “micro-seasons”. The purpose of doing this is to get us to buy more clothes and more frequently.

Modify your shopping habits to buy clothing before the season changes, when clothing goes on sale. Also check out your local second-hand stores. We have amazing second-hand stores in Des Moines. Not only is it economically wise but also environmentally smart.

3. Stop eating “convenience” foods – The frozen meals that are available at the grocery store are unhealthy and expensive.

We can make a homemade batch of lasagna on the weekend and freeze individual portions for reheating throughout the week.

4. Go generic at the grocery store – Most of the food in my home is a generic brand. Don’t pay extra for the same thing. When we buy the brand, we are paying for their marketing….be smart, shop smart.

5. Cancel subscriptions you don’t use – This means your cable TV, magazines, gym memberships or other subscriptions you don’t use. (I wouldn’t recommend cancelling a gym membership if you are using it. Health is important.)

Some people keep their cable or satellite subscriptions, so they have “options”. Really? When is the last time you were like “oh my, this cable has so many awesome shows on that I can’t choose which channel to watch?” Not! There is nothing but crap. Cable/Satellite can cost anywhere from $50-$250 a month. On the low end that saves you $600 a year, up to the high end of $3,000 per year.

Take time to work through these different items and see where you can cut costs. Then cut them and tuck that money into your savings.

Check out this article about financial dating tips – Date Night- Are We Spending too Much to Impress?


Information contained herein does not involve the rendering of personalized investment or financial advice but is limited to the dissemination of general information.