I have been reading a lot about a few things we can do to save money, live healthier, and simplify life. These are some of the few things I think are easiest to start right away. It’s been fun so far!
1. Make your morning coffee at home! There is something so satisfying about fresh ground coffee. Since I’m drinking decaf these days, I found some excellent beans (Blueberry Crumble, and Vanilla Almond) to brew the perfect aromatic cup of morning coffee. Each morning I avoid my favorite coffee shop, I save approximately $6.00!
2. Begin your day with instant oatmeal. Oatmeal is cheap, and apparently now they have discovered that in addition to the health benefits, you live longer! Where do I sign up, right?! The problem with oatmeal is that is slightly disgusting. I try to fix that with dried fruit. Throw a few dried cranberries and diced dried apricots along with cinnamon and you have a healthy, cheap, warm and cozy breakfast!
3. Pack a lunch, and some snacks…. Always have something in your purse. Last minute impulse food purchases can really add up, especially if you’re surrounded by over priced convenience items. Your lunch doesn’t have to be beautiful, it just has to be eatable. This week I packed two brats for lunch each day. Slightly embarrassing when you’re eating at a hospital, but definitely a lunch conversation piece!
4. Take the bus. Public transportation doesn’t even exist in my hometown in Wisconsin, but now I load up my audiobook (Usually the highly recommended selections on Audible), and head out the door to walk and catch the bus. Parking down by the hospital adds up like crazy – I would rather have the expensive coffee shop coffee that I avoided in step 1. Also, I save on gas and mileage added to our slightly unreliable vehicles. You can actually be productive on the bus: check emails, make to-do lists, listen to books, read a book on Kindle. I would not recommend multitasking of this sort while behind the wheel.
5. Hide your income into a separate checking account, try to forget about it! Just forget the money. Try to hide a stash of money in a secret checking account, that has a high interest rate. It’s like putting the cash under your mattress, but it also earns interest. Move this cash into your high interest account the moment your direct deposit hits the bank – and make transferring the money back into your cash account annoying, so it stays stashed.
6. Enjoy life and take a deep breath before your next purchase. Do I need this? Many times the answer is no. This is becoming especially important to me as I try to avoid stuffing my house full of new baby essentials. I’m not sure any are essential, but the marketing is SO good. Simplicity comes from taking the clutter away… buying things only introduces new clutter to your home and your closet.
Happy New Year – here’s to spending that well-earned, saved money on your next big vacation!