Does home ownership seem like an impossible dream because you can’t seem to save for a down payment? If so, it might be time to take a look at the places where money is leaking out of your pocket, just a few dollars at a time.
You might be amazed to see just how much money you can save with a few lifestyle changes.
Here are 6 ways to save:
Cable television: At an average cost of $99 per month, cancelling that subscription would save you $1,188 per year. Did you know that you can borrow videos (and books) for free at libraries?
Gym membership: This is one you won’t want to drop if you’re really hitting the gym several days a week and staying fit and healthy because of it. But if you only go now and then, and if you pay $60 per month, stopping that membership will save you another $720.
Coffee: If you stop for coffee every morning on the way to work, that average cost of $3.65 per cup is costing you $949 per year. If you pay $8 for a can of coffee and brew it at home, you’ll probably spend less than $96 (one can per month), saving $853. If you stop again on the way home, double that figure.
Lunch: The average cost of going out to lunch is $11. If you prepare your lunch at home and carry it to work, it will cost about $4 – and probably be better for you. At $7 per day difference, you’ll save $1,820 per year.
Movies: The average cost of a movie ticket is $8.53, so for a couple to go out, that’s $17.06. Then of course you need popcorn – a tub of which is another $8 or so, and two soft drinks at $6 each. That means one trip to the movies will cost in excess of $37 – and that’s if you don’t take the kids along. (And if you have small children and don’t take them – how much do you pay the sitter?) Compare this to $3 or so to rent a movie, plus something under $5 for soft drinks and popcorn enough for a whole family.
If you’ve been going once a week, saving $29 per week adds up to $1,508 a year.
Lottery tickets: These come in prices from $1 to $20 each, but if you’re spending $5 twice a week, and winning $5 back once a month, there’s another $460 you could be saving toward that new home.
Making the changes outlined above would save you at least $6,549 per year, and I’m guessing that if you think about it, you’ll find more ways. Money that drains out of your pocket $1, $5, or $10 at a time really adds up, especially when it’s an every-day “leak.”
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