How to Save Money Easily

How to Save Without Trying

Happy Thursday everyone! I came across this infographic recently and wanted to share it with my readers. I know many of us like to save money, so it seemed highly relevant. If you visit this site frequently you already know that I do my best to regularly write about saving. Although I comment on it frequently, I am always looking for ways to save money. Let’s face it, as good and smart as saving money is, it can become tedious over time. What I like about this infographic is that it’s not talking about eating rice and beans, but being a little more frugal with our decisions and making a couple of simple cuts. The few cuts that they’re suggesting, they argue, can add up to nearly $5,000 per year! Even if you do not do all of them, just doing a couple of them will save you a good chunk of dough. Add the money savings you have to extra side income and you have a very good combination.

What areas are you guilty of and where would you like to be saving money instead? Personally speaking, I know we’re a little guilty of spending too much on eating out but not to the extent that they’re describing. I was also a little surprised by the impulse spending category…$736 per month is just a bit much if you ask me. I do have to admit though that I am just a little curious as to what they consider impulse buying and if there really is a money saving opportunity there.

What are some the things that stick out to you on this infographic and what are some of your favorite ways to save money?

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About the author:

I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. You can connect via Twitter / Facebook.

67 comments on “How to Save Money Easily

    • Could not agree more DC! When I worked in my previous jobs I always took my lunch in and would make coffee quite often at home and it can save a good chunk of money by doing just that.

  1. I would always brown bag my lunch. When I started a new job, I started eating lunch out because there were so many places to eat. It didn’t seem like much at the time, dropping $10 for lunch, but by the end of the month, I was getting concerned as to why my bank balance was so low suddenly. When I added up all of my lunches out, it totaled close to $200! I was shocked! Have have gone back to my brown bagging ways but still eat out once a month as a treat.
    Jon @ MoneySmartGuides recently posted..Why Hire a Financial PlannerMy Profile

    • It surely can add up quickly! When I was in an office I would take my lunch the large majority of the time and eat out pretty rarely. Time was also an issue, so it made more sense for me to bring lunch.

    • It did to me as well Kim. I would like to know what they’re buying too. But, then again, I am sure I was doing similar things when I was using credit cards like crazy.

    • I would think that you would be Pauline. :) Getting coupons for eating out is a great way to save money and you’re right, many restaurants have some sort of social media presence.

  2. I do all of those except the coupons. Coupons just seem to take more mental effort than I am able to muster. And since I don’t buy a lot of prepared foods, there aren’t that many coupons that are even available to me in the first place.

    I’ve actually made an effort to use coupons a couple of times. Every time I just can’t sustain the effort. I seem to spend tons more time than I should trying to save 50 cents here or there.
    My Financial Independence Journey recently posted..A Primer on Federal Income and Investment TaxesMy Profile

    • That’s a great point. We don’t really coupon ourselves, other than what comes in the Sunday paper. It takes us less than five minutes and only use them on things we already buy. We do not buy prepared foods either, so it is usually on toiletries and the like.

  3. Our weakness is eating out on weekends. We try to justify it by saying we live in NYC and have to take advantage of the great restaurants, but it’s something we do need to rein in a bit. On the flip side, we both bring lunch to work nearly every day, which really does save a lot.
    Lisa @ Elle Sees recently posted..On BudgetsMy Profile

    • I did that the large majority of the time as well when I was in an office. Not only does it save money, but it also allows you to have healthier alternatives.

  4. Love the infographic! I think most people are comfortable with what they spend on a week-to-week or even monthly basis. However, when they it as a yearly sum then the surprise sets in and a potential willingness to change occurs. Buying a cup coffee is a few bucks, so who cares in the moment. A $1,000 on coffee – Wow! I could have really done something with that money beyond a caffeine fix! Of course, I am also guilty of dashing into the coffeehouse for a coffee or tea on occasion when I’m out of the office. The days I’m in the office is better because I stock the pantry with my faves. :)
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    • Great points as always Shannon! It can be difficult for many to look beyond those day to day activities that can add up over time. I think it’s that realization that is what can start true change. That $1000 would look awfully nice in an IRA as opposed to handing it over to Starbucks, wouldn’t it ;) We can be guilty of eating out a bit too much, but the nice thing about working at home we really don’t battle with the felt need to go out for lunch everyday.

  5. That’s a great infographic and certainly we’ve read all about the ways to save money and these have popped up. I think it’s the easy stuff that we can all cut back on to save money in the budget. Eating out, coffee, spending too much on groceries, etc is all variable spending that we should be able to control. It’s about being mindful and knowing where the money goes, it’s that easy in my opinion. When you see those Year-end numbers those are the one’s that should light a fire under our arses if they are too high. The little numbers seem much more manageable until you see the lump of it all lol…
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted..Income Tax Is Like A Four Letter WordMy Profile

    • Could not agree more Mr. CBB! When you’re spending it, the $5 here and there does not seem like much at all. The problem comes when you do that on a regular basis and the drips become a flood. I’d much rather have that $1k or $2k in my IRA as opposed to all of the coffees when I can have both by just making the coffee at home.

    • Thanks Jim! I agree that impulse spending can really creep up on you if you do not start disciplining yourself and have a long term view of your finances.

    • Exactly Deacon! That’s a great point. We went on a nice one ourselves last summer and were able to keep it to around $1,000. I’d much rather do that then eat out for lunch.

    • We’re basically the same way Chris. We’ll generally buy a bag at Costco and it’ll last us quite a while. I think the only time we really buy it out anymore is if we’re out on a date or have a client meeting.

  6. I save money in the coffee, brown bag and date-night categories. I could definitely save more in the grocery and impulse-buying categories! We spend the most on food, I think, because we don’t plan our meals well and hit the supermarket a few times a week. That being said, we shop at Sprouts and Walmart and avoid buying certain items unless they’re on sale. Clothes and shoes are my weakness, but I shop mostly at TJMaxx and Marshalls, and always use a coupon or shop the sale rack at department stores! In addition to coupons, discount gift cards are another great way to save on impulse shopping or date night. I shaved $35 off my home goods purchase with one, and a friend of mine just bought a $25 gift card to Fandango for $16 using GiftCardGranny — such a steal!

    • We all have areas where we might struggle and some where we do really good. As long as it balances out in the end, then I think you’re doing good overall. Thanks for stopping by Kendal!

    • They are Joe! Plus, why say 1000 words when you can say the same thing in a picture? I agree with you on the Latte Factor, but a few minor cutbacks can add up to some decent savings.

    • I hear ya Tonya. We only do very limited couponing, in that we simply use the ones in the Sunday paper. We largely use them on things like toiletries and the such, but rarely food.

  7. I would always have my thermos and brownbag lunch at the factory I worked at. I grabbed all the overtime. (my husband & I invested in rental properties) People would sometimes poke fun at me for being cheap…I had the last laugh when i retired 2 years ago at 50 :)
    Our splurges are eating out at a convenience store we drive past occassionally. It has hotdogs 2/99c,25c coffee, and 2 mini mint patties 25c. Two can dine for $2.00.
    Another one is where we buy reduced sweets and bread…grab a coffee too.

    Enjoying treats don’t need to cost a lot. Sometimes at a restaurant we will order a 3pc fish n chips, because I want a 1-pc and my husband wants a 2-pc. A lot cheaper. Waitress doesn’t care..I leave the same tip regardless.

    • Great point Kathyn! There are definitely ways to have fun and enjoy a treat without spending a bunch of money during the process. Those choices all add up over time, which is why it can be beneficial to do some of them. Congrats on retiring at 50 – that’s awesome! :)

    • That can be difficult, especially after work. f I have to eat fast food, then I’d go with them. I like their chicken sandwiches…as long as I ask for no mayonnaise on it. They give you enough to where you do not even have to chew the sandwich to get it down. Plus, it tastes nasty.

    • I used be in the same situation years ago. I would try and cut it down by eating out once a week or once every two weeks. It gave me something to look forward to without spending as much money.

      • Just stumbled across your site, great stuff! I think your point on cutting back on things like coffee or eating out, but then also allowing yourself to go out a few times a month, is great. When we really started implementing our budget, we budgeted for a Starbucks about once a week. This way we felt like we could still enjoy our special coffee, once in awhile, but we were still saving so much by making coffee at home or hitting the coffeepot once we got to work!

  8. My fiance probably doubles that coffee category, she’s drinking something she went out and bought 2-3 times a day. Thankfully she stays away from Starbucks but unfortunately the really small shops she goes to dont have those frequent customer cards. I bought her a french press to avoid buying coffee, now all I have to do is get her to use it ;)
    Listen Money Matters recently posted..Plug Your Spending LeaksMy Profile

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