Rachel Cruze is a rising and sonorous voice in the personal finance space, with a growing sphere of influence on social media. The money maven is all about exploring and embracing ways to save.
No More Bottled Water
Let’s start with something small and easy. Stop buying bottled water. It’s absolutely terrible for the planet and it’s also bad for your bank account.
“Yes, you’ve got the one-time purchase of a quality reusable water bottle, but if you find yourself buying bottled water regularly, you’ll make your money back (and then some) in no time,” Cruze wrote.
Adjust the Thermostat
Here’s another small and simple thing you can do whenever you’re just sitting around (bonus if you have a smart system and can do it from your phone): adjust the thermostat. This is really key in the extreme heat waves experienced across the U.S.
“If you’ll be gone part of the day to work or haul the kids from one activity to the next, adjust the thermostat,” Cruze wrote. “Don’t heat or cool an empty home to the max comfort level. That’s a waste! This simple tip can help you save on your heating or cooling bill. Every. Single. Month.”
Cook More, Eat Out Less
The cost of food is rising everywhere, but cooking at home on the regular is still significantly cheaper than eating out at a restaurant.
“The average American household spends nearly $3,030 each year eating out,” Cruze wrote. “That’s about $250 a month when you do the math. Think about it: So the average household could save up to $250 by cutting back on this (fun but not necessary) budget line.”
Of course, it’s hard to conjure up the energy after a long day of work and/or caregiving to go to the supermarket, buy your ingredients for dinner and then go home and bring it all to life on the plate. So, integrate meal planning into your life (Cruze also recommends this as a money-saving hack) so that you can limit the supermarket outings and some of the mental math that goes into cooking your own meals.
Take Your Own Lunch to Work
Think it’s fine to cook your dinners but buy your lunches out when in the office? Think again! By packing your own lunch you will, according to Cruze, “save money every month and save precious lunch break minutes by skipping all the time spent going to and from a restaurant.”
Buy Produce in Season
If you’re craving a juicy navel orange in July, you may want to wait out the ache. Navel oranges are in season from around December through March, meaning this is when they’re in abundance and priced the most reasonably.
“In-season produce is easier to supply in a large quantity–which means a lower cost to you,” Cruze wrote. “It all comes down to that supply and demand concept you (maybe?) learned in high school economics class.”
You can get a great idea of what produce is in season by shopping at local farmer’s markets. If you’re super keen on saving, go toward the end of the market’s hours, when vendors are wrapping up and may be more inclined to offer you items at a discount to avoid having to lug them all back.
Get Rid of Cable
So, how many monthly streaming services are you subscribing to now on top of paying for basic cable? It’s time to reassess and weed out what you don’t need.
“Get that cable bill out of your monthly budget,” Cruze wrote. “Switch to a more cost-effective streaming service like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video instead. Or put up with some ads and go with a free streaming service like Peacock, Freevee or Vudu.”
Wiping out debt does require “spending” every month, in that you have to make fat payments to get it down, but this is a move that will save you tons of money in the long run because it will keep interest rates (in addition to the sheer debt alone) from eroding your bank account and upending your entire financial life.
“Seriously, look at your budget right now,” Cruze urged on Ramsey Solutions. “How much would it free up if you didn’t have car payments, student loans, and credit card balances to juggle each month? What could you be doing with that money instead? Literally anything. So, take back your income, and pay off your debt!”
Check All Your Insurance Coverage
If you have your bills on autopay, as recommended, you may not be totally in the loop of how much your paying for insurances of various kinds. Are you paying too much or, what’s potentially worse in an emergency, not paying enough? Doing an insurance checkup regularly can save you money, and you can do it on Ramsey’s site here.
More From GOBankingRates