** Reexamining your oldest financial habits is key to making more room in your monthly budget.** There's a great way to make room in your budget for spending money on the things and activities you love. It's so simple, you've probably considered it before, but it's so powerful that it's worth the necessary persistence. Reconsider your well-worn financial habits. Here's how to begin:
1. Reduce Taxes
Donate to a qualified charity. According to Charity Navigator, if you are in the 25 percent tax bracket and donate a $1,000 in clothes or furniture, you could save $250 in taxes.
2. Don't Buy Bottled Water – Bottle It Yourself
Buy filtered water bottles for under $10. One filtered water bottle can replace up to 300 standard 16-oz. water bottles. Imagine the savings.
3. Reduce Your Electric Bill
When you replace incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs, you can save $6.00 in electricity costs annually per bulb.
4. Car Pool
A 20-mile round trip to work costs an average of $102 in gas a month. Split your gas costs with others by carpooling. If you carpool with two people, it's only $51, but a three-person carpool drops your gas costs to $34 per week.
5. Consolidate Your Trips
When you drive less, you spend less money. Plan out your errands and work routes to create a driving plan that will save you cash. For example, if the grocery store is next to your doctor's office, pick up some groceries after your appointment.
6. Buy a Good Used Car
A used car can save you thousands of dollars over a new car, considering inflated prices, the higher cost of insurance and depreciation loss. Drive it for 10 years or more and rake in the savings. Before buying a used vehicle, get a vehicle history report and have a mechanic do a thorough diagnostic to make sure you are getting a reliable car.
7. Save on Dinner
Freezer living isn't just for grandpa; you can save time and money, too. Buy food in bulk when it goes on sale at your grocer and stock your freezer. Save money by buying frozen fruits and vegetables, which are generally cheaper than fresh. Don't forget to keep an eye out for coupons. You can also look for good deals on produce at your local Farmer's Market. There's a surprising amount of habits that cloud our lives and shrink our wallets. Use some of the examples above and pay attention to where you spend your money. Even the simple act of shutting off the water while brushing your teeth can save money. Look around. Where else you can you save?