Sense & Centsibility Blog

Four Simple Money-Saving Habits to Start Now

Almost everyone has a bad habit that causes them to waste money...whether it's taking extra long showers or running to the grocery store 2 times in one day because you forgot something. Or throwing away expired baby carrots [guilty]. There are simple ways to avoid wasting your money; sometimes it's easier said than done, but usually if you put in the effort it's do-able. So here are 4 easy ways to start good money saving habits and kick the money-wasting ones (besides just not buying baby carrots ever again).

Food. Eat it, cook it, and/or freeze it. If you have leftovers, but think you might not eat them right away, put them in the freezer.

Gas. Plan your trips better to avoid running to the grocery store, home improvement store, or Target/Wal-Mart multiple times per week (or day sometimes).

LunchWater/Electricity/Heat/AC. Turn the heat/AC down by 2 or 3 degrees or whatever is tolerable to save money on your utility bill. Set a 5-10 minute timer for your shower to save on water and don't keep the water running while you brush your teeth (or wash your face, etc).

Lunch/Coffee. Bring your coffee and lunch with you to work/school. If you have a fridge at work, try collaborating with a friend for the week's lunches; each of you can bring ingredients to share so you can eat healthier and save money not having to buy lunch.

Bonus tip: determine how much you're saving (or not spending) and set that aside into a separate savings account. If you already have one started, this is a great way to keep building up your safety net in case of a financial emergency.

For more ways to save money, read Mary Ellen's post about eating better and saving money and this post on how to stop nickel-and-diming your wallet to death. Or if you're up for a real challenge - for people like me anyway :) - read Ashley's post about ditching cable.

Author Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling. LSS empowers people to become more financially fit, achieve financial stability, and take control of their debt.