8 Simple Ways to Save Without Giving up Your Morning Coffee

Ever wonder where all your money has gone at the end of the month? You might be performing a magic trick without even realizing it. And you’re not alone, my friend. Saving money can be one of the hardest habits to nail down, but learning how to save in small places can really start to add up over time.  Believe it or not, you can actually save cash without giving up your coffee shop stops or eliminating all forms of entertainment. Here are eight ways to start working toward breaking the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.

Set aside a certain amount for non-essentials. If you use all of this cash, then you have to wait until your next paycheck for extra goodies. Not enough money for Chinese take-out tonight? Check out recipes online for much cheaper alternatives. You never know, you could enjoy your creative concoction more than the original.

Learn to say “no.” This can be one of the hardest things to say, but it keeps money in your pocket. Consider why you want to buy that pair of shoes and whether they are a necessity.

Be on the lookout for coupons and rebates. Check in newspapers and online, but be a smart shopper. Make sure that you’re getting the best deal (a generic brand may still be cheaper than a brand name with a coupon). And don’t buy something just because it’s on sale, either. If you don’t normally use the item, it will be wasted money as it sits unused or uneaten .

Take advantage of student and membership discounts. Many businesses offer these benefits if you have a valid student ID or membership card, such as a grocery store club card. Don’t forget to use those “buy eight, get the ninth free” cards too (especially more that morning coffee).

Take advantage of the library. Books aren’t the only things that you can check out from the public library. You can borrow CDs and DVDs for free at many libraries. Just be sure to return them on time to avoid late fees!

Avoid snacks from vending machines. Instead, buy a box of granola bars ahead of time and keep a couple bars in your backpack or purse.

Eat at home. It’s okay to treat yourself by occasionally eating out, but trade in a few of those trips to the drive-thru with some homemade meals. They can be easier on your wallet and your waistline.

Save money on gas. Try carpooling or using public transportation. Put your java buzz to work by walking or bicycling if you live close enough. You can get from point A to point B, and get some exercise.

Walk to the library to rent a movie, buy some microwave popcorn and you could have a movie night for under $3. You’ve avoided the cost of gas, $7 popcorn and an overpriced movie ticket. With some moderation and improved saving habits, you can still have your morning latte guilt-free. No magic required.

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