BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – According to the most recent census, 17.8% of Louisianians live in poverty.
Inflation continues to hold the nation in its grip, a fact illustrated by the rising costs of food, housing, and other basic life necessities.
Many locals are attempting to adapt to the current economical climate by scaling back on large purchases and changing their budgets.
Listed below are five financial habits that, when applied, may result in saving as much as $200 monthly:
Pause Paid Streaming Services
It may save you $40-$50 monthly to temporarily cancel your paid streaming services and watch your favorite shows using free streaming options like Peacock.
Save Money on Groceries
Before writing your shopping list, set a budget and stick to it. Make sure your list includes plenty of breakfast foods and generic brands as these are typically very inexpensive.
Instead of buying ready-made packs of fresh fruit and/or vegetables that have already been cut and peeled, purchase the more affordable raw fruits and veggies that you have to peel and cut yourself.
Make good use of coupons by downloading them virtually or using the offers that come in the mail from time to time.
After writing your shopping list, select a grocery store that offers the best value. And avoid impulse buys by eating something before you go shopping. This will prevent a hungry stomach from manipulating you into last-minute purchases that exceed your budget.
Stop Eating Out and Dine In
For the time being, prepare all of your own meals instead of eating out at a restaurant or grabbing something quick from a fast food joint. Not only is this typically better for your health, but it’s also easier on the wallet.
According to one source, if you eat lunch out Monday through Friday and spend $10 for a meal, that’s a total of $200 monthly. That number is in sharp contrast to a monthly expense of $80, which is the estimated cost of eating lunches that you’ve prepared at home Monday through Friday. This is because the average meal prepared at home costs approximately $4 to make.
Replace a gym membership with home workouts
While gym memberships can help you stay fit, they can also leave your wallet a little too skinny. One article states that the average person with a gym membership wastes $40 per month because they don’t use it.
Instead of paying a fee to use a gym, check out free workout apps or workout programs on YouTube and exercise at home. The same principle applies to other memberships you pay for but do not use. Instead of continuing to pay monthly fees, cancel the memberships.
Replace Coffee Shop Stops With Home Brewed Goodness
According to CNBC, “The average American spends $1,100 every year (or $3 per day) on coffee, according to a 2017 “Money that Matters” report from Acorns. Even if you take the inexpensive route and swap the $3 latte for a $1.50 cup of joe, your daily caffeine run will still cost you about $540 annually.”
With a little creativity and a dash of self-control, it’s possible to save hundreds of dollars monthly.
Click here for additional budgeting suggestions from the Federal Trade Commission.