When people talk about saving money, they usually focus on larger items like cars or appliances. That means they miss out on the daily savings right under their noses.
We found the four most common ways people waste money, and offer quick, easy changes that can save you big bucks.
1. Brown Bag Everything
The average lunch at a fast-casual restaurant is $7; if you’re paying tax and tip it’s around $9. Lunch from home costs approximately $3.50, less if you’re eating leftovers from last night’s dinner. That’s a savings of $1,430 per year.
Don’t forget the snacks. Anything you find in a vending machine is cheaper from the store. Buy in bulk, pack your snack into zipper bags, and the savings continue.
2. Ditch the Fancy Coffee
Accounting Principals’ latest survey says that American workers spend about $1,092 a year on purchased coffee drinks, but most offices provide free coffee and tea, so there’s no reason to spend extra cash for that quick jolt.
Don’t like the company brew? Bring in a French Press and your favorite coffee brand for a rich, professional tasting cup. It costs about $.13 per cup, or $147 a year.
3. Use a Voice Over IP Instead of a Traditional Home Phone
Here’s something we didn’t know. If you’re already paying for high-speed Internet, a Voice over IP (VoIP) system like Ooma Telo lets you make free phone calls. You do have to buy the Ooma Telo, but consumer site HowLifeWorks.com explains:
…if you currently pay $50 a month for your landline, you’ll earn back that expense in less than six months. From there, you’ll save $308 in the first year, $867 in the second year, $1425 in the third—and the savings just keep going. You only have to pay applicable taxes each month, which are usually around $4 a month depending where you live.
It sounds super easy to install. Just plug it into your Internet connection, hook your regular home phone to the device, and you’re all set. Services like Ooma provide free U.S. calling and voicemail, feature outstanding voice quality, and offer caller-ID, call-waiting and 911, and special low rates for international calling. You can even keep your old home phone number.
3. Read Everything Online
Major newspapers and magazines feature the same content online, and it’s usually free to access. These sites also cover breaking news, which means you’ll be more up-to-date than if you only read the print publications.
“But I love owning the full edition!” you cry. Then subscribe to the digital version. It’s the identical publication formatted for a tablet or computer screen, and they generally offer special perks to online readers — such as expanded photo sets and behind-the-scenes videos.
For more info on Ooma, visit HowLifeWorks.More Like This: Career & Finance