This post is part of a 13 money resolutions for 2013 series. You can check the first post for an updated list of the following ones.
As you look at all the areas of spending in your life for ways to trim the fat, look for possible ways you are wasting money. This waste is just as bad and should be eliminated with little effort.
I am still on a zero food waste resolution that was hard to keep over Christmas, but am back on track since New Year. BF had brought lots of food from the capital city that he had kept at his home for 10 days and were already in bad shape, plus when I have guests I overcook…. No more wasting food now, it is a very important matter for me, I simply hate it. When you throw food out, your lose money. And even a couple of dollars worth of vegetables per week still amounts to $100 a year.
Buy what you need and optimize your grocery shopping. Grabbing a pack of gum at the checkout line of the supermarket is no big deal if you enjoy gums anyway. Buying 48 cans of tuna that will go bad in your pantry because tuna is not really part of your diet but ”the price was too good to pass” is wasteful.
I hate wasting energy too, what drives me crazy is when people stare at the fridge for half an hour, leaving the door open. Here there is no need for heating, and we only have hot water in the shower, limiting the potential energy waste to kitchen appliances. With a little attention, you can lower your bill without lowering your level of comfort.
Shut the windows if you are heating or have the AC on.
Turn off the lights when leaving the room
Open the fridge once when you start cooking and once when you store your food after the meal.
Stop the oven 5 minutes before your meal is ready and leave it inside until you eat.
Cook bigger portions and freeze them, using the oven for 12 portions instead of 2.
Check your water meter before you go to bed and when you wake up to spot a leak.
Lower the thermostat until you are uncomfortable, to determine your minimum temperature of comfort.
Cover your pots and pans when you are cooking so the heat stays inside and cooks your food quicker.
Wear a sweater at home and throw an extra blanket on your bed instead of turning up the heat.
Car and gas
Drive your car when you absolutely need to.
Carpool, cycle, walk the rest of the time.
Run errands once a week, all at once.
Stop for gas on the way, do not make a detour.
Check gas prices online.
Do maintenance on time to avoid costly repairs.
Like buying too much house, buying too much car is wasteful. A single person living in a big city doesn’t need a big SUV. Consider getting a car that fits your needs when you change it.
Stop buying stuff and clothes for the sake of it, or because you are down and want to feel better. Your problem will not be solved and you will have two more problems, clutter and debt.
Try finding a new life to old things.
Give them a little TLC and try to repair, reuse, re-purpose anything you want to throw away.
Try to spend your money consciously. Do you NEED that? Will you use it often, or enjoy eating it? Do you need that much storage space and RAM on your new computer? Do you have to change phone every year?
Does wasting time really have to do with money? Yes, time IS money. Try to have meaningful activities, or do nothing on purpose. I really have to work on that one. If you have 12 productive hours a day, 8 at your day job and 4 on personal projects, you still have 4 hours for fun, 1 for chores and 7 to sleep. Throw in procrastination and your goals will stagnate.
By reducing waste you will find additional room in your budget to work towards your money goals quicker. And since it is waste you shouldn’t miss it if it’s gone!
How do you eliminate waste from your life?