Do you want to save to pay debt? Of course you do. It makes a lot of sense to prioritize your debt because the interest on it is greater than what you will gain from a savings account. Unless you do not have sufficient emergency funds, you should prioritize saving up for it. But if you already have enough emergency funds, it is okay for you to concentrate on getting out of debt first.
While there are extreme measures to help you increase your debt payment fund, there are simple ways to do that too. In fact, some of them are so simple that they fail to recognize the saving potential in them. These are the activities and expenses that we are so used to doing that we do not think twice about it. We normally do not consider the possibilities that we can save on these everyday activities.
Think about what you eat. Since this is something that you spend on every day, you forget that there is potential in this expense for significant savings. You may be thinking that this is food. You are not supposed to scrimp on food, right?
Well, you can. As long as you do not starve yourself or deprive yourself of the nutrients that your body needs, you can save as much as you can. This is one of the expenses that you have full control over. It is not like your cable subscription that is a fixed amount each month. The amount that you spend on food and groceries can be reduced significantly if you know how to be wise about it. This has a huge potential to help you save to pay debt.
You can save a lot on your lunch money to help pay off debt
Of course, your food expense covers a lot of areas. But if you focus on one thing, you will realize the potential to save. Like for instance your office lunch. You may not think twice about that $5 lunch money that you spend every day but if you add it all up, you will realize just how much money you are spending on this one expense. If you want to cut down on food costs, you need to be meticulous about the little things that you spend on.
According to a study done by Visa Inc, consumers spend an average of $53 each week on their lunch. This survey was done to help shed light on the opportunities that consumers have to save on their discretionary income. This is usually the part of the budget that will help you save to pay debt. The main expense in this category is food and groceries.
The results of the survey, as published on PracticalMoneySkills.com, revealed that the lunch money being spent adds up to $2,746 each year! The press release mentioned that the small choices that we make on a daily basis are sometimes the ones that will create a big impact on our budget. You need to be careful about what you spend on because it will help you maintain a healthy financial well-being. If you are spending more than $50 on lunch alone, you may want to think about how you can cut back on that amount so you can save to pay debt. Take note that since this amount is average, that means half of the respondents are spending more than $50 a week. In fact, the survey revealed that 1% spend more than $50 on each lunch meal. That means these people are spending a whopping $9,000 on lunch every year.
This is an expense that you need to think about carefully if you want to save to pay debt. Although food is important, you can enjoy nutritious food for much less than that. Here are three things that you can do to help you cut back on your lunch costs.
Plan your meals. Start by planning your meals. This is the best way for you to plan the ingredients that you can use so you can buy it in bulk and save more in the process. You can create a theme for your weekly meals so even your spices can be the same. For instance, you can opt for Italian for one week. You can buy your pasta and sauces in bulk. That should help you save not just money but also the time you spend in buying your ingredients.
Think leftovers. You can also save a lot by planning your leftovers too. According to the WorldFoodDayUSA, 30% to 40% of the food supply in the US is being wasted. The facts reveal that more than 20 pounds of food are wasted by each person every month. If you think about all the people starving in the world, that sounds really excessive. But beyond helping with global hunger, your leftovers will allow you to save to pay debt. For instance, if the meal that you made the previous day required boiled chicken, you can find a use for the chicken stock for the next day. If you baked potatoes, you may want to use any leftovers of that too.
Brown bag for lunch. If you go to the office, make sure you brown bag your lunch every day. The cost of buying lunch outside is way more expensive if you brown bag what is left of your dinner the previous night. It is also, oftentimes, healthier. Opt to eat in your desk or the pantry in the office. You can also save time – which can possibly allow you to take a nap during your lunch hour and recharge.
Tips to eat well while saving money for debt payments
In your effort to save to pay debt, make sure you do not forget to eat well. Fortunately, eating healthy does not have to be a big household expense. At least, if you know how to do it. Here are a couple of tips that you can use to help you eat well while still saving money for your debt payments.
- Grow your own produce. If you have a garden, this can really help you save money. You can grow simple fruits and vegetables in your garden. Find out what you can grow and plan your meals around that. You can use what you grow in the garden and put it on the table. Even if you live in a condo, you can put small pots on the window sill to plant herbs that you normally use in the kitchen.
- Buy in bulk. This is where planning your meals can really come into play. Most of the time, buying a lot of things at one time will help you save on the price per piece. Take advantage of this – especially for products that you can keep for a long time without it spoiling.
- Be aware of the deals in the grocery. According to the data from FMI.org, 5.6% of the disposable income of households are spent in the grocery. You can still lower this if you shop when there is a good deal. A great tip is to plan your meals around what is on sale. That way, you can buy a lot of that product and use it before it expires. Make sure you know how to do your grocery shopping in the first place. Here is a video with tips on how you can buy items in the grocery on a budget and still be healthy.
- Avoid prepackaged meals. This may be convenient, but it is not always the best deal for you. It sometimes cost more and is usually not as fresh as when you buy the whole produce. The healthier way to get produce is to buy them from the market and prepare them yourself.
Follow these tips if you want to save to pay debt. The more you can contribute towards your debts, the faster you can get out of debt. It will also help you save more in the long run because you pay a lower interest amount.