Business & Finance Finance

10 Tips for Smarter Spending in 2015

Financial sustainability is a goal for everyone, but can sometimes seem impossible to attain.
With a few smart steps, you can start spending smart in 2015, so you can begin achieving your goals.
Brown bag it
By packing a lunch most days, you can save a bundle with little effort.
Lunch foods are easy to assemble in the morning, or simply pack a portion of dinner to-go for the next day.
Snacks like oranges and nuts can be kept in a purse or desk drawer, to avoid snack stops or vending machines.
The same goes for coffee on the run, rather than a cup of java from the home or work brew station.
Check your closets
Everyone gets stuck in a rut wearing the same old things, but few people have reached financial sustainability through constant shopping sprees.
Try spending a day cleaning out the closet.
You are guaranteed to find some old favorites that have been hiding.
Have your own fashion show and try making new combinations out of pieces you already own.
Plus, items you no longer want to keep can be donated to charity for a tax deduction.
Cut out cable
Expensive cable contracts can be a big financial drain.
There are a wealth of less expensive options to watch movies and television shows using devices and websites.
You can also decide to reshape your daily activities and replace television time with reading a book, visiting friends, taking a walk, working puzzles, or hosting a game night.
Get thrifty with it
Thrift stores have a wealth of merchandise for only a few bucks, which is a golden opportunity to improve your financial sustainability.
Before rushing out to purchase full-price items, try area thrift stores for gently used options for daily wear, coats, belts, jewelry, home goods, decorations, and DVDs.
Give the gift of time
Chances are that a good deal of your paycheck goes to money spent on or with friends and family.
Rather than always going to a fancy dinner or buying gifts, try simply spending time together doing something fun.
A potluck house visit, an outing at the park to fly a kite, or a promise to help with a project are just a few of many inexpensive, time-oriented alternatives.
Use what you have
Often, we already have plenty of things around the house that can be re purposed, rather than buying something new.
Baking soda and vinegar have a ton of uses.
The Internet is full of options for transforming shoe boxes or oatmeal boxes.
Just get creative and see what works.
Not to mention, you will likely find things you forgot you had, once you start looking.
Conserve energy
One great way to save funds during the quest for financial sustainability is to be mindful of how you use energy.
Simple actions can add up for a big impact, like adjust your thermostat, change out your light bulbs, turn off lights when you leave the room, walk to the store, or ride your bike to a friend's house.
There are many ways to spend less on energy costs, but still be comfortable.
Meal planning
With minimal effort, you can begin creating a general menu of what food will be prepared each week.
That saves money because less food is wasted due to going bad in the refrigerator and grocery visits are done with a list and a plan.
At least once a week, do a bulk option that can be portioned and frozen for future meals, like a crock pot meal, soup, stew, or casserole.
Make your own cleaners
Sometimes, heavy duty cleansers are necessary, but having lots of types on hand can add up the bucks.
Simple bulk ingredients like baking soda, washing soda, and vinegar have cleansing, deodorizing, or germ-killing properties and can be combined to make almost all household cleaners for the year.
It saves time, space, and money.
Pay yourself
One of the best paths to financial sustainability is to pay yourself.
By committing each month to a certain amount to be deposited into a retirement plan, savings account, or even kept in a special checking account, you can begin to achieve long term financial goals.

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