For most millennials, the prospect of owning a home seems foreign at best and impossible at worst. Believe it or not, according to recent data, home ownership rates for young folks under the age of 35 are at historically low levels.
Is that because of the economy? Is that because taxes are so high and goods are so expensive?
Maybe so. But unfortunately, we don’t have control over how many taxes we have to pay, and (for the most part) we don’t have any say in how much manufacturers and retailers choose to price their goods.
If you’re looking to save for a house, if you’re just tired of living paycheck to paycheck and are struggling to make rent each month, or even if you simply want to carry around a heavier wallet, instead of blaming things you can’t control, it might be time to take a good hard look at your spending habits to see where you may be able to make some cuts.
Do you know how much your habits are costing you? To save money, it might be time to figure out how much you spend on:
- Do you really need to keep upgrading to the newest model of whatever smartphone you carry? Sure, it’s cool to remain on the cutting edge, grabbing the newest technologies the moment they’re first available. But if you have an iPhone 6, for example, you might want to consider “sucking it up” and holding off on upgrading for a while. How much more functionality do you need, anyway? Same goes for the endless other gadgets out there.
- Booze. Cigarettes. Gambling. In-app purchases in that Kim Kardashian app or whatever. No matter who you are, you’ve got a vice. Chances are you stand to save a lot of money if you simply exert control over said vice. If a pack of cigarettes costs $10, for example, and you consume one per week, you stand to save over $500 each year if you quit. And you’ll be healthier, to boot. If you’re trying to save some money, it might be time to do your best to overcome your vices.
- Open up your closet. Do you have more than say, five pairs of shoes? How about 10? Seriously, how many pairs of shoes do you need? How much clothing do you need? You don’t have to buy new clothes every season. You can still look nice. Consider hitting up some thrift stores or consignment shops if you can’t resist the urge to grow your wardrobe.
- Sick of paying exorbitant amounts of money on your utility bills each month? Who isn’t? Did you know that, thanks to energy deregulation, you’re able to shop around for electricity suppliers? Chances are you’ll be able to find a lower rate than what you’re currently paying (assuming, of course, you live in one of the states that has been deregulated). You may not save zillions of dollars overnight, but small savings certainly add up.
- Do you drive to work every day? If so, it might be time to consider taking public transportation (if it’s an option). Believe it or not, you can save up to 50 percent on your transportation costs while riding to work in an environmentally beneficial way. What’s not to like?
Beyond that, you may also want to try to get a bit creative with how you pay for things. For example, assuming you’re responsible, it might be time to start paying for more things with credit cards that pay rewards. If you can live within your means, this essentially enables you to pay less for everything you buy. You’ll be (however slightly) richer as a result.
Whether you are poor as can be or have enough cash to live comfortably, chances are you can slash your budget considerably by making a few smart moves here and there. Good luck!