Nobody thinks life on a budget is easy, but for some of us, the conventional saving advice falls flat. How do you cut out a $6 latte habit when you've never even set foot inside a Starbucks?
When you can't easily change your bottom line, you need to change your mindset instead. Here, we tackle three more common ways that Americans are blowing their paychecks, and offer up cost-saving alternatives that don't feel like a sacrifice.
Instead of a Night Out at a Restaurant, Try...
Making Something Special Out of Dinner at Home
I know, you eat dinner at home all the time, but the next time date night rolls around, consider turning your dining room into a cozier version of your city's best eatery. Dress up to the nines and pick up a nice bottle of wine—you can splurge a little bit without guilt since it's still likely way less than you'd pay for a bottle served at a restaurant.
Instead of Shopping for a New Wardrobe, Try...
Hosting a Clothes Swap with Friends
"New" and "new to you" feel mostly the same. Ask a big group of friends to come together one weekend to trade clean, gently-worn threads and shoes. And you should encourage them to invite their friends. The more the merrier—and the better chance of finding pieces that fit.
Instead of Stopping at the Corner Store, Try...
Mail-Ordering Your Groceries
Convenience usually comes with a fee. If you find yourself getting by with daily trips to the corner bodega for food and toiletries, you'd be surprised to know that it's likely cheaper to have groceries delivered to your door. If you have the gift of time, Amazon Prime Pantry can get your goods to you in two days. If not, try Instacart for 1-hour delivery.