Ways to Change Your Lifestyle to Save More Money

If you’re serious about saving more money, then you’ll have to make lifestyle changes. Depending on your finances and how serious you are about finding ways to save, these decisions could be major. We’ve compiled a list of the top three lifestyle changes that can have the biggest effect on your budget.Right Size Your HouseWe admit that this is a big lifestyle change, and especially hard to maneuver if you have children. However, if you can swing it, you should right size your house. That means that you should find an apartment or house that is just as big as you need it, not as big as you want it. Or, move to a location that has cheaper prices. This could mean selling your house and putting the money toward a smaller house in a less affluent neighborhood. Or it could mean moving to a smaller apartment or to an apartment in a more reasonable neighborhood. Either way, your rent and mortgage expenses (including real estate taxes) are usually your biggest monthly expense. Making drastic changes here could single handedly add cash to your savings each month.Another similar lifestyle change that can cut your monthly housing bills would be to take on a roommate. Either move in to a new place with a roommate, or rent out a room of your house to a new tenant. Sometimes, it even makes sense to add a separate entrance and make a temporary wall so that the new tenant will have privacy and you and your family will not feel overwhelmed.Downgrade Your CarMany people buy new cars on a four year schedule. There is no faster way to throw away your money than to spend it on a deteriorating asset. When it comes to getting a car that increases your future budgets, you should do three things – buy used, downgrade your car, and keep it longer.First, used cars are a much better deal than new cars. The average new car loses 20 percent of its value shortly after purchase, and over 40 percent within 3 years. Find a car that is a year or two old and that has the manufacturer’s warranty. You will instantly save 20 to 30 percent on the car.Also, when buying a car, downgrade your vehicle to a lower class. For example, if you are used to buying a luxury class car that gets poor mileage, you could consider buying a middle class car with better mileage. If you are used to buying middle class cars, you could consider getting an economy class car. Buying a lower priced car can also cut your car costs by an additional 10 to 40 percent. And remember, lower priced cars typically get better mileage and have lower insurance premiums, saving you even more.The final way to save on your vehicle costs is to keep your vehicle longer. Instead of owning the same car for 4 years, try increasing that to 7 to 10 years. Cars newer than 10 years typically have lower maintenance costs than older cars, and you will have no car payment for the 3 to 6 years after it is paid off.Change Your Eating HabitsOnce you have your two largest expenses in order, its time to turn to your food costs, which are often the third largest expense in a family budget. The single largest way to save money on food for some families is to eat out less often. If you dine out most nights, then cooking and eating at home is a big lifestyle change. However, it has big benefits. Not only will you save money on restaurant expenses, but you’ll likely eat much healthier, which can have great long term cost savings. If you already dine at home quite often, here are some other tips to save money on food.

Eat more vegetable entrees. They are cheaper and healthier than meats.
Buy in bulk and freeze into portion sizes.
Always have things in your pantry like pasta and sauces that can be used to make quick meals when you don’t have much time or energy.
Shop in advance as much as you can. You are much more likely to go out to dinner if you don’t have food readily available.
Buy store brand items when it doesn’t matter, as they are much cheaper than most name brand items.
Forego organic unless it matters. Do your research and find out which items are important to have organic.
Make double batches and freeze one for the future.
Use coupons and store specials to stock your fridge and freezer.
Buy fruits and vegetables when they are in season. They will be fresher and less expensive. Freeze some for the winter.
While these three lifestyle changes have the biggest monetary impact on most budgets, there are thousands more ways to save more money if you keep your eyes and mind open.

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