People work to make money. Money pays bills (boo) and lets you live the life you want (yay). I have read a lot about no-spending challenges. In these challenges, people compete (either with themselves or with their families) in seeing how long they can go without spending money. I believe that spending and dieting are along the same lines. If you eat too much, you gain weight. If you spend too much, you become in debt. Many people diet during the week, so they can indulge on the weekends. A conscious spender could do the same by devoting to not spending anything on work days.
Here are some suggestions to help with this concept:
1. Make your own coffee at home. Think about it. How nice it is to have a cup of coffee brewing BEFORE you even get out of bed. Not only could you start your morning with coffee, it also saves time. Lines at coffee shops can get ridiculous and so can the coffee prices. Think if you had an extra $3 a day for not going to visit your local barista. At $3/day that comes up to an extra $780 a year. You can get old-fashion coffee grinds and/or K-Cups online for cheaper than most stores. Check it out. Do a price comparison, remember to do price per unit!!
2. Make your own lunch. Use leftovers from the night before. Get creative. Cafeteria food and drive through meals not only are unhealthy, they also can add up.
3. Put in overtime if you are hourly. This adds up-fast!
4. Carpool, take public transportation, ride a bike, walk etc. Cut down on gas where you can..
5. To go along with this, when you are driving, make the most of your trip. Pick up groceries, go to the bank, stop by the post office on your way home instead of making individual trips.
6. Take advantage of employee benefits. A gym in the building can save on a gym membership. Is your company big enough to offer discounts on cell phone services? Are there travel discounts? Know what all the benefits are of being employed by your employer and use those to your advantage.
7. I live in Illinois, and the tolls roads are crazy expensive to drive on. However, there isn't other options, unless you want to sit at a stop light every 20 feet. One way I save money with tolls is by having an iPass (in other states known as EZpass, Sunpass, etc). This saves me almost 50%, compared to paying cash at every toll.
8. Avoid the vending machines. Not only are these money traps, a lot of vending machine snacks are also high in calories. Store a box of your preferred snack at your desk. A box of granola bars will run you about $2.50, about $0.41 a bar vs the $1.00/bar a vending machine charges. I always have Larabars and Quest Bars (for protein) on hand. MMMM.