Start Carpooling! Now is the time to start talking to your colleagues at work about starting a carpool group. Now, don't give me excuses! A carpool group is a great way to save money and wear and tear on your vehicle. According to David Suzuki's "Green Guide", "..by carpooling, you can cut your operating costs from 50% to 75% and reduce your transportation footprint by the same amount".
Bring your lunch from home! By preparing your own lunch you can ensure that what you are eating is healthy, you can choose organic and you can minimize packaging. Bonus? You will save money! The typical lunch out costs an average of $7.00 - $15.00 per day (depending on where you live and what you eat). If you currently go out for lunch every day, you can save anywhere from $1800.00 - $3900.00 per year by bringing your lunch from home.
Coffee, coffee, coffee...... Can't make it through your day without your Tim Horton's or Starbucks coffee? Both establishments sell ground coffee which you can make at home at a fraction of the cost. Make a pot in the morning and put the rest in a thermos and bring it to work with you. Mmmmmm....coffee tastes so much better out of a nice mug instead of a paper cup! At an average cost of $1.50 per day for an extra large Tim Horton's coffee, you can save approximately $822.00 a year! If you drink Starbucks coffee you can multiply that number by at least 3!
So, how do you develop these new habits? The same way that you "break" a habit. No....there is no patch, no pill. Try the following:
Write it down: Get your calendar out and write down your intentions, put it someplace where you are going to look at it at least daily.
30 days: Don't do it all at once, you will overwhelm and possibly sabotage yourself. Take each new habit and implement it for 30 days. At the end of 30 days, introduce a new one.
Calculate the difference: Each of these new habits will save you money. On that same calendar, at the end of the month, calculate how much you saved and carry that $ amount over to the next page so that you keep a running balance of the tally. By having a visual reminder of your success will inspire you to continue developing your habits.
Do it EVERY DAY: You need to be consistent. If you stray.....get back on track as soon as possible.
Reward Yourself: You need to reward yourself for all your hard work. Maybe with all the money you saved you can take a trip or possibly upgrade an old appliance with an energy star appliance.