How many times have you accidentally purchased yet another package of something you forgot you already had at home?
It's easy to do.
But the innocent mistake can add up little by little and cut into funds that could have been used to build up savings or pay down debt.
Uncovering new ways to cut costs can sometimes be a matter of getting just a little more organized. Here are five ways that organization pays off:
- Make a meal plan. When you have a meal plan in place, you're less likely to grab carryout at the last minute, spending more than you would with a meal cooked at home.
- Make a list, shop with your list, and stick to it. Create that meal plan, and shop your cupboards before you head to the store so you don't purchase ingredients you already own. Sticking to a list will help prevent making unnecessary purchases that cut into a budget.
- Store receipts in a centralized, safe location. If you know where you keep your receipts, you're more likely to use them to reconcile your checking account and watch for transaction errors. Knowing where those receipts are also makes it a lot easier to return a purchase for the full amount or receive a mail-in rebate you were expecting.
- Keep your coupons together. Even if your coupon organizer is something as simple as an envelope, it's a lot easier to use those coupons – and shave dollars off bills – if you know where they are.
- Monitor your accounts. When you monitor your accounts, you can catch fraudulent activity sooner rather than later, potentially saving you a lot of time and money. Taking the time to read those statements also helps you keep close tabs on your cash flow to make sure the services still make sense for your budget.
By Emily Kittle