During hard economic times it is important to cut back spending to save money. Cutting back on spending, however, does not mean you have to live without or decrease your quality of life. By substituting one more expensive option for a less expensive one, you can keep your quality of life while still living on less. Here are some ideas to get you started.
-If You Eat Out
Substitute your meal out with an easy boxed meal from Macaroni Grill or Wanchai Ferry. These meals are restaurant quality and only take around 30 minutes to make. The cost of these meals is only around $5 for two people instead of $30 or more, and you can choose from a variety of Italian and Chinese dishes. To spice things up add a salad, soup and bread on the side for an Italian meal or fried rice and egg rolls for a Chinese meal. The best part? You don’t have to leave your home.
-If You Enjoy the Movies
Substitute your usual night out to the movies with a movie experience at home. Rent a new release, pop some popcorn, get some candy and soda, turn off the lights, and enjoy a movie theater experience for less than half the cost of going to the theater. Just make sure the same rules apply. For example, turn off the cell phone, talk quietly, and don’t rewind the movie to watch the same part over.
-If You Get Your Hair and Nails Done
Substitute this expensive habit by going to a local beauty college to get the same treatment done for much less. Not only will you not have to do these things for yourself, but you will still have access to the same quality products that are used in professional salons.
-If You Buy Coffee Every Day
Substitute this expensive habit by learning to make the same cup of coffee at home. Look for recipes to make that same Starbucks drink at home for a fraction of the cost. The internet is filled with this kind of information, so use it to save you money.
-If you Love Designer Brands
Substitute your usual shopping trip to the department store for a trip to a high end consignment shop. You can easily find items in like new condition for 75%-90% off what it would have cost new. Imagine finding the same brand names you are used to wearing for that much less! People who do this enjoy the same lifestyle for much less.
Substituting your expensive habits for less expensive ones can allow you to still enjoy the same things for a fraction of the cost. Substituting can be done for just about anything if you look around you. The groceries, clothing, and entertainment that you spend your money on now can almost always be found for less if you use a little creativity. So find ways to substitute in your daily life and you too will be able to live well on less.