1 - Personal Expenses: Have you ever thought about how much you spend on yourself on a day-to-day basis? Beyond living costs, think about how much you spend on personal purchases like clothing, meals out, and entertainment.
2 - Travel Expenses: Gas can really add up! Have you ever considered using public transportation? Or is carpooling an option? Check out your local public transportation system, or make arrangements to carpool to class, work, or activities. Road biking is another option to consider, especially if you live close to where you work, your school, or the grocery store. Take your bike for a ride on a nice day and enjoy the fresh air, exercise, and environmental benefits of biking!
True or False??? Transportation alone accounts for 13% of the an American family's budget. FALSE.
Transportation alone accounts for 20% of an American family's budget! We drive everywhere, and cars are killing us! 90% of Americans drive to work, despite 70% of us living only one or two miles away from the workplace. 1 in 2 Americans breathe in heavily polluted air every day. We can make a difference by making the effort to bike to work, the store, or even a friend's house. The average American loses 13 pounds in just the first year of biking to work, and the health benefits are well worth the ride!
3 - Food Costs: Do you eat out regularly? Do you make a lunch, or brew your coffee at home? Do you take advantage of coupons and sales, and buy in bulk whenever possible?
4 -Utility Costs: How can you reduce your electricity, heating, water, or other utilities? Be cognizant of leaving the lights on when you leave the room. Don’t leave appliances running when not in use, like fans, TVs, radios, etc. Do you turn down your thermostat when you’re not home? Are there other costs you can cut, like hanging your laundry on the line when it's warm out?
5 - Take Advantage of Free Banking: Most credit unions offer free checking and some allow you to earn money on your savings and checking accounts. Even if your credit union doesn’t charge fees, make sure to avoid costly overdraft fees by not spending more than you have in your account. Many Maine credit unions offer the free4ME checking account, which is free to open, offers two forgivenesses for overdrafts per year, and has online and mobile banking!
Keep Living Young & Free,