Little expenses, like a daily smoothie or a few cab rides a week, can add up. If you can get in the habit of saving on the small stuff, you may be surprised with the long-term benefits.
As self-made millionaire Chris Reining tells CNBC, "I know there are some people out there that say you shouldn't worry about the $5 latte, but the more I think about it, cutting out the $5 latte was a good place to start." Starting with small changes helped Reining work his way up to saving 54 percent of his income, which allowed him to retire at age 37.
"If you try to downsize your house, get rid of all your cars and make all of these drastic changes, it's so overwhelming and you're not going to do any of it," he says.
Here are 6 relatively small and easy things to give up, besides the morning latte, that could increase your savings rate significantly over time.
From grocery stores to department stores, retailers have a way of tricking you into spending money mindlessly. One tactic is loading the checkout aisle with tempting products: cold sodas, candy bars and 99-cent knick-knacks.
Skip the candy and soda. Your wallet will thank you.
How many 30-day free trials have you signed up for and forgotten to cancel? Are you getting your money's worth from the gym membership you signed up for at the beginning of the year?
Look over your last couple of credit card statements and figure out exactly what you're paying for in terms of magazines, video or music streaming services, meal subscription boxes or iCloud storage. Ask yourself which you could eliminate and cancel them on the spot to save a couple hundred dollars a year.
Dining out can add up quickly. It doesn't help that apps like Seamless let you place a delivery order with the touch of a finger. The more food you can prepare at home, the better off your food budget will be.
Of course, it's OK to treat yourself and buy the occasional meal, but keep in mind that going homemade is one of the simplest ways to cut back without making dramatic sacrifices.
While you're getting into the habit of packing your lunch, start filling up a water bottle, too. It'll save you a few bucks every time you're parched and tempted to hit up the closest convenience store.
Like buying lunch, the occasional happy hour or night out is fine, but if you're looking to free up some cash, skipping drinks will do the trick. And, let's face it, ordering one drink usually leads to ordering two or three, which often leads to ordering food.
To still enjoy nights out without breaking the bank, consider using CNBC Make It reporter Emmie Martin's strategy, which saves her $300 a month: Either order alcohol or food, but not both.
"If I choose to go out to dinner, I skip the wine," she says. "If I head to the bar, I commit to cooking dinner myself when I get home."
These days, cable is costing Americans more than $100 a month. That's a large sum to pay for a service that people often don't take full advantage of.
Consider cutting the cord and getting your TV via the internet, through services like Netflix (starting at $8 a month), Hulu ($8 a month) or HBO Now ($15 a month).
Trying to live up to your friends' standards is a tempting but costly habit. In fact, it's sending a surprising percentage of millennials into debt.
If you stop choosing where to live, what to wear and what gadgets to buy based on what your friends do, chances are you'll save a ton of money.
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