The biggest money guzzler during your work week is buying your lunch. Purchasing your midday meal is a bad idea, for both your health and your wallet. Whether you spend $5 or $25, any money spent is too much; the fact is, no meal you buy in a fast-food court is going to be as healthy and budget-friendly as a meal cooked at home. This doesn't mean you have to get up an hour early every morning to prepare your lunch. A little advance preparation goes a long way. Pack any leftovers from last night's dinner into a Tupperware container and simply grab it and go the next morning. Or, create a large batch of your favourite dish on the weekend or whenever you have a spare hour during the week. Divide your creation into separate containers and simply take one with you every day. If you aren't sure the food will stay edible and fresh through to the end of the week, just place it in the freezer until it's time. This takes frozen meals to a whole new level! Even if all you buy at work is a $5 sandwich — which is far less than what the average person spends — you could save yourself $25 a week, which adds up to over $100 a month! That money can be put toward something far more worthwhile than a mediocre midday meal.
Picking a transportation option other than driving can save you a ton of money. Taking the car puts continuous wear and tear on your vehicle and also guzzles gas. If you are close enough to walk, that is definitely your best option. If you aren't quite that near, get that old bike out of your garage and put it to good use. If your work is too far to bike, your best option is public transportation. If, in a worst-case scenario, none of these options is possible, look into carpooling. Put out the word at work that you're looking for someone in you area to drive with. You might think no one lives in your area but if you start advertising, you may be surprised by who is nearby. Carpooling can save you a ton on gas and, as an added bonus, it decreases your impact on the environment!
Sometimes you need a little caffeine hit during your day. But that treat doesn't have to cost you $5 a pop. Instead of consistently forking out the cash for your favourite beverages, consider brewing a pot of coffee for the whole office. If you don't have one available to you, consider buying an inexpensive one for the place. It will save you a huge amount in the long run and you will quickly become the hit of the office!
Celebrating with your coworkers is important for bonding and unwinding. But it's important to remember that celebration doesn't have to happen each and every day. Consistently going out for drinks can quickly add up. Instead, be selective about how often you take part in happy hour. It doesn't have to feel like a punishment if you allow yourself to enjoy time with your friends selectively. Simply reducing your party-related expenses can go a long way towards helping you financially.
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