January 8, 2018
At the start of a new year many people analyze how the previous year went. Since many people try not to dwell on the past too much, this thinking quickly shifts to what changes can be made in the new year to make it better than the last year. Well, here are 5 of my ideas that I think can help make your next year better and possibly save you money at the same time.
Learn how to cook
One of the easiest ways to save money is to cook your own food more often. The cost of getting a meal at a restaurant is often double the price of the same meal if it were to be made at home. Over the course of a year, this means you could have reduced your food bill by half if you decided to cook at home every meal rather than eating out for every meal. The main thing you will be losing by cooking at home will be the convenience that eating out offers. At first, the food you make might also taste a bit worse, but one way to help with that is to subscribe to a meal delivery service like Blue Apron or Plated. These meal delivery services won’t be much cheaper than eating out, but they can be a good way to get started on cooking if you don’t have much experience. Also, many people find cooking to be an enjoyable activity. If you get good enough at cooking where you are testing out different flavors and new foods, it can become an adventure. And who knows? Cooking could become a new hobby.
Stop watching cable television
You may have talked to me about this before and heard my opinion, but I’ll go ahead and put it in writing. With all the improvements in online streaming, cable is a very sub-par entertainment option. Your selection is limited to what is being aired when you turn it on, and you will often have to sit through endless commercials. Services like Netflix or Hulu allow you to choose exactly what you want to watch and with no commercials. Along with Netflix and Hulu, there are a number of networks that stream their shows online. Along with TV shows, you can find live sports streaming and news channel streaming as well. If you only select the streaming services you want, you will be saving money compared to a bundled deal with a cable company. Streaming on your TV is also fairly easy to set up. If you have a Smart TV, you have access to streaming services right on your TV. If you do not have a Smart TV, you will have to buy a streaming device that you hook up to your TV. There are a lot of options for this, but one of the best choices is to get a Blu-Ray player that has streaming capabilities. A lot of Blu-Ray players are under $100 now, so it is still an economical choice. You will want to make sure to vet which Blu-Ray player you get beforehand. Some Blu-Ray players only offer certain streaming services. Ideally, you want to get one that offers as many streaming service providers as possible.
Go to more local community events
A lot of people neglect the events that are held in their local community. Instead, they might opt to take a trip somewhere a couple hours away or stay at home. A lot of people don’t realize that a lot of cities have local events almost every weekend. Getting involved in a lot of these events can be a way to meet people, have a good time, and also save money since most of the events are free. Check your city’s event calendar to see if there is anything going on that you might be interested in.
Visit the doctor
For some people, visiting the doctor is just a regular part of their life, but there are a lot of people that have gone several years without visiting the doctor. Most health insurances offer free checkups, so there is a good chance that a doctor’s visit won’t cost you anything. It could turn out to be a waste of time, but if that’s the case then that’s good because it means you have good health. There could be a small chance that the doctor does find something wrong with you, but for most ailments it is better to have it diagnosed early. Most treatments are much more effective in the early stages of a disease. This is better than waiting to experience severe symptoms and then going to the doctor. At that point, your medical bills are likely to be higher and the chances of being treated in the case of a life threatening medical problem will be lower.
Get involved in a sport
With about 70% of the US population being overweight, the most popular New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Many people go about this by getting a gym membership and then forcing themselves to diet and workout for about a month until they give up. The problem with this plan is that most people don’t like going to a gym every day and running on a treadmill or using other gym equipment. It becomes difficult to force yourself to endure something that you dislike on a regular basis. A better way to become healthier and possibly achieve the goal of losing weight is to get involved in a sport or another enjoyable healthy activity. Rather than slugging through hour long gym sessions, you could look forward to Wednesday night basketball or a weekend hike. This is also a great way to meet people and go about finding new activities that you might enjoy. This one doesn’t necessarily save you money depending on what activities you get involved with, but it will likely bring you more enjoyment with a longer, healthier life.
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