Before you go to bed and before you leave for work

The Frugal Walk Through

contributed by Heather

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Many people I know, not just the OCD ones, have a last walk through that they do before retiring for the night. We walk through the house and toss toys in the toy box, place books back on the bookshelf, lock the doors, and make sure the last forgotten sippy cup makes it to the sink.

Why not apply the same principle to things that save your family money? That 10-minute walk through could include making sure the lights are turned out, the thermostat is turned down, and power strips are flicked off. After all, how many people are actually using their WiFi while they sleep? Close those curtains to help keep the heat inside the house as the weather gets colder. Switch tomorrow night's meat from the freezer to the fridge to defrost. Even better, toss the ingredients for tomorrow's dinner in the slow cooker and leave in the fridge to make your morning go smoother. I don't know about you, but I fall asleep faster when I'm not thinking about all the things I didn't do before bed.

Conversely, retrace that path as the last person leaves in the morning. Make sure lights and power strips are off. Open the curtains to let in the warmth of the sun for the no-cost heating. Plug in that slow cooker. It's so much easier to pass by the fast food place after work when you know there's a hot meal waiting at home, just filling the kitchen with yummy smells for when you walk in the door. Pour a thermos of coffee to take with you on the way out of the door. It truly takes no more time than hitting the drive-through.

Start saving for your future today. Consider these 11 ways to save $1000 while living paycheck to paycheck.

As always, adjust to what fits your life. I leave things sitting under my purse at night, so I remember them in the morning. For example, I may put a bill under my purse that I want to drop off while I'm running errands the next day to avoid having to put a stamp on it. I only do this if it's on my way! If I have to make an extra trip to the other side of town to do it, I could quickly burn through that fifty cents I thought I would save. Grab last night's leftovers to be a low cost, no stress lunch. Fill that reusable water bottle to avoid having to hit the vending machine later in the day. Once you adjust your list, it should be done every day for a week. By doing this, good ideas quickly become good habits. Those little things add up over time, improving your pocketbook without negatively affecting your quality of life.

Reviewed November 2017

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