We post a lot about side hustles and making extra money through entrepreneurship, but sometimes saving money can be as good as making more money. In The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley and William Danko talk about how one of the biggest groups of self-made millionaires got that way not by making a ton of money, but rather by saving it. Can you guess which group they’re talking about?

It’s teachers. A lot of life-long teachers retire quite well, and we all know teachers earn laughable paychecks. They retire well because they know how to save, and they manage their money by making solid decisions every day.

You, too, can retire rich by thinking through your day-to-day purchases and managing your money like an adult rather than a toddler in a candy store. Here are 22 ways to save up to $10,000 this year: 

1. Set a Budget

Set a budget

The number one way you are wasting money is not sticking to a budget. When pinching pennies, the best tip is to look at your bills and income to see how you can change your spending habits. You can cut everything non-essential and still not have extra cash if you don’t set a budget.

When our family moved from two incomes to one, it was a huge adjustment. But, because we sat down looked at our bills (electric, phones, and mortgage only) we could see clearly how much we had left to spend on food and gas. Nothing else! Yes, there were many nights we had Raman noodles and grilled cheese. Now we can afford the occasional dinner out (with water to drink) along with a few extras like Netflix.

2. Create a Shopping List

Create a list

Now that you set a food budget the best way to stick to it is to make a shopping list. This will keep you on your budget and keep you from impulse buying.

Pro Tip: Use the smartphone you likely have in your pocket for more than just taking selfies--use it to make a shopping list. #savemoney #grocerybudget #manageyourmoney #iPhone Click To Tweet

In fact, if you have an iPhone, all you have to do is say, “Hey Siri, put milk on my shopping list” and she will do it for you. Many smartphones have similar features. You can also text a list to yourself. While it may be strange texting yourself, it makes for a convent list.

3. Limit impulse buying

Limit impulse buying

Buying an item when you don’t need it is impulse buying. If you have a good working cell phone, there is no need to update it to a more expensive one. Instead of buying an item, try the 30-day challenge. Write the item you want on a piece of paper, along with the place you found it and its price. In 30 days if you still need the item, return and make the purchase. If you decide you do not need the item, just recycle the paper.

Pro Tip: the vast majority of the items you need are located on the outer walls of any given store. By not venturing into the middle of the store you limit the amount of impulse buying. Click To Tweet

4. Drink Less Alcohol

Drink less alcohol

Drinking alcohol on the weekend could cost you $1000 a year, or more. If you drink and drive (Never drink and drive!) a DUI can cost upwards of $10,000 and negatively impact your career. By cutting out alcohol (or cutting back to just one drink per week), you may also cut healthcare expenses. Drinking alcohol can lead to alcoholism and cause liver disease. 

5. Kick Your Soda Habit

Kick your soda habit

Sodas are a better choice of drink, budget-wise, than alcohol; however, sodas can set you back about $300 a year per person. In a family of four, that can add up to $1200 or more!

The best choice for enjoying inexpensive sodas, and improving their quality, is investing in a soda stream. You can flavor your soda any way you please and save the extra money. For example, we make cherry limeaids with by adding a couple tablespoons of cherry syrup and a squeeze of lime to carbonated water. It tastes better than anything you get at Sonic, and it costs about 15 cents for a 16 ounce serving. 

Of course, switching to water saves the most money because it’s free. Add a piece or two of your favorite fruit to water for flavoring. Studies have shown that drinking more water increases your productivity and focus.

6. Cut the Cord

Cut cable

If you are still holding on to cable, it’s time to cut the cord. On average, cable bills are $100-$200 per month–that’s $1200-2,400 per year. Hulu costs $13.52, or $162 a year. Netflix is $13.99 or 167.88/year. Amazon Prime is $120 a year. DirectTV Now is $35 a month or $420 per year. You could have all four services for $870 a year and save $330.

Pro tip: if you invest in the DirectTV Now, you will not need Hulu or Netflix subscriptions–it’s just like having cable.  You could save even more!

7. Use Energy Efficient Bulbs

Use Energy efficient bulbs

One cost saving a lot of money gurus overlook is modernizing your light bulbs. Often, people do not change old-style bulbs until they go out, but waiting is costing you money. LED lighting is the most energy-efficient lighting on the market, and the bulbs last 8-16 years!  Energy.gov states “By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $75 each year.” 

8. Eat at Home

Eat at home

On average, eating out costs $13 per person. Eating at home averages a cost of $5 per person. That’s a savings of $7 per person, per meal! For a family of four that only eats out once a month, that’s a savings of almost $400/year.

One of our favorite cookbooks is Rachel Ray’s 365: No Repeats 30-Minute Meals. It’s a steal at just $6.99 on Kindle! 

If you do eat out, make sure to look for coupons or use the in-store rewards card.

9. Drink Water While Out

Drink water while out

When we cut out our soda drinking, it also changed our bill when we saved up to go out to eat. On average, a soda at a restaurant costs about $2-3 per person. Water is free. With 2 people that is an automatic savings of $4. For a family of four, it’s $8. Alcohol is much more expensive in restaurants. It’s easier and more cost effective to skip it. 

10. Watch movies at home

Watch movies at home

Waiting until a movie leaves theater can save you $10 per person. By watching at home, you can enjoy many benefits. You can wear your PJs, save on concessions, avoid rude people singing the songs or texting through the movie, and you can pause the screen at a moment’s notice. Best of all, there are no previews.

If you absolutely must see the latest move in theater, check out matinee tickets. These are tickets usually for shows that start before 4 pm and cost about $5 per person. If you choose this option, skip the concession, as it’s a money waster.

11. Brew Coffee at Home

Brew coffee at home

Let’s face it–we all know “you can’t live” without your morning cup of coffee. Starbucks coffee costs $1-$6 per cup. Dunkin Donuts is $1-$4. That’s almost $2000 a year for one cup of coffee per day. Instead, invest in a Ninja Coffee Brewer System. These systems are easy to use, and you can recreate your favorite coffee for pennies. If you are into cold brews, invest in a French Press. Enjoying your coffee at home will also save you time. You will not have to wait in line or rush out the door forgetting important items. Saving time also saves money.

12. Stash Some Cash

Stash some cash

Paying to receive cash back from a store or ATM is costing you money. Banks can charge between $1-$4 per transaction. One way to save money is to keep $20 cash on you or in a hiding spot in your car. This money can come in handy in an emergency situation or if you find yourself at a cash-only location.

13. Use your Library Card

Use your library card

If you are an avid reader, instead of spending $15 per book, you can save money by investing in Kindle Unlimited or visiting your local public library system. Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 a month and allows you access to 1 million titles. Public Libraries are free to use as long as you renew or return your book. Switching to the library or Kindle Unlimited can save $1000s per year depending on your reading habits.

14. Capitalize on Reward Programs

Capitalize on Reward Programs

Many stores offer free rewards cards. You gain points, cash back, or free products from your normal shopping habits. There are also ways to turn your receipt into cash. Walmart has a saving catcher within its app; all you do is scan your barcode on your receipt. If they lower the price on an item, they pay you the difference.

Another great app is Ibotta. Ibotta takes a bit more work as you must add items and then scan them. Finally, you have to upload the receipt.

Pro Tip: Don’t want to carry around a bunch of rewards cards? Instead, download an app like KeyRing.

Bonus Pro Tip: by using the KeyRing app, you can share rewards cards between family members, thereby capitalizing on the number of rewards you can earn.

15. Avoid Buying a Brand-New Car

Avoid Buying a brand-new car

One of the biggest financial mistakes you can make is buying a brand-new car. Once you drive that car off the lot, it becomes used and decreases in value by at least 22% in the first year. For years 2-4, a vehicle loses 12% (Check out our math for yourself at USAToday.)

Our favorite place to find used cars is Carmax and Autotrader.

Pro Tip: Make sure if you use AutoTrader you check the company website for the vehicle. Many AutoTrader vehicles are added by hand and may not be updated.

16. Don’t Lease a Car. Ever.

Stay away from leasing a car

Think leasing a car can help your financial situation? Sure, the down payment and monthly payment may be lower. However, leasing is worse than buying a new car. Leasing requires you to have excellent credit, higher insurance deductibles, and you are restricted to a certain number of miles with a steep penalty for going over. Also, once again, as soon as you drive the vehicle off the lot, it becomes used. At the end of the lease, you’ve paid the car’s depreciation and then some, and you have nothing to show for it because you don’t even own the car.

Save your money and look into a used car. Buying a used car can save more than $10,000 per purchase.

17. Stop Renting

Stop renting

When you first move to a city renting is a fine choice. However, it costs you more money. Often you can expect to pay 50% more per month for a rental than a mortgage. Yes, you need good credit for a mortgage. If you are renting, it will be difficult to raise your credit score because of the extra monthly strain of the rental. It is wise to save money before moving. This way you can look into a mortgage over a rental.

Another popular housing option that is a waste of money is rent to own. Only part of your rent goes towards the purchase price of the home. You would still be better off with a mortgage where the entire payment goes to paying off the home loan. Purchasing a home over renting can save you $10,000 a year on its own.

18. Avoid an HOA Community

Avoid an HOA community

Before you buy a home, make sure you check out your new community thoroughly. Look at the tax bill for your new hone, but also check out community fees, like those charged by an HOA. Home Owners Associations (HOA) charge $200- $400 per month, and they set all kind of rules and regulations you must follow. HOAs can have amenities benefits; however, you can access the same type of amenities elsewhere and save money. Avoiding an HOA can save $2400 per year.

19. Move Out of the City

Move out of the city

You could cut costs even more by not living within city limits. Often cities charge more for garbage, electric, and water than their country or suburban counterparts. Buy moving just outside the city limits, you could save money. On average, I pay $100 less on my electric then my family members in the city, and I break the rule and have an average house temperature of 73. I do live in a smaller home, but would still pay less as I do not have the upcharge the city adds to electric and water (we have a well). I save $1200/year just by living in the country.

20. Decrease Your Cell Phone Plan

Decrease your Cell Phone plan

Are you using all of the data you pay for each month? If not you’re wasting money. Just by switching to a lower data plan, you can save $20 per month.

Pro Tip: To save on data, turn off the cellular data option on apps that don’t need it. Check your battery usage to see what the top 3-5 apps you use the most, then turn cellular data off for the rest. Also, many apps have background refresh. By turning off cellular, the app can no longer refresh unless it’s on Wi-Fi, saving your battery and your data. By living within your data plan, you could save $2,400 per year.

21. Shop around for insurance

Shop around for insurance

If you bought that used car, it’s going to need car insurance. Now is a great time to look into options. By comparing rates, you can save $1000-$2000 per year. When we changed our insurance, we doubled all of our coverage and still paid less. Also, save money by paying your insurance every six months. Yes, it can be an investment, but the $20-50 extra charge for paying your insurance monthly adds up.

Consider looking at the health insurance options your employer offers. If you have not seen a doctor in years, you may want to consider a lower coverage plan. However, if you are seeking medical attention frequently, then the higher plan may save you money in the long run by the type of coverage offered. If you lower your coverage, depending on your employment options, it could cost you $0 out of your paycheck. Looking into health care options can save $100 a month or $1200 per year.

If your employer doesn’t offer insurance, make sure you compare policies and find the best plan that fits you and your budget.

22. Stop Smoking

Stop Smoking

Smoking is not only hurting your health–it’s hurting your bottom line. If you smoke one pack of cigarettes a day, it will cost you about $3000 per year. Think vaping is better? Wrong. While vaping costs less than cigarettes, at about $400 a year, that’s enough money for a car payment. If you partake in recreational drugs (and you really shouldn’t), you are wasting money and could be missing out on potential job opportunities.

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Everyone has a bad workday every now and then—it’s normal. Part of being an adult is understanding that nothing is perfect all of the time. When every day becomes a bad workday, you may be facing burnout.

We live in a society where we’re bombarded with messages about “having it all.” From Martha Stewart ironing her sheets on television to beautiful Pinterest pins featuring young people at exotic locales, we’re surrounded by FOMO (fear of missing out), so we push ourselves at work to afford all of the things commercials and social media say we need to have a full life. Even the most forward-thinking Millennials want to have it all, and with that desire often comes burnout.

Here are a few things you can do to prevent burnout:

1. Learn to Say “No.”

The absolute most important thing you must do to prevent burnout is to learn the art of saying “no” in a way that still leaves people loving you. It’s not as hard as it sounds—you simply have to think from the other person’s perspective.

For example, say your boss asks you if you can get a major report done by the end of the day. You already have five client meetings lined up, and you have a ton of prep work to get done before those meetings. To do the report would mean working an extra 4-6 hours, which isn’t fair to you or anyone else. You’ll be exhausted tomorrow, and that means your work will suffer.

Instead of killing yourself to do the report, tell your boss the truth first. Say something like, “I would love to, but I have to meet with some of our biggest clients today and I’m afraid the meetings will take my entire day.” You’ve acknowledged that the report is a priority, but that you are already tackling other priorities. What you say next makes all the difference.

Now, you should tell your boss what you can do. Think of a suggestion for how your boss can still get what he needs. Try something like, “If I outline the report this morning before my meetings, do you think that maybe Sally can finish the report for you?” This gives your boss part of what he wants, and gives a suggestion of how to finish the project. You look great, and you prevent burnout from overworking, too.

2. Manage Your Stress

Managing stress is easier said than done for most of us. You have to find time for self-care and relaxation or you will inevitably burn out. While there are many ways you can manage stress, here is a list to get you started:

  • Take short breaks throughout the workday
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Take a real lunch break (not just a microwave desk meal while working)
  • Have an exercise routine
  • Meditate

Having an exercise routine is especially important if you sit in a chair typing all day. If you don’t pay attention to your body’s signals, you may find yourself having to hire a personal injury attorney to recover lost wages from on-the-job accidents often caused by burnout. It’s not a good scenario, so if you’ve been putting off signing up for a yoga class, now’s the time to commit.

3. Have a Life Outside of Work

Work is a big part of your life, but it can’t be your entire life. You have to find balance between climbing the corporate ladder and spending time with family and friends. We see a great many people focus so hard on getting a big promotion or finishing a gigantic project that they have no personal life at all, which leads to burnout quickly.

You need interests beyond your work. If you’re struggling to find a hobby, try scrolling through the “things to do” section of Groupon. We’ve taken painting classes, pottery courses, museum specialty tours, fishing trips—you name it. It’s our go-to place when we’re out of ideas for things to do.

4. Find Meaning in Your Work

If your work seems meaningless to you, it’s time to find a new job. Lately, we’ve worked with a lot of clients who are stuck in a rut, hating their jobs, facing burnout, yet they make every excuse to stay where they are. Change is hard, but it’s part of life. Sometimes maturity means recognizing that what you are doing isn’t working for you. If you’re stuck, find the courage to make a move—any move—to do something different than what you are currently doing.

Finding meaningful work may mean trying a variety of jobs, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The world is an abundant place, full of jobs in all industries for people of all talents. If you feel like your work is meaningless, tidy up your resume and start applying for other opportunities. There’s an indeed and a Zip Recruiter full of jobs, just waiting for you.

5. Recognize the Signs of Burnout

One of the best things you can do to prevent burnout is to know the signs that you may be burning out so that you can start making changes to prevent it. Here are a few things to look for in determining if you are burning out:

  • You feel “stuck” in our job
  • You feel overwhelmed almost every day
  • You are too tired to do anything after work but eat and sleep
  • Your attitude stinks
  • You neglect yourself or your home (See that pile of dishes you haven’t washed in a week?)

If you think you are burning out, at the very least, take a couple sick or personal days to reflect on your overall mental and physical health. Evaluate if it’s time for a change, and if it is, be brave enough to make it.

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You can’t work when you’re hungry. Your brain needs fuel to keep up with your workload. If you’re snacking on donuts and potato chips in the afternoon, your productivity is probably slipping by around 1 PM.

There are better snack foods that can boost your productivity and help you reach your workday goals. Instead of grabbing junk food at the office vending machine, stock your desk and lunch bag with these brain-boosting snacks:

1. Chocolate for Enhanced Productivity

Chocolate can boost your productivity

Is there any happier food in the world than chocolate? It’s rich, luxurious, and meant to be savored. Its mood-boosting properties are celebrated around the world, and happy people are often more productive.

The Huffington Post reports that “women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams,” so eat it up. It’s also reported to lower blood pressure, “bad” cholesterol, and your risk of heart disease.

Stay away from the Snickers in the vending machine. Instead, opt for good-quality dark chocolate. If dark chocolate isn’t your thing, you should try the flavorful varieties from Vosages Haut-Chocolat. My favorite is the hard-to-find Naga flavor, but the Black Salt Caramel bars and the Pink Himalayan Salt caramel bars are fantastic.

2. Pistachios

Eat pistachios to boost productivity

A cup of pistachios packs 25 grams of protein. Nuts.com reports that cashews have a healthy ratio of beneficial fatty acids, and contains vitamin B6, which is essential for cognitive function (you know, the cornerstone of productivity).

Buying a few pistachios at the gas station is quite pricey at around $3 for an 6-ounce bag, but you can buy a big bag at Sam’s Club for around $15 and have enough pistachios for a month or more. Most diet gurus recommend buying pistachios in their shells, but who has time for that?

3. Cashews

Eat cashews to boost productivity

If pistachios aren’t your thing, then try cashews. As a softer nut, cashews have a lighter flavor than other varieties. A shot glass full of cashews will net you at least 5 grams of protein as well as 20% of your daily-recommended value of magnesium.

Cashews are often priced lower than pistachios. A big, 18 ounce container costs about $10 at Wal-Mart, and they stay good for a couple of months in a sealed container.

4. Sunflower Seeds

Eat sunflower seeds to boost productivity

A quarter cup of sunflower seeds contains 82% of your daily recommended value of Vitamin E, so eating these will not only boost your productivity, but it will help reduce inflammation.

Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin B1, magnesium, vitamin B6, and folate. Nutritionists like Dr. Axe consider sunflower seeds a top 10 food for their nutritional value.

I buy sunflower seeds at Trader Joe’s for around $4 a bag, and I mix them into chicken salads, use them in place of croutons on dinner salads, and feed them to the kids by the handful.

5. Boiled Eggs

Eat boiled eggs to boost productivity

Eggs are an awesome snack food. They’re inexpensive, portable, contain 6 grams of protein each, and are packed with essential nutrients like iron, phosphorus, vitamin A, and a range of B vitamins. Recent studies show that eating eggs can help you lose weight—not that you need to lose weight, but it’s nice to know.

Boiled eggs are a big part of my “eating for productivity” plan. I buy two 18-packs of eggs every week and immediately boil one of them and set it in the fridge. When I’m running late and don’t have time for breakfast, I have eggs waiting for me. When I need an afternoon snack and the potato chips are calling my name, I peel an egg instead.

6. Avocados

Eat avocados to boost productivity

Avocados are getting a bad rep lately. Most of the year, they are quite expensive, and millennials reportedly pay $19 to eat them on toast, but nutritionally, they’re a super food filled with beneficial fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Avocados can help you get over your afternoon slump. They’re rich in folate, which helps prevent “build-up of homocysteine, a substance that can impair circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain” (medlicalnewstoday.com).

The best way to eat an avocado as a snack is with whole grain chips or crackers. Guacamole, with antioxidant-rich tomatoes and onions, increases their benefit. Use a generous amount of lime juice on your guacamole, and keep it in the fridge at work for up to four days!

7. Blueberries

Eat blueberries to boost productivity

Blueberries are a major memory-boosting fruit. Eat This, Not That reports that “the flavonoids in blueberries have been shown to improve spatial memory in rats. Their antioxidants help lessen inflammation.”

If blueberries aren’t in season near you, you can buy them freeze dried at Trader Joes or other health food stores. You can also find blueberry raisins, though they tend to be higher in sugar content than their freeze-dried counterparts.

8. Granola

Eat granola to boost productivity

Whole grains top the list of brain foods for most nutritionists, but making whole grains portable without adding a bunch of junk to them is tough. My daughter and I both eat gluten free due to celiac disease, which means we have to be very careful with whole grains. Luckily, we’ve been able to find gluten-free granola mixes at places like Earth-Fare and Whole Foods.

Look for a good mix that has low sugar content. We like the French vanilla almond granola you can buy in bulk at Whole Foods.

9. Almond Butter

Eat almond butter to boost productivity

High-protein nut butters make excellent snacks, especially when paired with fruit. One tablespoon of almond butter contains 3.4 grams of protein, 11% of your daily value of magnesium, and 3% of your daily value of iron.

Try eating almond butter as a dip for your favorite apple. It’s also good with pears.

10. Pumpkin Seeds

Eat pumpkin seeds to boost productivity

Even if you can’t order a pumpkin spice latte, you can still give your brain a boost with roasted pumpkin seeds. Dr. Mercola explains that pumpkin seeds are full of “magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc, pumpkin seeds are nutritional powerhouses wrapped up in a very small package. They also contain plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants, which can give your health an added boost.”

You can find pumpkin seeds in grocery stores and some convenience stores. I like to eat them in homemade trail mixes with sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.

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