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5 Ways to Tackle Your Finances During Lent

Already failed to keep up with your New Year’s financial resolutions? Don’t fret. Lent, the 40-day period in which Christians (and many others) practice fasting, abstinence and repentance, has begun and it offers another chance for you to strive for self-improvement.

thisisbossi / Flickr |
thisisbossi / Flickr

Buy generic

When it comes to certain consumer goods, it is understandable that the bigger brands tend to carry a level of trustworthiness. But, from over-the-counter drugs to toiletries, many generic brands have caught up -- and may even exceed -- the quality of their well-known brand counterparts.

By purchasing generic brands, you’ll save money without sacrificing too much in quality. Try it out for the next six weeks and see if you’re able to notice a significant difference before switching back to the major brands.

Stop using the credit card

Although we are proponents of rewards credit cards and preach ways that you can maximize them, we don’t recommend them if you just can’t seem to rid yourself of debt.

Freeze that credit card in a block of ice and use your debit card or cash for the next several weeks. You may find that you’re able to pass the days without swiping a credit card. You may even find that you’re spending less because you are more conscious of the funds that you actually have available.

Maybe, you’ll never use a credit card again...

Dine in

For many people, eating out makes up the majority of their discretionary spending. It’s common knowledge that cooking your own meals will result in significant savings, but many of us resort to “I don’t have enough time” as an excuse to not cook.

Use Lent as a trial run to see if you can make your own meals more often. In addition to having more money in your wallet, it’s more likely that you’re eating healthier (a bonus if you’re not a fan of the high costs of healthcare).

With all that extra money you are saving, why not put them into an account and build up your savings.

Drop the vices

Alcohol, soda, cigarettes and caffeine come with cravings that are just too hard to resist. But, none are beneficial to your health and all of them tend to make up a large part of your daily expenses.

Again, Lent is a time wean yourself off these expensive vices. Like with dining in, you’re also contributing to better health.

Shop smart

Impulsive shopping is a common way that we waste money. We buy something that we don’t actually need and it ends up in the storage closet with its brand-new packaging.

Make it a case to review purchases before making them. By take a day or two before buying, you have the chance to research and read reviews on products and services to understand whether or not your purchase is necessary.

More often than not, you’re buying in haste.

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