When economic times are tight and employment is uncertain in the world, it becomes even more important to look for creative ways to save money every month. Soaring rental prices, the high cost of utilities and every day expenses for food, gasoline and parking can really take a bite out of anyone’s take home pay. By changing some of your habits and spending patterns, you’ll find that you could be saving a lot of money month after month. Much of our spending in life is almost pre-programmed and we seem to follow a pattern that repeats itself endlessly. When we alter our focus and really think about our spending, it helps us adapt a new way of approaching things.

Follow the 30-Day Rule

One thing sure to wreck the monthly budget is when we suddenly crave an item and make an impulse purchase. Sometimes it’s a smaller item but another month we may desperately want that giant, big screen TV. Fortunately, there’s a way to modulate those desires by putting a temporary pause in the buying process. Follow the 30-day rule and your approach will look like this. When you really crave an impulse purchase make yourself hold off and take the money you would have spent on the item and put it in your savings account. Then wait 30 days. If you still want the item then, you can buy it.

Save Time and Money Online

Increasingly, it’s easy to take care of things online. Instead of driving across town for appointments, wasting gas and lots of your time, look for alternative ways to do the same things online. For instance, if you need an appointment with a primary care doctor you can now do that affordably through a telemedicine service where you meet the doctor in a video call and can handle everything from home. If you are a resident of Missouri, you can also get your medical marijuana (MMJ) card online in minutes. Once you visit the web site and answer a few simple questions, you will be immediately connected to a doctor that can evaluate your situation and give you the MMJ certification you need. From there, you simply fill out the state forms and your Missouri medical marijuana card will be on its way.

Take Online Cooking Classes

One of the best things you can do to reduce spending is to learn to cook from scratch. It’s much healthier for you and by buying raw ingredients, fresh fruits and vegetables you will save money every time you go to the grocery store. Processed foods and canned items may look convenient but they give you almost no value for the money you spend on them. To make it more fun, set a goal of exploring a new ethnic cuisine every two months. For instance, there’s a wonderful grandmother from Michoacán who has a YouTube channel where she shows you how to prepare traditional Mexican dishes. The food you make will be much better for you; your pocket will benefit and you will be proud of your new cooking skills too. It’s a win-win!