Everyone has bills to pay. There’s no getting around sending those payments in unless you want to risk being sent to collections, but that doesn’t mean your financial obligations have to control your life. Knowing how to budget and be smart about your expenses can help you keep more money in your pocket – money that can help you go back to school, improve your life, and survive with less stress. In this post, we’ll tell you how to slash those expenses for big savings; you need this information!
Monthly payments can add up quick, especially if you aren’t staying on top of your bills. Neglecting payments might seem easier, but it can get you in a lot of trouble and even trash your credit if you find yourself sent to collections. It’s also really easy to think you’re saving by keeping expenses low, only to find yourself paying a higher volume of little expenses. In this post, we’ll help you take a look at your monthly expenses and trim the fat.
Keep Reading to Find Out How to Take Control of Your Finances
“The Great Purge” Can Make You Money
Take a day or two to go through all of your possessions and figure out which ones you use frequently. You’ll be surprised by the amount of items you set aside that you rarely, or never, use. Junk accumulates quickly and maybe it’s costing you money for storage space. This is a great opportunity to make some extra cash, free up clutter, and give you a good idea of what you truly need to purchase in the future.
Can You Live Without a Vehicle?
It’s possible to get around town without needing to own a car. Find a job that’s within walking distance, carpool with a neighbor, or use public transportation systems. You can always call Uber or Lyft to get to places that are less accessible. Removing a vehicle payment, and insurance, from your monthly expenditures is a fantastic way to cut down on living expenses, even if it isn’t exactly “cool.”
Unplug Electrical Devices
We’re surrounded by so many electrical equipment and devices in our homes. Computers. Tablets, Smartphones. Game consoles. They are always draining energy, even if they’re not turned on – and that can add up to a big electric bill.
Devices connected to an outlet have a phantom charge that slowly draws energy from the socket. Eliminate this drain by unplugging equipment not in use, installing on/off outlet switches, or using programmable outlets that cut off power automatically.
Install Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Lights are an essential part of your home. It would be ridiculous to try and tell you that you should live in the dark, but you can reduce your bill by investing in high-quality, high-efficiency bulbs. LEDs and CFLs use less than 1/4th of the electricity older bulbs use, making them cheaper and greener to use. They also produce less heat, give off more light, and last far longer, saving you cash on replacements. Just swapping out your kitchen lights can save you up to $40 per year.
Your Cable Bill
Are you a TV junkie, or do you only watch a couple of shows a week? If you aren’t really using or watching most of the 100-odd channels within your cable package, it may be time to cut the cord and go cable-free. Online streaming services provide plenty of options for on-demand content, potentially cutting the amount you spend on cable by 70 to 90 percent or more.
Revisit Your Subscriptions
Subscription services are the new black. They’re on everything from our favorite apps to subscription boxes for food, makeup, clothes, and more. The problem with this model is that it’s extremely easy to feel like you aren’t spending much because the fee per month is so low. The reality is that low fees add up quick, and it’s easy to forget you’re subscribed to these services over time.
Keep a running list of everything you’re subscribed to, and check it at least once every two weeks. Go through your frequently used services and check your bank account for any recurring payments. Put the kibosh on anything you’re no longer using or can’t justify, including subscriptions for items like games, that you aren’t playing. Keep your list updated, and don’t be afraid to cancel; you can always subscribe again later on.
Prepare Your Own Food
Food is one of the biggest expenses for most households. Costs can spiral out of control if you’re eating out or getting fast food regularly. Cooking your own food and preparing a meal to take to work will drastically cut down on your food expenses – and probably keep you healthier, too. Search for cheap, easy, and convenient meals, and don’t be afraid to get creative. Your digestive system will thank you!
You don’t need to make major life changes to cut down on expenses. Just trimming the fat and putting in a little effort around the house can net you significant savings. The real secret to saving money is to only buy what you need, not everything you want on a whim. Being smart about your money can help you save for major life improvements, like a new car, a new house, or even going back to school.