How to Cut Expenses and Save Money
Most of us would like to save more money. Of course, with bills coming in every month and financial obligations seemingly growing every day, this can feel really tough to do. However, there are ways that most people can save money and one of the most common (and most effective) ways to do this is to cut expenses.
At first, it might seem like there aren’t places to cut your spending but, for most people, if you really look at where your money is going, you’ll find places to cut.
Here are some tips for cutting expenses so you can save some money.
Look at Phone, Cable, and Internet Services
One of the first places to look when you’re trying to cut costs is your phone, internet, and cable bills. Most people don’t change these services very often, and it’s likely been a while since you’ve looked at what you’re paying and what else is out there. There may be better deals (either from your provider or from another company) since you last looked around.
It’s also a good idea to think about what you really use. If you’re paying for channels, features, bandwidth, or data that you aren’t using, look and see if there’s a cheaper plan available that meets your needs.
Review your Subscriptions
These days, nearly every service comes with a subscription. Take a look at your bills and see what you’re paying for monthly. Most of us subscribe to software or streaming services that we rarely use. If you’re paying for a streaming video or music service that you’re hardly using, consider pausing the subscription or cancelling it outright. Most subscription services make it easy to cancel and restart your subscription later, so you can always come back if you truly miss the service.
Eat at Home
Cooking for yourself rather than going to a restaurant or ordering take out can save you a lot of money. Even if you don’t have much experience cooking, it’s a good idea to look up some simple recipes and cook food for yourself most days. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also likely end up eating healthier as well!
Reduce Electricity Usage
Electricity can be expensive, but there are ways to reduce your electricity use and save some money.
- Hang your clothes to dry instead of using the dryer. This may not be possible all the time and in all situations but, if you can do it, it will save you money.
- When you wash your clothes, use the cold water setting when possible. Heating the water uses a lot of electricity.
- If your area factors “time of use” into your electricity costs, try to do energy-intensive activities during “off-peak” times, when electricity is less expensive. If you use your dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, etc. when electricity costs less, you’ll save money.
- Consider using LED lights instead of incandescent light bulbs, as LEDs use a lot less energy.
- Adjust the temperature in your home so it’s slightly warmer in the summer (and cooler in the winter). You’ll barely notice the difference and you’ll save money on air conditioning (and heating, even if you have gas heating).
Walk, Bike or Take Transit When Possible
It may not be possible for everyone, but for shorter trips it makes a lot of sense to walk, bike, or even take public transit rather than driving. These modes of transportation are usually much less expensive, they’re often better for your health. Plus, you’ll avoid putting as much wear and tear on your car.
Track your Spending
Tracking your spending is important. It helps you learn where your money is going, and this makes finding unnecessary expenses easier. Choose a method that works for you (an app on your phone, a file on your computer, a pen and paper, etc.) and be sure to track every purchase that you make, even the small ones. These add up over time.
It’s a good idea to record your purchases shortly after you make them, so you don’t forget any.
Regularly Review Your Budget
If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to make one. If you do have a budget, when is the last time you reviewed it? A budget isn’t a static thing that you write down once and then never touch again.
It’s a good idea to review your budget regularly (every couple of months, for example) to see if it still makes sense. If there are areas that stick out to you as trouble spots or concerns, adjust your budget to make it more workable. By regularly reviewing and adjusting your budget, you’ll find ways to reduce expenses, spend money more effectively, and save.