It seems like almost daily we receive a bill in the mail that needs paid. Or are you one of the lucky few that has your bills setup to pay automatically? Nonetheless, our daily lives are full of expenses and there are times they can become overwhelming.
There are even times that we pay an expense for months and don’t use it…such as that gym membership.
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Money Saving Ideas
Do you need some help figuring out how you an lower your expenses? Start with what you are already paying.
Can you eliminate or reduce dollars your current monthly payments? Not sure where to start? Try these ten cost saving ideas for lowering your monthly expenses.
1. Reduce Monthly Subscriptions
This can be anything from digital magazine subscriptions to a gym membership to Amazon Prime. I had Amazon Prime for months and never really used the services that they offered.
The free 2-day shipping was the initial draw as well as the free Kindle book each month. After a number of months without finding a free book that appealed to me, I cancelled the service. That is savings of about $13.50 a month. If you use it that is one thing.
I found myself paying several $5 – $20 expenses each month for services that I was not even using. Periodically, I will review and cancel what is not being used.
I did a quick review recently and eliminated about $80 of monthly expenses that were not proving to have much value.
2. Reduce Your Cable Bill
Review the channels you are paying for and the channels you are using. Are you using all the channels you are paying for?
Could you eliminate premium channels? There are now services, such as Sling TV that offer lower priced cable TV options.
People are also saving money by opting not to have cable at all and subscribing to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Roku and Hulu just to name a few. Shop around each year to see if you can get the same cable package from another cable company at a lower price.
Recently, our cable billed was increased $40 a month. I shopped around was able to find a better service with more channels (something everyone needs…LOL) and faster internet.
The cost was approximately to same as we had been paying for the past few years.
3. Reduce Your Utility Bills
Turn your heat down a degree or two and your air conditioner up a degree or two. Keep doors and windows closed or open as necessary to keep the temperature comfortable without running the air conditioner or furnace.
There are many ways to conserve water. Turn the water off while you are brushing your teeth. Install water saving equipment on your showers and toilets. Run your washing machine with the lowest amount of water necessary to wash your load of clothing.
Think of all the things you do in your home that require water and then strategies how to reduce the amount you are using.
Turn lights and electronics off when not in use. Turn power strips off when the items are not in use. Just look around your house and see what is consuming energy unnecessarily.
Anything you can turn off will save you money over time. Challenge yourself to save on your monthly utilities. Even $10 a month adds up over time.
4. Meal Planning
Planning meals will not only make you more efficient when it comes to shopping for ingredients, it will allow you to prepare meals in bulk that can be frozen for future meals or devoured later in the week as leftovers.
Meal planning can be done with many of the free printable planners that are available online. There are also many websites and apps that can help you organize your meal planning.
These five apps are great for meal planning. You can enter a recipe, get a list of ingredients and some will even let you order the ingredients online.
5. Shop With A List
Not only will a list ensure that you have all the ingredients needed to prepare meals, a list will help cut down on impulse buys. Having a plan for your spending is one of the best ways to buy only what you need.
Rather than buying higher ticket items immediately, take some time to decide if you really need the item. It may just be something you “want.”
Lists are a great way to stay organized and control spending. I keep standard lists, such as; what I need to pack when I travel and meal items for Thanksgiving dinner on my computer.
If I am going to the store, I use a good old-fashioned piece paper. Here again, there are many printables and apps that can be helpful in preparing a list.
6. Shop Cell Phone Plans
There is lots of competition in the cell phone world as well as many carriers with numerous plan choices. If you are happy with the carrier you have, check your plan periodically.
Many times, you can get more for less than you are paying, especially if you have had the same plan for several months.
Make sure you are not paying for more than you are using. Another carrier or a prepaid option may also save you money on your cell phone bill.
7. Shop Cell Phones
Cell phones can range in price from $0 to over $1,000. Do you really need the latest iPhone the day it comes out or are you willing to take a phone that might be an older model that is being sold very inexpensively (or given away) to make room for the new model?
Cell phones can be a huge drain on a budget. Some carriers add a monthly payment to your bill (to be paid over 2 years) for a pricey phone.
8. Shop for Car Insurance
Get quotes each year to make sure you are getting a competitive price for your policy. Increase your deductible. you will save money by paying less in premiums for a higher deductible policy.
If you can afford it, paying your insurance semi-annually or annually, will cost you less each year than making a monthly payment.
9. Limit Personal Care Expenses
Personal care is another thing that can suck your cash. Mani/pedis, acrylic nails, expensive hair treatments can add up very quickly. I am not saying that you need to eliminate it all, but if there is room to cut expenses here, you should.
This should be a monthly budget item. A famous budget guru used to recommend $50 a month. That could be a little bit low for today’s economy, but you get the idea.
10. Shop for Clothing on a Budget
We all need clothes, but it does not have to be designer. I know people that make a game out of buying high-end designer clothes at the thrift store. Use coupons/discounts and buy on sale.
Learn to mix and match clothing pieces to create a larger wardrobe with less pieces of clothing. Styles and “in” colors change quickly, buying expensive clothes, does not make sense.
Tip: Search Raise.com for discounted gift cards for your favorite clothing stores. You can save from 2% – 15% (sometimes more) on places like Target, T.J. Maxx, J.C. Penney’s, Kohl’s just to name a few.
If you have a gift card you know you will never use and want to sell it, you can do this at Raise.com also.
If you look at your monthly expenses, you should be able to find several opportunities to save money. If you could keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket, why wouldn’t you?
Make a game out of saving money. Challenge yourself to reduce your household expenses by 10%. It is possible!