It is important for your financial security to make saving part of your routine. You might be saving to build an emergency fund, to pay down debt, or to save for a large purchase, such as a down payment on a house. Many of us struggle with finding the space in our monthly budgets to allow for saving. By looking at ways to cut your monthly expenses, you can roll that money into your savings and start securing your financial stability.
1. How to Save Money by Refinancing
This is a tricky one, because although you might save money in your mortgage bills every month, it’s an investment with some pretty hefty upfront costs. Talk to a financial expert and work through the math to see if it’s the right choice for you. If you don’t plan on selling your house in the near future, it might be worth the upfront cost in the long run.
2. Cut Your Vehicle Expenses
Your monthly bills for transportation aren’t just about car payments and insurance. While those may be the most significant, you can save money each month by cutting your other vehicle expenses. Using public transportation or carpooling can save you a substantial amount in gas money every month. If you’re more serious about cutting a significant expense, consider downsizing to one car, or if you’re thinking about buying a car soon, consider a used one.
3. How to Save Money on Your Energy Bills
Addressing your energy bills is a good way to cut your monthly expenses. Unplug your unused appliances to cut down on phantom charges, make the switch to CFL or LED lights, and get into the habit of turning off lights and appliances when you aren’t using them. Install programmable thermostats, lower the temperature on your hot water heater, and consider looking at the temperatures to which you are heating and cooling your house. A few degrees adjustment can save you plenty.
4. Cut the Non-Essentials
Cutting cable is a good start, with so many streaming services available. But be careful to look at your subscriptions to those as well. Do you truly need Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime? "Take a month and see what you are using, and then cut what you aren’t making good use of, or consider what you could live without," suggests debt elimination strategist, Jeff Mohlman. This is the same approach to take with some other bills. Magazine subscriptions, gym memberships, and other monthly charges may not be right for your budget. Alone they don’t seem to be very significant costs, but add them up and you may be surprised.
5. Save Money on Food
When it comes to saving money on food, planning is key. Meal planning, using store flyers, and couponing will help you create a grocery list that you can stick to. Buying generic products over brand name will also save money, typically with no discernible difference in quality. Buying in bulk is a good solution as well, but like everything else, it’s important to do the math before jumping into a warehouse membership. You not only need to spend wisely, but you’ll need space to store bulk purchases, and you have to be able to use things up before they expire or you will end up wasting money in the end.
6. Save Money by Shopping Around with Your Bills
While shopping around for the best deals in stores is a good idea, shopping around for your household expenses is even smarter. Most of us chose home insurance, car insurance, cell phone, and other services, but haven’t looked lately to see if they’re the best deals today. While you may feel loyalty to these companies, often you’re paying for it. Switching your cell phone plan and your insurance plan can save you a huge amount every month.
7. Other Easy Ways to Save Money at Home
Some other easy ways to cut expenses is by “insourcing”. Rather than outsourcing things like housekeeping, lawn care, grocery shopping, and even childcare, do these things yourself. Housekeeping and lawn care can become a family activity. While childcare for two working parents may still need to be outsourced, parents can investigate creative solutions to cut expensive hours by adjusting their schedules or bartering with friends or family. Daily childcare may be a fixed expense, but occasional babysitting can be negotiated.
While each tip may save you only a bit each month, making multiple changes over time will start to add up in a way that will help stretch your budget! Our smart money strategies don’t stop there. Contact us today to learn how we can help you become more financially fit with the money you already have.