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Has your budget become a little too tight for comfort? With prices going up, you’re probably on the lookout for some costs to come down. Here are 11 simple ways to lower your expenses and get a bit more wiggle room back in your monthly budget.
Start With the Biggest Expenses
Sometimes it is hard to know where to start cutting expenses when you don’t know how much you’re spending. An app like Truebill can help you make tracking and trimming the budget easier.
Once you have some insight into your spending, first tackle your most significant expenses.
Find Cheaper Car Insurance
Trimming a monthly recurring bill can help you see savings month after month. There are plenty of online tools to help you quickly compare auto insurance rates. According to an annual study by U.S. News & World Report, Geico, USAA and State Farm offer the best rates.
If you’re a homeowner, look into bundling your home and auto insurance.
Depending on how much debt you’re carrying, debt consolidation can reduce monthly payments considerably.
A debt consolidation calculator can help you determine how much you could save, but it could be a few hundred dollars a month.
Make a Lot of Small Cuts To Your Small Expenses
Trimming a lot of small expenses just a little will add up.
Slice Streaming and Subscription Services
The average US consumer is now spending $47 per month on streaming services. Some of us also have subscriptions for services like Audible, Xbox, or the Wine of the Month Club.
A service like Billshark can help you cancel unused services and negotiate lower prices on others.
Whether a gym or Costco membership, determine whether you’re using it enough to justify the cost. Also, look for cheaper alternatives. Like any service, it pays to shop around every year.
Lower Water and Electric Bills
Become more aware of how much energy and water you’re using. Small changes can lead to significant savings over time.
Fix leaks, both water, and air. Install a rain barrel in the backyard. Raise the thermostat a degree or two. Reduce those vampire loads by unplugging phone chargers and turning off computers when not in use.
Tackle Cable, Internet, and Phone
No one wants to change internet, cable, or phone companies every few years to get a better rate. It just isn’t convenient. Let a service like AskTrim negotiate these bills for you. Yes, they’ll get a cut of the savings, but saving some is better than saving none.
The internet has made it so easy to find amazing deals on second-hand goods. Whether it’s clothing, books, or a new bicycle, see how much you can save by giving someone else’s stuff a new home.
Have Cheaper Fun
4.7% of our spending is on entertainment. While that might not seem like a lot, it doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to save.
It often comes down to convincing your partner or friends to have cheap fun with you. Trade some of your nights out with game nights and dinner parties in. Make it a potluck and let everyone BYOB. You’ll have just as much fun for half the cost.
Trim the Fat From Your Grocery Bills
The grocery budget is often the easiest area to find savings. These final tips will stop you from forking over so much at the grocery store each week.
Meal Plan Around BOGOs
Planning meals around buy-one-get-one-free offers are simple to do and result in considerable savings. Most grocery stores have their sales flyers online. It takes some time to look through it and plan out some cheaper eats for the week, but it will be time well spent.
While you’re shopping BOGOs, but a few extras for the pantry. Having a stockpile means rarely paying full price for items you buy regularly. And don’t just stockpile groceries. It’s a great way to save on pet supplies, personal care items, and paper goods.
Ditch the Disposables
How much money are you throwing in the trash? Think paper towels, aluminum foil, sponges, sandwich bags, and anything else you use once and toss.
Look into replacing paper napkins with cloth and invest in some washable sponges. Did you know you can wash pieces of aluminum foil in the dishwasher? Find all the ways you can reduce the use of one-and-done products.
Never Stop Saving
Cutting costs is rarely fun, but it’s often necessary. There are many other ways to reduce expenses, but these tips will get you started. Once you tackle your expenses, you can start to create an emergency fund, putting you one step closer to a balanced budget.
Get in the habit of tracking your expenses and looking for money leaks. Then find ways to plug the holes so you can keep more of your hard-earned cash.