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Save Money by Cutting Down On the Little Expenses
Living on a budget is the key to financial freedom, but getting started can be a little frustrating. Creating a budget means we have to look at what we are spending. When we look at our expenses and see all of those bills we’re paying every month, it’s easy to throw our hands up in disgust. But what turns out to be even more surprising is all of those little expenses we incur on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You might be surprised to find out just how much of your budget they take up.
It’s easy to dismiss cutting back on the little expenses. You may think a few dollars a month won’t make a significant difference in the big picture. But a few dollars here and a few dollars there adds up to a few more dollars. When you cut back in a lot of small ways, you could end up with a lot more money at the end of the month.
One thing we can do that is good for the budget is stop wasting so much. Wasting can apply to many areas in our lives. From eating to home heating, waste equals money going down the drain unnecessarily.
Cooking for the family instead of eating takeout or dining out is a great way to save money. But if you’re throwing food out, the benefit is reduced. So if you have leftovers, don’t let them end up in the trash. If you find yourself not having a ton of time for meal planning, you may want to check out the $5 Meal Plan which can save you a ton of money and time!
Some dishes freeze well, and this makes for easy dinners when you don’t have time to cook. You could also eat dinner leftovers for lunch the following day. Plan your meals with this in mind to make the most of your grocery budget. If you want to find out more about freezer meals you should really check out MyFreezeEasy where Erin the $5 Dinner Mom helps you create 10 Meals in under 1 hour!
If your home is not well insulated, you’re probably wasting lots of money on home heating and cooling. Insulating will cost some money up front, but it will pay for itself quickly. If you have drafts around windows and doors, weather-stripping can help maintain the temperature of your home. Some energy companies offer incentives and free home energy assessments that you can take advantage of so make sure you look into all of your options.
Most households waste an unbelievable amount of electricity. We can prevent this in part by using energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. Turn lights, televisions, computers and other devices off when you’re not using them, and open blinds to take advantage of the sun’s light during the day. These seem like common sense things to do, but we often get comfortable and tend not to pay attention to the little money wasters.
Get more tips on saving money on your electric bill.
Do It or Make It Yourself
Any time you pay someone else to do something that you could do yourself, you’re spending money unnecessarily. This can apply to little things like buying coffee instead of making your own, as well as to larger expenses such as home or auto repairs.
Many of us buy coffee or a soft drink from a convenience store or coffee shop on the way to work in the morning. This can add up over time. Instead, make your coffee, or buy soda in 2-liter bottles and pour some into a smaller bottle or cup to take with you. The same applies to lunches. Instead of springing for fast food, take a sandwich or something microwavable to work. Start slowly by maybe taking lunch three days a week so that you won’t feel like you are depriving yourself. After awhile you won’t miss going out to eat.
While we’re not all good at all types of repairs and maintenance, most of us can do some things for ourselves. Maybe you could change your oil instead of paying someone else to do it. You can check out the article I wrote on DIY Car Maintenance. You may think $30 to $60 isn’t a lot every few months but it adds up and not to mention all the other things the car shop will try and sell you while you’re there.
If the walls need painting or minor repairs, consider getting friends and family to help you do it instead of hiring a painter. Things like these can save us a noticeable amount of money right away. Keep in mind you rather be safe than sorry so when dealing with gas or electric and other potentially dangerous home repairs you will want to hire a professional.
Use Coupons and Coupon Apps
Use coupons whenever you can. There are many coupon apps out there that take very little work to use and can save you hundreds over time. New to couponing? You can check out my free coupon e-course to learn more about using coupons.
When you add up the savings, little things can make a big difference to the budget. So take a close look at your budget and see what small expenses are lurking there. If you can eliminate or reduce them, it could positively impact your bottom line.
What little expenses have you discovered taking up money in your budget? Is there anything you can cut out?