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How to Cut Expenses and Spend Less
Looking for ways to cut expenses so you can spend less and save more?
If at the end of a day, week, or month you think “where did all my money go” then you need to start looking at your spending and see where you can cut expenses.
Living paycheck to paycheck is not fun.
You want to be able to have some money left over at the end of the month so that you can save it for more important things like an emergency fund, retirement or even a vacation.
Most of us don’t realize just how much money we are wasting on a daily basis. Many unnecessary costs can actually be reduced or cut altogether.
Here are some tips to help you curb your spending, cut your expenses and live on less than you make.
7 WAYS TO CUT EXPENSES
1. Prepare Your Own Meals at Home
Buying breakfast and coffee from a fast food restaurant on your way to work isn’t too expensive on its own. But, doing so even once a week can quickly add up to a significant amount. If you find yourself ordering food every day, consider preparing breakfast or lunch at home so you’ll be able to eat when you need to.
Cooking for yourself at home tends to be much cheaper than eating out regularly. This applies to coffee, too. Brewing a thermos full of coffee in the morning will save you the time and money you would spend heading to the nearest coffee shop.
I use to always grab food out and once I started preparing more food at home I now prefer it! I am no chef, I actually hate cooking but using a simple meal plan can make it easy.
If you want to save a ton of time on meal planning and have someone do all the planning for you, I HIGHLY recommend $5 Meals! For $5 a month you get meal plans done for you along with a complete shopping list done for you!
So basically for the price of one Starbucks coffee, you can get a month of meals planned!
If you must have your Starbucks check out my tips for Getting Free Gift Cards (including Starbucks)!
2. Stop Using Disposable Items
Some of the products you use from day to day are only used once, then thrown away. Paper towels, for example, are handy when you want to clean up a mess in a hurry, but reaching for one after every spill can become an expensive habit.
I don’t know about you but when there is a roll of paper towels in my house I go through it like crazy, I wash my hands A LOT (a habit from working in the hospital years ago) and if I had to dry on a paper towel at home daily I would be buying tons of paper towels.
Instead of paper towels or napkins, use hand towels. Using them will create a bit of extra dirty laundry, but will also cut out the cost of these disposable ones altogether.
I created a whole article on money-saving products that you can buy now and save money later.
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3. Limit Trips To The Store
This may sound obvious but the less you’re at the store the less you spend. You ever heard of out of sight out of mind? It’s very true! I avoid malls whenever possible and only going to the store when necessary is key.
It’s amazing all of the things I thought I needed just because I saw it at the store. Not to mention all the clearance and deals I couldn’t resist while I was at the store.
If I could I would shop totally online. Right now I actually do most of my shopping online mainly from Amazon because I have Amazon Prime and use every benefit of it! If you want to check out Amazon prime too you can get a 30 Day Free Trial.
4. Consider Buying Used Or Borrowing Instead Of Buying
With Facebook Marketplace, Craiglist and apps like OfferUp and LetGo there are numerous places to get nice used items and even some new items that people were just unable to use.
From furniture to appliances, you will want to check these places first. You can save a ton of money doing this just be careful and make sure you are dealing with an actual seller and bring a friend when going to pick up the item.
Do you have a project your working on that needs a tool? Consider borrowing or renting it from a tool rental place. Figure out how many times you’re going to need it and if you have the actual storage room for it. Then do the math to work out whether you should buy, borrow or rent.
You may be able to even borrow from a friend so ask around first.
5. Don’t Be Brand Loyal
Many stores offer generic or store-brand alternatives to both food and household products. If you see a generic alternative to a product you’re shopping for, give it a try at least once. If you like it, you could save money that you would basically be spending on the label otherwise.
Some brand-name products contain up to twice as much (in volume) as their generic counterparts, so switching to generic products can lead to significant savings on your grocery bill.
If you want to give some generic products a try and shop online you can check out Brandless. They offer tons of “brandless” products even organic ones for just $3 each! Every single item on their site is just $3. Check out Brandless.
6. Use Coupons!
There is always going to be things you still have to purchase. The key is to save the most money when you do! Coupons are by far the easiest way to save on almost everything. If you are clueless when it comes to coupons you can check out my FREE LEARN TO COUPON COURSE.
Or if you are just too busy to bother with coupons, check out How to Coupon Even When You’re Busy.
7. Negotiate Your Bills Down!
The best way to reduce expenses permanently is to lower monthly bills! Once they are lowered you won’t have to worry about them anymore.
The first thing you want to do is if you have any credit card debt or student loan debt call and see if you can get the interest rates reduced. If not you may want to consider refinancing or transferring balances to a lower rate card.
Once you have done that you want to look at your other bills like gas, electric, phone, cable, etc. Look over your bills carefully and see what you can get rid of. Cable should be the easiest, do you really need all those channels?
If you have no negotiation skills and just wish someone would do it for you consider using a service like TRIM.
These are only a few of the ways you can lower and cut your expenses. You can find even more ways to save by keeping track of the money you spend in a month. This will help you to identify areas where you need to start cutting back.
Don’t forget – every little bit helps!