How to Save Your Money by Cutting Expenses
It’s getting harder and harder to save your money in this seemingly stagnant economy. There's no doubt that we've all been hit hard and there's no telling when the trend will stop.
Gas prices are wavering and home valuations remain questionable but even in bad economic times, holding onto some money is vital! That is, if you want to pay your bills and have money left over to eat. Tough economic times call for tough economic measures!
You can't save money unless you learn to accumulate it. In an unpredictable environment, that's a tough thing to do!
Money is a commodity. It is a means to get ahead of the crowd, but don't let your lack of money bog you down. Things can get better if keep your eye on the prize!
There are many things you can do to cut back and reduce your monthly bills without having to sacrifice too much or get a cash advance. If your income has decreased, your monthly bills must reflect that. Now is not
the time to increase them!
If you’re thinking about getting a new credit card to help you pay for some of those monthly bills, don’t do it. You’ll only create a bigger hole and add onto the amount you owe. Credit cards are a temporary fix at best and may only come back to bite you in the butt later when you get the bill. Extra bills won't help you save your money!
Isn't it always the way too! You get an unexpected check in the mail and before you can say 'yippee', something happens. The water heater breaks down, one of your children gets sick, or bad weather takes out your TV and stereo! No matter how hard you try to get ahead, you just keep getting pounded!
To get by you've got to really grit your teeth! Saving money won't happen if you just wish for it! (There is no credit card fairy!) American's especially, have gotten very accustomed and used to comforts they once could afford but cannot anymore. It's called 'entitlement'! However, that kind of mindset is exactly what you need to lose!
There are many things you can do to cut your monthly expenses without drastically reducing your current standard of living.
How to Save Your Money by Cutting Expenses
1) Create a budget!
- When you look at your monthly expenses, you might be surprised to find how you spend your money each month. First, make a list of all your monthly household expenses and bills for one month. That includes electricity, cable TV, phone, internet service, water, insurance, credit cards, donations, groceries, subscriptions, and any other bills you might have at home.
If for example, what you spend at the grocery store
fluctuates, take the mean average by viewing a few of your previous grocery receipts. (Add the grocery receipts together, then divide that number by the number of grocery receipts you added up. That gives you the mean average.) Then add all your bills together and divide that number by 4. That’s how much much income you’ll need per week
to keep on top of your bills.
Then for one week, write down everything you spend outside your home or inside your home if you buy things online. That means everything
, and includes snacks, eating out, drinks, gas, splurges, Amazon.com purchases, and/or anything else you happen to ‘pick up’.
Add your weekly out of home expenses with your weekly in home expenses. (What you must make every week to pay your bills.) Then multiply that number by 4.
Are you surprised? Most people never realize how much money they actually need and spend every month. You cannot save your money if you don't know your budget!
2) Pay cash!
- Whenever you can, pay cash for what you buy. Cash is a good way to only
spend what you have. If you haven't got any cash, then don’t buy anything. It’s really that simple, and is true even when you need groceries! Learn to live without them for a week and you’ll start learning how to save your money by comparison shopping really fast!
Also, when you do start paying cash, you’ll be surprised how your unconscious mind will calculate what you put in your basket. It never fails for me. If I take $80 into the store, I usually spend around $75-$79. When I spend more than the money I have in my pocketbook (which is only very rarely), I take something out of the cart! This is not the time to whip out a credit card and charge the difference!
3) Update your cable
- If you have the latest and greatest cable in your home, but you don’t get to watch TV that much, get rid of the cool package deal. Change it to the least you can get by with without doing without completely. Figure out which channels you watch the most, and buy a cable package that only includes these channels.
Shop around too! There are a lot of great deals you can get if you take a little time to explore them. For instance, recently I called Direct TV to find out if they had local channels in our area but they didn't.
So I called Time Warner Cable and learned that they do offer local TV for my area and had some really great deals for Direct TV users. I got a really great bundle package for 18 months with the option of locking it in at the same price after that time. On the flip side, if you can’t afford cable after you’ve looked over your monthly budget, get rid of it. If you still have an internet connection, you can find many TV shows online now. Invest in a larger digital computer monitor and watch TV from your computer instead. These cut backs can really save your money!
4) Conserve your power!
- The costs to power your home have reached all time highs. They can gouge your wallet and make you feel naked! Get in the habit of cutting back usage. Only do full loads of laundry and dishes. Use your grill or make soup and sandwiches when possible. Watch your kids too. They are big energy wasters, mainly because they don't have to pay the bills!
5) Driving your car!
- Since gasoline prices have increased so much, going for a pleasure drive has become a thing of the past. If you haven't yet given it up, you must change what you do and where you drive. You will never save your money if you're not willing to change your behaviors!
Plan your trips whenever you can. Taking public transportation is also something to look into. Carpooling may not always be possible but find out if it is. Tell your insurance agent if you have cut back on driving. There may be some perks on your policy that will lower you costs!
6) Chatting it up
- Most of us grew up with a home telephone that hung on a wall or sat on a table. They became an icon in our homes. However, many people have opted to get rid of their home phones and just keep their cell phones instead. You will have the convenience of being able to get your calls anytime. The best part is that you have the option of transferring your home phone number to your cell number. That way, you won’t have to update all your records and inform all your friends of the change!
Here's one of the best ways to cut costs on your phone bill
7) Update major appliances
- If your appliances are outdated, it may be time to check into updating them. You can find appliances that are much more energy efficient and save your money by investing in newer ones. Yes, there is an initial expense, however the key word here is investment
Another way to save your money is to change out gas heating or air conditioning units, to electric ones. Yes, electricity costs have also increased but not as much as the price of oil. Check into purchasing dependable semi-older units that can still help conserve energy in your home. Habitat for Humanity has stores in just about every county in the USA, so these are great places to check!
8) Refinance your home!
- Since interest rates are still reasonably low, it maybe time to check into refinancing your home. I did and was told that I couldn’t. However, as my mom always told me, it never hurts to ask. The worst they can tell you is ‘no’. If current interest rates are at least half a point lower than your current mortgage rate and you plan to live in your home for at least another couple of years, refinancing to a lower monthly mortgage payment may save you hundreds of dollars a month. That can make a huge difference and really help save your money!
9) There's no place like home!
- If you are used to going out because you’re bored or looking for something else to do, find things you can do at home instead. Investing in your home is never a bad idea! In the summer, you might opt to put an inexpensive pool in the yard to keep your family happy at home. During the winter, an outdoor open fire pit is a great way to stay warm, entertain yourself, and save your money. No one I know can resist telling ghost stories while roasting marshmallows in open flames!
10) Be a multiple policy holder!
- Make an appointment with your insurance agent and go over each and every
insurance policy you have with them. If you’ve been with an insurance agency for a long time, you may NOT be able to get more perks by staying with them. Multiple policy holders get more reductions that non multiple policies however, the requirement may only be that you have two insurance policies with the carrier instead of the three you have. I recently switched over my car insurance to another company which gave me better prices, but kept my two other policies with the other insurance agency. I still get my multiple policy holder reductions plus I am saving money each month on car insurance with the other company.
You might also want to push for biofuels in your community and in your state's legislation. Willie Nelson was on TV not too long ago and said that his tour bus runs on soybean oil! So cool!
Saving money every month may require you to painfully rethink your priorities and change some of your long standing habits. Habits have a way of becoming 'normal'. Redefine your definitions! Challenging times call for drastic measures!
You can save your money
if you can cut the distractions and go over your expenses. There are so many ways to save your money if you get creative! Times-a-wasting, so do something as soon as possible to change the way you live and get ahead!
Related Pages on This Site
Gas Mileage Expenses – How to Budget the Costs and Bust the Myths
Eco Friendly Tips to Save Money Now!
How to Save Your Money During Hard Times
Manage Your Finances to Save Money
Using Debit Cards – The Advantages and Disadvantages
Increasing Income to Save Money in the New Year
Subscribe to my free newsletter
. Get interesting facts and money saving tips to help conserve and improve your beauty and your health.
Didn't find what you were looking for?
Use your keywords and this handy tool to find it fast!
Back to Top of Page
Going Green to Conserve Energy and Save the Planet
From Save Your Money to Homepage