Living beneath your means is absolutely necessary if you want to ever get ahead financially. It’s the little things you spend money on every month that can really add up. They can seem so insignificant at the time but when you look at how much it costs overtime it’s mind-blowing! It’s easy to say “I’ll just spend less” and go about your business without a definite plan or budget, but it doesn’t work. Here are six easy ways to cut your expenses now to help you on your financial path no matter what stage you are in.
Cut The Food Bill
Stick to a budget and make a list. If you go to the store without an idea of what you need or a list you are bound to spend way more than you need to. Making a quick list is the easiest way to keep on track and it doesn’t have to be complicated. I keep a shopping list on my notes app on my phone so I can add to it anytime and it’s always with me when I go shopping so I know exactly what I need. Also avoid making multiple trips to the store, go just once a week or every two weeks. Those quick trips to the store for one thing ends up with a cart full of things very easily. Find discount shopping stores like Aldi to do the majority of your shopping as it can save you tons of money. If you’re a coffee drinker and you visit your local coffee shop frequently this can wreak havoc on your wallet without you even noticing, instead skip the shop and opt to make coffee at home.
Utilize Your Local Library
Quit buying books! I love books and used to buy books all the time on Amazon and at bookstores but once I was done reading the book it would go on the shelf and sit there. Then I discovered the easy convenience of my public library! Libraries have come a long way since I was younger. Now most have apps that you can literally search for books from your phone and place holds on the books you want and you will get a nice little email when your books are ready to be picked up. I walk in, grab my books that are waiting for me on a shelf and voila! So easy! And they also have DVD’s and audio books. The best part about the library is its FREE!
Shop Around For Insurance
When was the last time you shopped around and got quotes on your homeowners and car insurance? If you’re like most Americans it’s probably been a while, and long overdue. I recently got quotes on both home and auto and I ended up saving over $1,000 a year by switching! It just takes a few minutes to get quotes nowadays. I suggest getting in touch with an insurance broker because they have access to multiple companies and can usually find the best deals for you. Make it a habit to shop around every year. If you really like who you have insurance with currently still shop around and call them and tell them what quotes you were given and see if they can price match or give you an even better deal, sometimes they will do this to keep you on as a customer.
Switch Service Providers
This includes anything like your cable, internet, home security system and the like. It just takes a few minutes to call each one of your providers and ask them if there’s anything they can do to lower your bill. If you’re not under contract tell them that you have been a loyal customer but you are thinking about switching providers and most of the time they are able to offer you lower rates. Even if you are under contract they can usually do something. I was able to cut our cable bill by $60 a month and our home security by $23 a month by just making a quick phone call.
Get All Suzy Homemaker
A lot of the products we use day-to-day can really add up. Think about how many products you use on your body and in your home to clean with. By making a few of these products yourself it can save you tons of money over time (and not to mention much better on the environment as well). It’s super easy to make a whole arsenal of household cleaning supplies with just a few simple ingredients, here’s a link to some of the products I make that incorporate essential oils and are easy on the wallet. I also started making my own toothpaste using baking soda, coconut oil, and a few drops of spearmint essential oil. You can get very creative or you can keep it very simple but just find a few products that you’d normally purchase and find a way to make it yourself.
Ditch The Disposables
We stopped using garbage bags a long time ago. Sound weird? Well here’s the logic behind it. We were essentially buying big plastic bags that go inside a big plastic trash bin and whenever it was full we would walk outside and dump the big plastic bag into a different big plastic garbage bin. So why waste money on the middle man-the plastic bag, when it’s all going to end up in the same place? Now we simply take the trash can and dump it into the bigger trash can when it’s full. There’s no mess since we compost all of our food scraps and recycle everything we possibly can, so there’s not much left in our garbage other than random food packaging. Garbage bags are expensive and an unnecessary purchase. This is just one example of cutting costs on those disposable items. Instead of paper towels make some out of fabric scraps that can be washed and reused. Instead of plastic straws get some reusable metal ones. Instead of paper plates get a few more regular dishes. All of these things not only save you money but it helps save our planets resources as well. It’s a win-win situation for all.