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35 Ways to Cut Expenses
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to cut expenses or save more money, I’ve got you covered. So many people make a resolution at the start of each year to increase their savings and cut back on expenses, but they often don’t know where or how to start. It’s not as difficult as you may think to cut expenses, it usually just takes a little tweaking to your budget and paying attention to where your money goes.
Here are some great ways to show your wallet some extra love in the New Year:
- Write down all of your expenses – keep track of every dollar you spend for at least 30 days. This will help you find areas where you can cut back and it will make you more mindful of how you spend your money.
- Shop in thrift stores – you’ll be amazed at the great deals you can find. Often times, you can find designer fashions that are brand new or barely used. You can find great home décor items too.
- Bike or walk to work – if you live close enough to your office, save gas and wear and tear on your car. Bike or walk to work to save money and get more exercise!
- Skip the fancy coffee shop latte – find a recipe and learn how to make your favorite brew at home.
- Pack your lunch – you can save money and use up last night’s leftovers.
- Buy grocery store brands – they are the same quality and quantity as name brands. But they cost much less. Every penny counts!
- Ditch the overdraft protection – if you have overdraft protection on your checking account, chances are you’ll use it. Cancel it and strive to stay within your monthly budget so you can avoid expensive fees.
- Quit drinking soda – drink water instead. It’s healthier and much less expensive. If you need some flavor, add fresh fruit.
- Cook your meals in bulk – Set aside a few hours on the weekend to prepare your meals for the week. Make larger quantities and have leftovers for lunch or an extra dinner later in the week.
- Collect your loose change –toss any loose change from your pocket or wallet into a jar at the end of the day. Once a month, take it to the bank or cash it in at a change machine. You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up!
- Cancel your gym membership – get some fresh air and go for a walk or a bike ride at a local park. Lift weights in your garage. Get a yoga DVD you like and do it in your living room. You don’t need to pay for a gym membership to stay fit.
- Compare propane prices – are you getting the best deal? It only takes a few minutes to call around and see what other companies are charging. Even a small difference of $.50 a gallon can add up to big savings if you have a large tank and live in a cold climate.
- Carpool – look for a ride share in your area or start one in your neighborhood to save on gas and maintenance.
- Review your cell phone plan – do you know what all those charges are for? Are you using all of your minutes and data each month? If not, it may be time to switch plans or carriers.
- Take a look at your insurance policies –comparison shop your auto, home and life insurance to see if you can find a better rate with another provider. If you bundle your policies together with the same company, they will offer a discount.
- Do your dry cleaning at home – a home dry cleaning kit will get the job done for most garments and save you a lot of money at the cleaners.
- Review your internet service – can you find a better deal with another provider? Price other plans and eliminate any extra services you don’t use.
- Make your gifts by hand – instead of shopping for birthday and holiday gifts, make them. You will save money and they will mean more than anything that comes from a store.
- Skip pay day loans – they may seem appealing, especially if you’re in a bind until next pay day, but the interest rates are so high they make it difficult to repay and end up costing a lot more. Ask a friend or relative for some help instead.
- Simplify your beauty routine – look for products that serve more than one purpose. Replace expensive creams with coconut oil for your skin, face and eye cream. It also works great as a deep conditioner for your hair. Get double-duty out of hair conditioner by using it as shaving cream as well.
- Skip expensive household cleaning products – try natural, less expensive alternatives like vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice to clean and disinfect.
- Replace your light bulbs with energy efficient ones – reduce your expenses and save the environment at the same time.
- Turn off lights – when you leave a room, turn off all the lights. Make sure your devices and chargers are unplugged when you’re not using them as well. If you see any light glowing from a charger, it’s still using up energy even if it’s not in use.
- Let your friends and family know that you’re trying to cut expenses – let them help you be accountable for your spending. Start a money-saving group together so you can compare notes.
- Look for deals online – sign up for Groupon and Living Social deals. You will find some great discounts for restaurants, entertainment, and even services for your home and auto.
- Take care of your health – it will save you a fortune in medical expenses later on. Eat well, drink plenty of water, get some exercise, and enjoy a good night’s rest. Your body and your wallet will thank you.
- Only pay with cash – this will make it difficult to overspend. If you can only spend what’s in your pocket, you will be less likely to impulse shop.
- Refinance your home or auto – you may be able to lower your interest rate for your mortgage or auto loan, reducing your monthly payment.
- Request a credit card interest rate reduction – if you have been with the same credit card company for a significant amount of time and have a good payment history, they will usually agree to reduce your interest rate, which will lower your monthly payment.
- Consolidate your student loans –reduce interest fees and lower your monthly payment.
- Declutter and sell what you don’t use –make a little extra money that you can put towards paying off a credit card and reducing your debt.
- Use timers and power strips – easily shut off several electrical devices at one time by using a power strip. A timer will shut them off for you if you forget.
- Install a programmable thermostat – you can program it to raise or lower the temperature in your home when you’re not there and when you’re sleeping to reduce your energy costs.
- Seal your doors and windows –reduce drafts coming in and it will lower your heating and cooling bills.
- Lower the temperature on your hot water heater – or set a timer to shut it off during the hours that you don’t need hot water. Usually, the water is kept hotter than most people need it, meaning you use more energy.