For many, the idea of saving money can be daunting—especially when it seems like there’s no room to cut back. However, with a little reflection and a few small changes, you can save quite a bit of money finding expenses you can cut.
In fact, there are several expenses that you can easily trim without feeling like you’re giving up too much. Imagine having an extra $200 to $300 per month after cutting a few unnecessary or sneaky monthly expenses. If you’re looking to regain control of your finances this year and better monitor your spending, here are 7 expenses you can cut to save money.
Subscription services have a sneaky way of accumulating. That $5.99 here and $9.99 there might not seem like much per month, but it adds up quickly. Start by listing every service you’re subscribed to, including streaming, magazines, and even those donation services that offer monthly automated gifts. Now, ask yourself: Are you getting your money’s worth? If not, cancel. Then, for the remaining subscriptions, see if there’s a more cost-effective plan or consider sharing services with friends or family members.
Dine Out Less
Eating out is fun, but it can be a significant drain on your finances. It’s not just the cost of food, but also the convenience factor that often leads to quick, expensive meals. I’ll probably never tell you to stop dining out completely. But if you feel like you’re spending way too much money on restaurants, this may be holding you back from reaching other financial goals.
The solution? Plan your meals for the week, prep in advance, and cook at home. If dining out is a social activity you enjoy, try to substitute some meals with potlucks or picnics. You’ll be amazed at how much you will save without even noticing a change in your lifestyle. When you do want to dine out, just make sure you budget for it ahead of time. Maybe take $100 out of the bank every two weeks to spend at coffee shops and restaurants. Look for happy hour deals and other offers to help you save on your meals as well.
Debt is probably one of the biggest expenses you can cut this year. No one likes debt and it doesn’t have to be part of your lifestyle. It’s easy to borrow money or take out a loan and most people do this for both big and large purchases. However, given the increased cost of living and inflation, adding debt into the mix can make your finances seem even tighter.
Consider committing to a debt free lifestyle even if it’s only for a year or two. Pay down existing debt and find ways to get the things you want and need without getting a loan or carrying a credit card balance. This year, I hope to pay my car loan off and my husband and I have decided that we don’t want to have an auto loan in the future.
Achieving this may require some sacrifice like we probably need to be comfortable with driving older cars or even share a car when necessary but making this commitment will easily save us around $500 to $600 per month if we both drive paid off cars. That’s around $6,000 saved in jus a year. If we continue to not have to pay an auto loan for 10 years, we’d save around $60,000 by not having to make those payments.
Gym Memberships: Sweat the Small Stuff at Home
The intention is great, but those gym memberships often go underutilized, resulting in money down the drain. Consider canceling and finding alternative, much cheaper ways to stay fit. The internet is a treasure trove of free workout videos, and the investment in a few home gym items can quickly become more cost-effective than that monthly fee. If you really enjoy the gym atmosphere, try exercising outdoors—the fresh air can be invigorating.
Consider investing in a few at-home exercise products like a kettlebell, medicine ball, resistance band and free weights. You can find most of these items on Amazon but you can also check out stores like Five Below to find basic exercise gear at an affordable price.
Curb Impulse Shopping
We’ve all been there – you step into a store for one item, and walk out with a bag full of things you hadn’t planned on buying. One of the simplest ways to cut back is to set a budget for shopping and stick to it. Avoid stores or online platforms where you find it hard to resist impulse buys. If you do make a purchase that isn’t budgeted for, try to return it. Being mindful of your spending can save you a considerable amount over time.
One thing I like to do is wait at least 48 hours before making certain purchases so I can think about why I want to buy it in the first place. This helps weed out impulse buys especially if you’re looking for expenses you can cut right away to save money regularly.
Clear Out Unused Memberships
Are you really using that audacious number of simultaneous streaming subscriptions or that luxury gym membership? Take a hard look at your memberships and cancel the ones you don’t use. It’s easy to forget about a monthly service, but those small fees can accumulate. Every little helps, so free your budget from these non-essentials and you’ll immediately see a difference.
Save on Energy Consumption
Caring for the environment and conserving energy can go hand-in-hand with saving money. Start by switching to energy-efficient appliances and LED light bulbs, unplugging electronics when not in use, and adjusting your thermostat by a few degrees in the winter or summer. Small changes like these can lead to big savings on your monthly utility bills. Harness natural light during the day and consider solar solutions to further reduce energy costs.
Summary: Expenses You Can Cut ASAP
Financial stability is often a matter of good management rather than a large income. By monitoring your spending and making these small adjustments, you can pave the way to a healthier financial future. Remember, it’s not about depriving yourself; it’s about being intentional with your spending and ensuring that every penny has a purpose. Start implementing these everyday expenses you can cut right now and watch your savings grow.