How many times have you looked over your monthly spreadsheet and realized that you’re spending more than you should? Probably more times than you care to admit!
It’s easy to start spending more than we should on things we don’t need but really, really want. A few small additions here and there may not seem like much, but it all adds up in the end. Thankfully, we’ve got a few simple tips on how to save on monthly expenses so you can regain control of your budget:
Stop driving – This may be easier said than done, especially if you live in a big city. It may not be possible to walk to work, but what about cycling? Why not consider ride-sharing services like ZipCar, or look into Uber rides. Perhaps the local bus or train service will make the commute cheaper–not to mention less stressful, thanks to the fact that you’re no longer sitting in traffic. It’s worth considering at least!
Carpool – This will help you AND your friends to cut commute costs. It may add a bit of time to your daily commute, but it’s worth it to both lower your monthly bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, you get to spend more time with your friends.
Refinance – How much are you paying for your car? How about your mortgage? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could pay less every month? Refinancing your home or car is a good way to cut monthly costs, and you may find yourself eligible for a new payment plan that can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Consolidate loans – If you’ve got a number of loans you’re trying to pay back, consolidating those loans into one lump sum can help to reduce the amount you repay per month. This applies for home loans, car loans, student loans, personal loans, and so on.
Sell your stuff – Everyone has stuff they don’t need or use any more. Instead of allowing it to gather dust in your basement or occupy valuable space in your attic or garage, why not sell it? You can post the stuff on Craigslist or eBay, and make a bit of money off of the items you no longer use. You won’t make a fortune, but it’s a bit of extra cash to help you get through the month.
Change out light bulbs and toilets – Low-flow toilets help to cut back on water usage, and LED or CFL light bulbs will reduce your energy consumption. It’s a small investment that will pay off in a few months.
Turn down the boiler – Do you really need boiling hot water for your showers or to wash your dishes? Very warm/hot water will usually do just fine. Your hot water heater uses a lot of energy, so it’s a good idea to turn it down. You can invest in a water heater blanket to help trap the heat inside the boiler.
Switch to Netflix – Instead of paying a hefty cable bill every month, why not make the switch to Netflix? It costs less than $10 per month, and gives you unlimited access to movies, TV shows, documentaries, soap operas, and anything you could want to watch. It’s definitely one of the best ways to entertain yourself without spending a fortune.
Cook more – Instead of ordering takeout or going out for meals, cook your own food and save BIG on your monthly food expenses. The cost of eating at home is drastically lower than eating out, so you should save breakfasts and dinners out for only special occasions.