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Do you wish you had some extra money? Trying to cut down your monthly expenses is an ongoing battle! But it’s worth it to do, as you can see substantial savings. Reducing your monthly expenses will be easier with these tried-and-true strategies. Simple tips to help you.
Reduce Your Monthy Expenses By Eliminating Needs
We live in a society in which debt is considered acceptable. I have even heard the term coined “good debt” as if there is such a thing. College loans fit the bill and are typically the ones considered a “good debt” option.
Debt is debt, no matter how you look at it. Loans still need to be paid off. Yes, I went to college, and yes; I had major college loans that needed to be paid for. But the reality was I was $65,000 in debt at the age of 24.
How did I manage to pay off such a huge expense? I did without. It was difficult, but it was manageable.
The key is working with your current income to reduce those bills to secure your financial freedom.
To fine-tune your monthly spending is very simple to say, to put it into action is more difficult. It can be challenging to sit down and eliminate bills from your monthly spending.
After all, we always think that we need to live with many necessities. The fact of the matter is we do not. We can live without them. Recognizing the possibility of “without” is the toughest. “Without” is only temporary.
Five “Necessities” To Eliminate
There are five monthly expenses you can easily cut from your budget without feeling overwhelmed with loss.
Once you find that place of financial freedom for your family, you may not find it necessary to add in those extras you once had.
As the saying goes, “where there is a will, there is a way”.
Cut Your Gym Membership (or reduce)
In the summer months, you can easily drop your gym membership. There are many outdoor activities to keep you busy as well as fit.
Living in the northeast, it is harder to maintain being fit in the winter (unless you love winter sports, which I don’t).
If you can completely cut out a gym membership, this can save you over $360 a year (calculating a monthly membership of $30).
Keep in mind, you can also find great workouts online as well as fitness challenges.
All you need is some willpower and self-encouragement. Better yet, get a buddy to join you on your fitness plan.
Reduce Your Grocery Bill
I talk often and teach how to reduce your grocery spending habits on Inspiring Savings.
You do not have to eliminate the items that you love, you just need to better manage your grocery spending.
Prepare a weekly meal plan. Plan your meals based on the items that are on sale each week. Pair those sales with coupons for greater savings.
Sale and coupons will fluctuate every 6- 8 weeks. Meaning, you will see those same items and typically the same types of coupons again.
Stock up when you can, until the next sale cycle. You do not need to chase after every sale to reduce your weekly spending.
With this kind of thinking, you can easily reduce your grocery spending to 50% savings. Those savings can be as much as $3600 a year (calculating a family of four spends $150 weekly per year).
Technology is around and with us 24 hours a day. We have it on our phones, places of work, and even on airplanes.
It is as simple enough as connecting to the internet to find our favorite shows or using a device such as Roku (one-time fee to own of $39) to stream our favorite movies or now (growing in popularity) Netflix or SlingTV.
Having a cable bill is one less cost than you truly need. Cable can be expensive if you are paying for all the bells and whistles.
HEY, if you can’t live without it, I have some tips that will help you reduce your bill. Even reducing can save you plenty of cash.
Eliminate The Need For A Home Based Landline
It is not often that you run into someone who doesn’t own a cell phone. In fact, the technology that fits in the palm of your hand is much more expendable than ever before.
The connection is the cornerstone of our day and age. The use of home phones is no longer a requirement.
In fact, I know many who have eliminated their home phone due to responsibility or maintaining two numbers. There is always a primary way to get in touch.
You can easily spend more money eating out with a family of four than on one weekly grocery trip. Scary, I know!
The price of food purchased from a restaurant far exceeds the price of food purchased in a grocery store.
That percentage can be as high as 65% more, depending on your couponing practices. When dining out, everyone needs to be paid, from the hostess, the waiter, and the table buster to the chef that cooks your food, not to mention the energy needed to run the restaurant.
The average American family eats out 3 to 4 times a week.
That is a lot of spending and can easily reduce your monthly expenses.
I know some of us don’t fit into that bill, but thinking about that 65% spend even once a week is hard. I agree we all need to treat ourselves and our family to dinner outside of the house, but to make it a routine is more costly than making the food at your home. This can leave you in more debt than you want.
Weekly Menu Planning Can Be Very Helpful
Our lives are so busy at times, making dinner can be a task we don’t want to complete.
Completing a weekly menu plan is important and will help ease you into dinner preparation. I like to have 3 fast meal dinner ideas ready for those days when I just don’t have the time to cook.
Having a box in your pantry with these items will help with the prep. One of our fav fast meals is spaghetti and meatballs. I make my meatballs ahead of time and freeze them.
I grab my pasta and a jar of homemade sauce and we are in business. My family would never have known that this meal was not planned out.
Most 24-year-olds don’t think about financial freedom, probably as much as I did after college. I played the game of reducing my monthly expenses and became a winner.
I lived without cable, or a home phone line, shopped with coupons, and occasionally went out to eat with my friends. It was tough, but I managed.
Everyone can be a winner.
Reducing your monthly expenses is as simple as playing a game. When using the correct pieces (tips & strategies) there will be no losers.
More Budgeting Tips
6 Food Purchases That Kill Your Budget
Tips For Teaching Kids About Money & Budgeting
What To Do When Your Bills Exceed Your Income
Jimmy @ CC Bank says
Honestly I’m surprised that there are still people who haven’t cancelled their cable, and especially surprised that there are people who still have a landline. Who the heck doesn’t have their cellphone on them 24/7 nowadays? I’m not even one of the really heavy smartphone users but I still have mine with me all the time. And considering that almost every cellphone plan has unlimited minutes nowadays there is really no reason to have a landline anymore.
Some of us still live in the boonies with no cell service. It is either a landline or everyone standing on the same hill because that’s where the signal is. Same for cable. When sattelite internet is the only option many people choose the cable for the cheaper price.
Jen @ Inspiring Savings says
WOW Jenni! I thought cell service was at least available to most everyone and with good reception.
Kim Dingley says
Another tip…. price out your car insurance most stay with the same company year after year after year… we did some pricing and I got the same coverage with and added a car for almost $700 less a year…. after that savings we did the same with our home owners insurance…. our savings was $500!
2nd tip: many pay for trash removal again price it out going to a new vendor you may even get three months free and save the approximately $700 second year if you don’t price it out again about $350.
I’m sorry to say I still have a landline and will continue as long as I have kids and grandkids in my home. Being able to pick up phone dial 911 and the person on the other end knows where you are is so much more valuable than saving $30 bucks a month!!
Jen @ Inspiring Savings says
Thanks Kim!!! All great TIPS
Judy Gregory says
First, due to a lack of internet if we cut our satellite we would have nothing. Secondly, only an idiot who has been without power, or down towers due to a storm would do with out their home. Imagine watching a loved die because you tried to save some money be “cutting the cord” on your phone. Whoever wrote this did not consider people different from your selves.
Jen @ Inspiring Savings says
Hi Judy, You are correct everyone is different and we did not state to cut all these expenses. These are just some ideas to help people. This is what we write about ideas to help people. This article refers to cutting a home line (landline) if you currently have a cell phone. I am very sorry that you are upset about this article that you have resorted to name-calling. Also (side note), we must approve all comments and do not work on the weekend. Each comment must be manually approved. We are very sorry that you had to come back and comment multiple times about this one not being approved.