Cutting Costs to Put More Money Back in Your Budget
Are you struggling to find more money each month? You may not have an income problem so much as an expense problem.
While saving $1 here and there may not seem like much, it certainly adds up over time. Did you realize if you can cut $17/day over the course of a month you could save over $500 a month??
Read on for a list of 60+ ways you can save on monthly expenses.
Cutting Monthly Expenses
Examine Current Monthly Expenses
If you are looking at things to cut to save money, you first need to know where your money is going. Doing a review of the last few month’s expenses is a great way to figure out where the holes are in your budget.
I was shocked to find that our biggest hole was eating out. I’m not even talking about going out to eat. It was grabbing convenience items. We were spending a few hundred dollars a month on grabbing a Gatorade here and there for my kid’s practices. Or a quick snack while we were running around.
Bottom line– you need to know where your money’s going so you can focus on those areas in addition to trying to find extra ways to cut back.
Cutting monthly expenses– where can I save money?
- Takeaway coffee. This seems obvious and not applicable, but what sort of list would this be without it?
- Eating out. Food is the one of the biggest budget busters around. Meal planning and prep are your best friends.
- Netflix. I ditched cable and switched to Netflix because it was much cheaper, but if you are cutting your budget to the bone– Netflix as to go.
- Amazon Prime. This is 100% budget and situation dependent. For some families who use this as a movie subscriptions service, subscription services for baby products, dog food etc– you would end up saving money even with having to pay from Prime– but you absolutely need to run the numbers to find out.
- Cable. Do people still have cable with all these subscription services around??
- Car Insurance— Raising your deductible is an easy way to lower your cost of insurance. However, either save the deductible in a sinking fund, or make sure you can cover the new higher deductible in case something happens.
- Subscription boxes. I see these pop up everywhere, but this is just a box of miscellaneous stuff you can 100% do with out if you are cutting back on your budget.
- Choose Kindle Unlimited vs Purchasing multiple books– or utilize the library. I 100% am in love with Kindle Unlimited. If you read a ton (like me!) this is the best $9 you’ve ever spend. That being said, the library is free, so do the headwork and math on that one.
- Music subscription services like Apple Music.
- Going out to the movies. Ya’ll give it a minute and it’ll make it’s way to Redbox and you can watch it for $1.75. That’s some pretty easy math.
- Movie snacks. (eat before you go) For most families you pay more money in snacks than you do on tickets.
- Utilize Gas Buddy to save at the pump.
- Organize errands or combine trips to maximize gas savings.
- Expensive salon services– color your own hair!
- New clothing. Buy clothing at consignment. Checkout ThredUp. It’s an online consignment shop. The reason I am in love with this website is that, not only am I getting a great deal on gently used, or never worn items are available for great prices, but they also will accept your clothes. They will send you what they call their “Clean Out bag”. It gets processed (they go through everything) and then they’ll send you an email with your earnings. The first 14 days, you can use your credit to purchase items from the thredUP.com. After 14 days, you can cash out using PayPal or a thredUP Visa Prepaid Card. I’m kind of obsessed with this website. Bonus! If you sign up through my link above you get a $10 credit.
- Sport Clubs
- Gym Memberships. Get outside, watch youtube. Go to a city park. So many good free options that you 100% don’t need a gym membership.
- Change cell plan. We moved to pre-paid and love it! We saved about $30/month with our switch.
- Cutting your Landline
- Food delivery service.
- Pre-packaged and convenience packaging. With a little preparation you can DIY convenience items for snacks and meals.
- Brand name anything— make the move to generic!
- Drive a cheaper car.
- Drycleaning. I’ll be honest, dry cleaning is a deal breaker for new clothing. I recognize that not everyone can do that, but do your research. I found work shirts and pants for my husband (business professional) that I can machine wash. Yes, I do have to be ironed, but still. Save that money, honey!
- Drink more water. Skip the sodas, juices, smoothies.
- Skip buying bottled water. Invest in a good water bottle.
- DIY detergent and cleaning products.
- Skip Sam’s, Costco, BJ’s, or other wholesale clubs if you aren’t using up those items– know before you go what you need and will use.
- Skip expensive makeup and try the drugstore version.
- Skip lawn service— DIY.
- Bring your own oil when you get your oil changed. Also, check for coupons.
- Property taxes. Did you know that you can protest your property taxes and that there are companies (in exchange for a fee) will do it on your behalf? For our county, it was as simple as a new appraisal. This saved us a few hundred dollars every year.
- Interest rates. Be on the lookout for balance transfer promotions. You can often save yourself hundreds a year with the 0% introductory offer. Use with caution, you don’t want to start racking up expenses on both cards!
- Generic baby diapers + wipes.
- Become a one car family.
- Unplug appliances that aren’t being used. If that’s not for you, consider smart outlets. You can set a timer, use wifi and/or Alexa if you are technically inclined.
- Ditch disposable items— paper plates, paper towels, etc.
- Switch to LED light bulbs.
- Utilize refills instead of buying a new bottle of soap, detergent, etc. every time.
- Travel and vacations. If you need a getaway, consider a staycation.
- Delivery pizza.
- Video games.
- Smoking. Not only is it bad for your health– they are crazy expensive. If you are a smoker, take a look at how much money you are smoking every year. (#nojudgements #justsayin)
- Shopping for fun.
- Hot water for laundry. Wash in cold water.
- Stop financing cars-– pay cash.
- Batteries–consider switching to rechargeable ones.
- Turn A/C up during the day while gone from home. Consider a programmable thermostat!
- Junk food.
- Calling the repairman. Youtube is full of how-to videos so you can do it yourself! I feel that I should add– where it’s save to do so. I probably wouldn’t attempt to do some complicated electrical work in my house, but I feel confident installing my own ceiling fan.
- Buying all your produce from the grocery store--check out Farmer’s Markets!
- Double check your bills and be on the lookout for promotions. These are really easy ways to put money back into your wallet.
- Use less. Less shampoo, less handsoap, fewer paper products, less gas, less A/C, etc.– One of my favorite shampoo/soap hacks is putting a rubber band around the stem of the pump so you only get about a 1/2 pump every time!
- Eat less meat— incorporate vegetarian meals during the week.
- Single serving anything.
- Hot showers-– consider adjusting the heat setting on your hot water heater.
- High priced housing. Consider downsizing or changing up your neighborhood.
- Skip the dryer sheets and consider these awesome wool dryer balls! If you love having a scent you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. I have these and I LOVE them. They also cut drying time down 25% also saving you on electricity.
- Throw a dry towel in the dryer when drying a load of laundry– it’ll cut down the amount of time it takes to try the load. (Side Note: not that this has ever happened to me *cough, cough* but if you don’t get to the dryer in time to take your clothes out right when it’s finished, you can take a damp washcloth and throw it in with the clothing and let it run for 5-10 minutes and you can help release the wrinkles. )
- If you are eating out, switch to water. Most beverages are between $1-3 for just soda or tea. For my family of 5, that’s between $5-$15.
I hope you’ve found a few ways you can save a little extra money every month! I’d love to hear your money saving ideas and where you’ve cut back. Please comment below!