Are you looking for easy ways to cut spending? It can be pretty easy to let spending get away and before you know it, you’re money is going out faster than it’s coming in.
Here are a few simple things you can do this month to down your spending and not even realize it.
Buy Store Brand
Most store brand items are the bigger brands making them for the store. So it’s find to save some money and buy the store brand instead. The cost savings for store version and branded can be up to 40% or more in savings.
Use a Savings App
Use ebates or ibotta when shopping for things. Ibotta will scan your receipt and see if there are coupons or missed savings that you didn’t get and will let you know. Ebates is great for online shopping, if you go to ebates first, then go shopping online as usual, you’ll get cash back from qualifying purchases.
Pack Your Lunch
Probably one of the oldest suggestions everyone gives you. But it works. The cost of eating out is skyrocketing and if you spend a little time in the mornings making your lunch, you can save $10-$20 a day on lunch.
An added bonus is you probably will pack something a little better for you as well so you’ll be eating healthier too.
Have a 24 Hour Waiting Period
We really like this one. If you see something that you think you really want, give yourself at least 24 hours to cool off and see if you still need it later. Chances are it was just a impulse buy and you can wait or do without.
We bank with USAA and I love it. We get reimbursed for any ATM fees when we withdrawal money. Make sure you find a credit union or bank that does the same for you.
Cell Phone Carriers
Odds are you’ve been with the same cell company for years and you’ve been paying the same amount. But are you getting the best deal? Take some time to look at your plan’s features and if you’re using them, then shop around with other carriers to see if you can get a better deal. I love Project Fi and Republic Wireless. Both are pay as you go services with low talk, text, and data plans.
Consolidate Streaming Services
It’s easy to get caught up in thinking you need all the streaming services available. But if you look at your trends, you might see that you don’t use one very often and it wouldn’t hurt to get rid of it.
Do the same thing with any Amazon services or music streaming services and see if you really use them enough to warrant the monthly cost. You can also look at your local library for many of these things. Your library card comes with some great benefits already like online magazines, books, music, audiobooks, and learning subscriptions too.
Our library, we have access to Lynda.com learning, which is a great value for being a library member.
Make Coffee at Home
Splurging on coffee everyday can really add up. If you really love your coffee, go for it, but also look to cut down on buying coffee if you can. The average coffee costs $2.70 out, but that’s for the Americano. If you’re getting a mocha or something more fancy, then you’re looking at $4.10-6.58. If you only get that everyday during the week, that’s 20X4.10, that’s $82 a month.
Quit the Gym
When was the last time you went to the gym? I hate to say it, but I got a membership a few years ago that was just 1 mile up the road and thought I’d go to town getting fit.
You know what happened?
Of course you do, it’s happening to you too. We don’t go. The gyms count on us not going too. Skp the gym membership and look for ways to get moving around your home. I walk and listen to my favorite podcasts now. We also do some gardening, because cocktail plants won’t grow themselves.
Don’t Use Your Credit Cards
We have one small credit card that’s tied to a CD with our bank. It’s only large enough to handle something like a car rental. Mainly because car rentals are insane about debit holds. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have one at all.
Seriously, if you carry your card with you, you’re more likely to use it on an impulse buy. And really look at the points or money you’re getting from the cards. Do the extra finance charges on the purchase eliminate whatever deal you were getting?
Cut Down On Utilities
We have a friend who keeps her home thermostat above 80 in the summer and below 65 in the winter. I can sort of do the winter one because you can just bundle up. but the above 80 in the summer is a bit of a stretch.
However, if you can adjust your AC just a little, then you can save on your cooling bill. Just one degree is as much as 3% savings.
Another way to help keep costs lost is to get an energy audit of your home. Most local utility companies will do free audits for your home and make suggestions for how to keep costs low.
Save on Entertainment
Look for discounts on entertainment through any of your affiliations. I’m a veteran so we look for vet discounts when we go out. You can also find discounts through your bank, AARP, AAA, and even buy those coupon booklets from your local school. Usually, you can save up to half on eating out with the charity booklets from your local school.
You can also look at discounts from restaurants and theaters. Most usually have a discount time or discount day. Many Regal Cinemas discount their movies on Tuesdays. Check here to see if your city’s Regal participates.
Some of the best entertainment can be free. We have a lot of university related sports here and many of them have free or very low cost admission.
Just get creative on finding the savings where you can with your entertainment.
Do You Really Need Two Cars?
If you are a family with two working parents or adults, then this might be a challenge. But, for many it’s probably doable. Especially if one or both of you are able to find remote work and don’t need a car to commute.
We went down to zero cars when we were traveling in our RV (of course, we had the RV as our transportation). When we settled back, we got one for servicing local clients.
Since I work remotely, we really can’t justify the costs of having two cars and rarely need two.
If your town has a great bus or transportation system, then it will make cutting down even easier.