Easy ways cut expenses from your budget.
Are you feeling stressed about your monthly bills? The expenses keep coming in yet the income is staying the same? I have been there! I have felt the stress of not feeling like we will ever have any extra money. It’s not fun! I learned quickly, and a little begrudgingly that in order to eliminate this finance burden in my life I would need to cut some things from our monthly expenses. And guess what! It worked! I was able to eliminate a few things and clear up some extra room in our budget! Here are 11 Things you can do TODAY (yes, do them now!) to lower your monthly expenses and save more money!
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Why You Need To Lower Monthly Expenses
You might be wondering why you should take the time and hassle to lower your monthly expenses. Maybe you feel like you are doing pretty good financially, and don’t want to add any extra stress to your life.
These are legitimate thoughts!
However, I want to present to you a few reasons why the effort and sacrifice just might be worth it!
Pay Off Debt Faster
Do you have debt? Maybe it’s some lingering student loans, or perhaps a few extra charges on the credit card.
You might not realize it right now, but this debt is holding you back financially. That extra money you have to pay towards interest each month is money that you have earned, and you deserve to keep it to use for something else!
Once you have paid off your debts you are able to begin saving, spending, and planning for expenses that are important to YOU! Becoming debt free is one of the best ways to relieve financial burden and finally take charge of your money.
When you cut your monthly expenses you will be able to have extra cash to pay off your debt quicker, putting you one step closer to that sweet financial freedom you deserve.
Save For A Large Upcoming Expense
If you have any large upcoming expenses, such as paying for braces, buying a house, or a new child on the way, lowering your monthly expenses is a great way to save up for that expense.
When you make a few of the changes I suggest below you will have some extra cash that can be used for the big life events that you might have coming up.
Save For Something Fun
Another great reason to lower your monthly expenses is to be able to have more money to spend on something fun!
Maybe you like to vacation. If you were able to have an extra $200/month, you could put that money into a vacation sinking fund and in a year you will have enough money to take a small vacation.
This didn’t require earning more money or putting the vacation on the credit card, all you had to do was cut some expenses and use that extra cash for something fun!
Imagine the fun things you have been wanting in life, when you do the work to lower your bills, you are giving yourself a chance to afford the fun things in life!
How to Lower Your Utility Expenses
Lowering your utility expenses is one of the easiest expenses you can cut. It doesn’t require very much extra effort, and can have a huge impact on your finances.
1. Reduce Your Home Thermostat
Consider lowering your house thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees during the day and 10 degrees at night (just pile on those blankets and flannel pjs!). We keep our thermostat set to around 68 in the winter and 78 in the summer.
By making this one simple change you can save up to 10% on your electricity bill! Quick, go lower that thermostat asap!
2. Switch to LED Light Bulbs
If you haven’t switched out the traditional light bulbs in your home for LED light bulbs now is the time to do so. LED light bulbs are more expensive upfront, but through time the savings is huge and well worth the initial cost! This 6 pack on Amazon is a good deal at $14.
The great thing about LED light bulbs is that they last forever! Ok, I might be exaggerating a bit here…they don’t really last forever. But they do last for a very long time! As a matter of fact LED light bulbs lasts 5 times longer than regular light bulbs. This means buying less light bulbs which will save you money (yay!).
The other great thing about LED light bulbs is that they use much less electricity, which brings down the cost of your electric bill. Just one regular light bulb will cost you $15 a year. One LED light bulb will only cost $6 a year. Multiply this number by the amount of light bulbs in your home and you will see huge savings.
3. Lower The Temp on Your Hot Water Heater
Double check the temperature on your hot water heater. Lower the temperature down to 120 degrees. This is low enough to see a savings in your monthly bill, but high enough that your showers will still feel warm and your dishes will get cleaned. For every 10 degrees you lower your hot water temp you will save your family about 3%.
How to Lower Your Household Expenses
It’s no secret that running a household is expensive! However, there are a few things you can do to help bring down these costs.
4. Switch your Cell Phone Carrier
Shop around to multiple cell phone carriers. If you have been with the same cell phone carrier for a while it might be time to switch. Most cell phone carriers will offer you a good deal for being a new customer, all you have to do is ask!
Your original cell phone provider might even match the deal when they find out your considering switching. Don’t be afraid to negotiate a little!
Last year our family started using Tello Mobile. Plans start as low as just $6 month and we have been so impressed with the coverage.
5. Negotiate Your Homeowners Insurance
Ask your insurance provider for special discounts on homeowners insurance. Most will be willing to offer you a deal if you bundle with your auto insurance.
You might also get a deal if you have a security system, have retired recently, been with the same company for a long time or updated your home to make it more disaster proof. My motto is that it never hurts to ask! Remember, everything is negotiable!
Don’t be afraid to shop around for different providers while you are at it. You might be able to find a cheaper rate somewhere else.
6. Pack a Lunch for Work
One of the quickest ways to lower your monthly expenses is to stop going out to eat. Eating out regularly is very expensive. I have found it important to make a meal plan each week and stick to it.
If you consistently eat out for lunch while at work, start packing a lunch from home instead. Give your co workers a polite, “no thank you” to the lunch invites and eat a lunch from home.
My husband loves to take dinner leftovers in his lunch. Whenever we have leftovers, we just proportion them into lunch sized servings and stick them in the fridge. This makes it easy to grab and bring to work, and tastes much better than a sandwich!
How to Lower Entertainment Expenses
Another budget category that is easy to lower are entertainment expenses. Entertainment usually falls under the want category, making it easy to stretch a little thinner if necessary.
7. Cancel All Subscriptions/Memberships
Look through all of your monthly subscriptions and memberships. Pick a few (or a lot) of these subscriptions to cancel immediately. You just might be surprised how quickly the extra money adds up from this simple switch.
Don’t forget these common subscriptions/memberships:
- Gym Membership (try one of these free exercise ideas instead)
- Amazon Prime
- Disney Plus
- Magazine Subscriptions
- Music Streaming Services
- Beauty Box Subscriptions
If this feels like a huge sacrifice to do all at once, try cancelling just one or two per month. This will help you ease in to the change. Just don’t forget to keep canceling something new every few months!
8. Cut Your Cable
Do you still have cable TV? Get rid of it to save an extra $40-60 every month.
We did this a few years ago and I thought we would miss it (especially the DVR). Fortunately we actually haven’t missed it at all! There are so many other affordable ways to relax and watch TV. A few of our favorites is to rent movies from the library and use Netflix.
Other Ways to Save
Now that you’ve reduced your entertainment, household, and utility expenses there are still a few more things you can do to free up some extra money.
9. Increase Your Auto Insurance Deductible
Consider increasing your auto insurance deductible. This will result in a lower monthly premium, saving you money each month (which is what we want!!).
Just be sure you have enough money in your emergency fund to cover the deductible in the case of an accident.
10. Ask for a Lower Credit Card Rate
If you have any credit card debt call these credit card companies and ask for a lower monthly interest rate. Most companies will be willing to honor this request if you have been paying on time each month.
I know this can be a scary phone call to make, but really the worst thing they can say is, “No”, right???
- Related: 5 Bills You Should Negotiate
11. Sell Clutter Around Your Home
Use your clutter around your home to make a little extra money! Take an hour today to sort through your home and use a few online platforms to list a some of your clutter for sell.
My favorite quick-to-sell place is Facebook Marketplace. Most items I list for sell on Facebook sells within a few hours. Use this extra cash to help pay for your bills this month.
Try to make a goal to sell a 2-5 items every month. If you have any debt this is a great way to get this debt paid off a little faster.
You do not need to implement each of these ideas into your life immediately, just pick a two or three to do today and then pick a couple more to do tomorrow.
These small simple changes will make a big difference over time.
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I hope this article helped you get some ideas about how to lower monthly expenses.