Cutting everyday costs is a tried and true tactic for saving money. Day to day or month to month expenses seem small at first but add up quickly. It’s important to be aware of how much you’re spending, even on the little things that don’t feel important. Here are ten tips you can use to start cutting everyday costs right now.
1. Eat at home and pack a lunch
Two tips in one! Eating out costs you a lot more than you think, even if it’s just fast food! On average eating at home is 50% less expensive than going out. Especially if you have kids you have to feed, eating at home is going to make a big difference to your wallet. So next time you go out to eat, just remember that the $40 bill could have been $20 or less in groceries.
2. Upgrade to LED light bulbs
Power and electricity can be hard to track since all you get is a bill at the end of the month. Making small changes to your power usage habits can make a big difference for your bill at the end of the month. If upgrading to LED’s isn’t available to you there are other things you can do to lower you power bill. Turn off the lights. Use lamps and other ambient lighting that uses only one bulb instead of 3 or 4. Disconnect unused electronics. Electronics that are plugged in but not being used still sap power. Set your A/C higher. You don’t need to set the thermostat to freezing.
3. Lower the temp on your water heater
In the same vein, lowering the temperature on your water heater will help you save on your power bill too.
4. Cancel unused memberships/subscriptions
Still getting a newspaper every month that no one reads? Haven't been to the gym in 6 months? Do you have cable, Netflix, Hulu, AmazonPrime Video, Sling, and YoutubeTV? Do your magazine subscriptions just pile up on your coffee table? If you answered yes to any of these, it might be time to cut back.
5. Buy Generic
In almost all cases, the generic brand has the exact same ingredients as the name brand. The adage “you get what you pay for” isn’t always true.
6. Buy in bulk
For those nonperishable items ranging from peanut butter to toilet paper, get as much as you can at a time. It’ll last you longer and cost you less.
7. Downgrade your data plan
How bad do you really need that unlimited data plan? You can be connected to WiFi almost anywhere you go these days. Lower your data plan and connect to WiFi and you can save your self up to 40 dollars a month or more.
8. Stop buying clothes
Obviously we understand you can’t just walk around naked, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy a new outfit every week, or even once a month. Utilize the wardrobe you have. When you do need to buy new clothes, buy something that can mix and match with what you already own.
9. Quit smoking or drinking alcohol
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $6.28, which means a pack-a-day habit sets you back $188 per month or $2,292 per year.” Even if all you do is drink casually, let’s say four drinks each week. At an average of $10 per drink that’s still $160 a month. That means you could save more than $1,900 if you stopped drinking for a year. That’s enough for a decent vacation, a new phone, or a down payment on a new car.
10. Use Public Transportation, Carpool, or downgrade your vehicle
Speaking of cars, there are a lot of ways to save when it comes to transportation. If you’re traveling a long distance to work each day, public transportation could save you a ton of money in gas, especially if you have an SUV, truck, or an old, less than fuel efficient car. Carpooling with coworkers can have the same effect. Another great way of cutting costs day to day and month to month is getting rid of your car payment. You can sell your 2018 and often find functioning vehicles for $4,000 or less. As long as you stay up to date on your oil changes and tire rotations, you can usually avoid high cost repairs too.
Ten things you can do right now to start cutting everyday costs and saving money. Admittedly, some of them may be harder than others. But if you’re serious about saving money, these tricks, and many others, are a great way to help your bank account balance stay in a healthy spot.