Cut down expenses photo- courtesy of Shanon McCutcheon on Unsplash
What does the end of a pay period look like for you? Are there too many days left before your next paycheck deposits into your bank account? If so, you’re not alone. Many people find themselves living paycheck to paycheck and having to borrow from Peter to pay Paul.
You may be inclined to get a second job or start a side hustle to make ends meet, but wait. Maybe it’s not how much money you make, but how much you spend that’s the real issue. Living outside your means is an easy habit to slip into, but if you cut down on your spending, it can be just as easy to develop a more sustainable lifestyle. Here are several simple ways to cut down expenses:
1. Cook and Eat at Home
It’s a no-brainer, but cooking your own meals and eating at home can save you a ton of money. We know you’re busy, but if you invest in some quality non-stick cookware, it’ll be easier to prepare meals, clean up will be a breeze, and you’ll love the extra cash in your wallet.
2. Track Your Spending
If you don’t know where your money is going, how can you create a budget and cut down expenses? Tracking every penny that comes in and goes out will give you a good idea of just how much money you waste each month.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking those little expenditures don’t matter. Even the spare change you spend on an admittedly delicious coffee counts. The little expenses add up, so record everything for at least a month to get a clear picture of your spending habits.
3. Update Your Subscriptions
In today’s digital world, it’s so easy to subscribe to publications and streaming services with just a single click. While the monthly fees for these subscriptions are relatively cheap, they can add up to a shocking amount if you let them accumulate. So go through them, and get rid of any you no longer need.
While you’re at it, go through your email subscriptions as well. Although these don’t cost you money directly, their presence in your inbox may tempt you to purchase things you don’t need.
4. Reduce Utility Costs
You can’t live without water or electricity, but you can reduce how much money you spend on these necessities each month. For example, replace old incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, which use less electricity. You can also install a programmable thermostat that allows you to set lower temperatures while you’re away from home.
Other energy-saving suggestions include turning lights off when you’re not in the room, lowering the temperature on your water heater, caulking or weather stripping leaky doors and windows, and repairing leaky faucets and toilets.
Cut down expenses. Stop using credit cards. Photo courtesy of Avery on Unsplash
5. Stop Using Credit Cards
Credit cards are convenient, but they make it far too easy to purchase things you don’t need with the idea that you’ll pay it off when the bill comes. Unfortunately, most people don’t pay the entire balance when the bill comes, which means interest charges mount up.
To cut down expenses and save money, stop using credit cards completely and pay off their balances as quickly as possible. If you find it difficult to do this, commit to a cash-only mentality: if you don’t have enough cash for it, you don’t buy it.
Committing to cutting down expenses can seem overwhelming at first, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see results. Take it one step at a time, make simple changes, and it won’t be long before you realize you’re not struggling to make it to payday anymore.