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40 Ways to Save Money on Monthly Expenses - The Simple Dollar

Save On Debts

Refinance your home or automobile at a lower rate to save money over the life of the loan and lower your monthly payment.

If your student loans are locked in at a high-interest rate, figure out whether it makes sense to consolidate all or some of them.

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40 Ways to Save Money on Monthly Expenses - The Simple Dollar

40 Ways to Save Money on Monthly Expenses - The Simple Dollar

https://www.thesimpledollar.com/trimming-the-fat-forty-ways-to-reduce-your-monthly-required-spending/

thesimpledollar.com

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Key Ideas

Save On Transport Without a Car

You’ll save far more if you don’t buy a car or sell it if you already own one but can go without it.

If you can use public transportation, you can save quite a bit of money on gas, parking, and maintenance over time. 

Save On Transport While Keeping a Car

Carpool to work if you can to significantly reduce wear and tear on your car, save on gas, and take advantage of carpool lanes that might make it easier to get to work.

Check at least once a month to keep the tires on your vehicle properly inflated. Doing so can improve your gas mileage.

Consolidate Debts 

If you have debts with a high-interest rate, a balance transfer might be a good option and even offer perks such as 0% APR and rewards programs. Ensure you consider the balance transfer fees, and pay down the entire transferred balance during the introductory period if possible.

If you have high balances on multiple credit cards, it can make sense to use a debt consolidation loan. These loans combine several high-interest debts into one personal loan, ideally with a lower interest rate than your current debts.

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

If you have a large balance on your credit card, call your credit card company and request a rate reduction. If you often pay on time, they may be willing to negotiate, or you can get a 0% balance transfer onto another card.

Many installment plans offer an interest rate reduction if you sign up for automatic debt repayment plans. They are convenient, save money automatically each month, and ensure you won’t miss a payment or incur a late fee. 

Sell Unused Items

Look for items you no longer use that may have value, then sell them online. You can then use the money you bring in to pay off debt. 

Saving On Energy Bills

  • Install CFL or LED light bulbs, if you haven’t yet. These bulbs can be four times more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs and last for many years.
  • Install a programmable thermostat so you can optimize its usage.
  • Unplug unused electrical devices. 
  • Use power strips. When turned off, they block phantom charges to their devices.
  • Use power timers. They can automatically turn off the charge of things plugged into it at a certain time.
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater. It’s a big energy drain in most homes, and often hotter than needed.
  • Insulate your water heater and exposed hot water pipes. 
  • Air seal your home to prevent loss of cool air in the summer and of warm air in the winter. 

Reduce Waste On Services

Country clubs, gyms, cable, newspapers, and magazines are some of the things that people often sign up to but rarely use. Try canceling any memberships you’re on the fence about, and see if you really miss them.

Also, look at the services you pay for monthly and think if their cost is worth it. If not, just drop the service and look for other options that can accomplish the same thing for less.

Save Money On Food

  • Cook large batches of food, freeze for later meals and take some for lunch at work.
  • Reduce or stop eating out or getting take-out. Instead, find options to make dining at home more convenient.
  • Buy non-perishable items in bulk and use coupons
  • Start a garden. It reduces the food bill and can bring profit if done right. 
  • Buy generic often. Those are cheaper and often use the same ingredients.

Reduce Health Insurance Bills

Ask at work about your available options that might reduce your insurance costs, and look into family options if you have one.

To lower monthly premiums, consider a high deductible health insurance plan. Just be sure to weigh the expected savings against the additional amount you may have to pay out-of-pocket each year.

Shop For Homeowners And Auto Insurance

Research your options. You may save money and maintain your current level of coverage by changing insurance, but give your current service a chance to match quotes.

You can also bundle your homeowners and auto policies together, most insurance companies give discounts for that. If you’re using different insurers, ask what kind of discount each would offer if you bundled the policies together.

Consider Term Life Insurance

If you’re paying for whole life insurance or universal life insurance, consider a cheaper term policy instead. The cost per year will be significantly less expensive – even if you buy similar coverage.

The only difference is, your policy will terminate eventually with term coverage — typically after you retire, when, presumably, your family is no longer so dependent on your work income — whereas whole life policies are for a lifetime.

Raise Your Deductibles

If you’re paying a large premium in order to have a small deductible, you might want to consider switching that, particularly if your claims are infrequent. Raising your deductible may reduce your annual premiums, easing the monthly strain on your bills.

Reducing Child-Related Expenses

Compare childcare options in your area or try to reduce your existing childcare by a day or two — for instance, look into a nanny-share arrangement, ask for your family’s help or try working a later shift so you can be home during the day.

You can also reduce or eliminate organized child activities. Look at the real expenses involved with any sport or activity before you let your children sign up and keep them on only one activity at a time.

Save Money

  • Lower your cell phone bill by downgrading your plan if you don’t need all you are paying for.
  • Don’t outsource household services when possible.
  • Stop tithing, at least temporarily. Most religious groups are supportive of this if you need time to get your own house in order.
  • Don’t buy too much clothing. You can save plenty by buying fewer but high-quality pieces and really using what you already own.
  • Reduce grooming expenses. Buy cheaper products and do what you can by yourself or space out more of your outsourcing.
  • Reduce or eliminate consumable habits like smoking, alcohol, etc. These constantly drain your budget without any real benefit.
  • Move to a less expensive area. If you can find work there, it may be worth considering. 

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...take care of your current situation.

Your future self might have more income, but it’s also fairly likely that your future self might have less income and you’ll find yourself in a really bad situation. 

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Single-Cup Brewing

It is more efficient to brew one cup at a time and you can choose from a great variety. However, it can be very costly. The excess packaging also causes environmental problems.

Microwave Popcorn

Popcorn is a great, healthy snack.

Instead of buying popcorn in microwave bags, one can also pop corn at home for much less than the bagged kind.

Bottled Water

Bottled water drinkers give 3 main reasons for their choice: 

  • Taste: Many claim their tap water tastes bad, but a simple pitcher filter can probably fix it.
  • Safety: Bottled water is not necessarily safer than public water sources. A high-end filter can remove impurities from tap water.
  • Convenience. A decent filter and a reusable bottle or stainless-steel flask can replace bottled water.

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A Monthly Budget For Your Money

No matter how little or how much money you earn, creating a monthly budget is one of the most important aspects of managing your finances. What gets measured gets managed.

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The Envelope System

The Envelope system is a way to track your variable expenses like food, entertainment, and drinks.

This method, preferably used weekly, allocates a certain amount in each category in labeled envelopes (food, drinks, movies, etc.). Once the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that category.

How to Create a Good Budget

The principles that make a good budget, something you can stick to:

  • Being Realistic: Being too strict is a recipe for failure.
  • Making Adjustments: A budget is not set in stone, but a fluid thing.
  • A Team Sport: If you live with a partner or spouse, you have to agree mutually on how to budget the financials.
  • Expect the Unexpected: Keep an emergency fund, ideally 3-6 months of necessary expenses.
  • Budgeting the Expected: Certain upcoming expenses need to be budgeted in advance, like property tax, holiday shopping, etc.

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