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

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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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Keep everything as simple as possible
The more credit cards you have, the more chances you have for identity theft and the more chances you have to miss a payment. The more investment accounts you have, the less attention you can give to each one and the more likely it is that you’ll miss a big problem.
Don’t ever let your “future self”...
...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. 

Even if your future self is doing well, there are probably going to be other big expenses that you’ll want to deal with at that time, like buying a house.

Focus on...
  • Building an emergency fund: set up an automatic weekly or monthly transfer from your checking account to your savings, then leave the savings alone until an emergency appears.
  • Eliminating high-interest debt: Set up a simple debt repayment plan by organizing your debts by interest rate, then attempt to make a double payment on whatever debt has the highest interest rate.
  • Saving for retirement: It will actually end up being a much smaller burden than you expect,  lifted up by the pleasure of knowing that you’re securing your retirement.
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.

Having a budget doesn't stop you from spending money the way you want it to, but works like a partner to track your spending and allocating resources to help you reach your financial goals.

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.
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.

Using regular ground coffee with a reusable filter in your single-cup brewer may be a little more work, but will save you money.

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.