Cut out the extras in spending
- Cable – Think long and hard on this one. But there are options out there. The cable companies are out of control!
- Eating out – Cut it back at least. If you eat out 3x a week, take it to once a week.
- Shop sales for food (and everything else). If it’s not on sale, don’t buy it unless it’s absolutely necessary! Penny saved is a penny earned attitude.
- Plan your meals around sales. Just planning your meals helps cut extra spending.
- Stop buying Pop and Soda! Drink water, it’s healthier anyways. If you don’t have a good filter on your frig or faucet, get one. Don’t buy bottled water, most likely it’s no better than what’s coming out of your faucet. Just blows my mind to see someone paying $1.50 for a small bottle of soda at a gas station.
- Forget gourmet coffee out. Buy a good coffee and make it yourself. $6 for a cup of coffee… GET REAL! I know, I know, I was guilty of this too. Just stop it! LOL
Sell anything unused and put the money away
- Dig out those closets, drawers, back of the garage. Come on, if you forgot you had it, or have not used it in 5 years… do you really need it?! 😉
- Clothes too small. Sell or donate to a local charity.
Some other simple frugal things you can do to cut spending.
- Stop buying paper towels and use washable tea towels instead.
- Turn down your water heater to 125-130. Did you know your Hot water heater accounts for about 14% of your energy costs?
- Don’t really read that Magazine or Newspaper you subscribe to? Cancel them!
- Pack your lunch if you go to work. Huge savings!
- Don’t buy prepared foods. It’s not really so hard or time consuming to make your own and along with the savings, you’re eating healthier too!
- One step farther is to take your old T-Shirts and cut up into paper towel or napkins sizes and use for your rags for cleaning.
- Shop around for better insurance. I was shocked to get a better deal for half of what I was paying.
- Trim your cell phone bill. I don’t really use my data as I have Wifi at home and a lot of store have free wifi now too. Cut down your data plan. Can cut hundreds a year just for that alone. And look at how much you use your phone. Can you get a better plan?
- Stop eating out so much. I know, I said this before. BUT… We cut a few hundred a month off our expenses with this one. We eat out 2x a month now max. Yes we miss our Chinese, but I learned to cook our favorites easily. Gotta love Pinterest!
- Are you paying for a high speed internet that you don’t really need? Most lower speeds are fine for the average person if you’re not steaming movies.
- Switch to store brands. Most are just as good if not exactly the same with a different label. Bet I slashed 25-50% off my monthly bill.
- Stop using expensive cleaners. So many of these you can make yourself with a HUGE savings. Like I use Vinegar and Dawn dish soap for my go to cleaner for tubs and showers etc. Not only does it cut the soap scum better it’s far cheaper. I use baking soda when I need a mild abrasive for scrubbing. And when mixed with vinegar, it’s a great grease cutter for your oven and stove top. Bonus? No harsh chemicals!
- Ask your providers for a better deal. I was amazed to cut $20 a month off my cable bill just for asking. Yes I have to call every year, but it’s worth it.
- Cut splurge spending. This could mean little things on those enticing shelves at the check outs to not waiting for something to go on sale that you need.
- Also, if while shopping and you see something you want, go home and think about it. Most of the time you will realize you don’t really need it. If you decide you do, watch for it to go on sale before buying.
- Shop subscriptions on Amazon. For example, we buy our dog food and treats on subscription. The price is only about a 5% savings, but, because it’s a subscription, we get another 10% off AND it’s delivered free to our door. No gas or extra time running to the pet store when we were out and lugging that huge bag home. And while your there, check out the prices on other items you commonly buy. Is it cheaper? Usually yes. So why are you paying more at the big box store?!
- Put on a sweater or heavier socks instead of raising the thermostat.
Some bigger ticket items we cut.
- Our car is paid off. Would we like a new car? Sure! Do we need a new car. Nope! 4 years without a car payment is a HUGE savings! Take care of what you have and it will last a lot longer than those payments. If you do need a new car, shop around. Negotiate. Buy at the end of the month when salesman are trying to make quota. Don’t let them talk you into extra things like a tire warranty when you don’t really need that.
- We have a smaller TV unlike most of our friends. Would we like that huge 65″ Sure! Do we need one? Nope! 32″ works just fine.
- When you get a raise (and you should ask for one if you haven’t), put the extra money away.
- We moved temporarily to a far cheaper rental home while we prepared to be able to buy. We saved $10,000/year doing it!
Was it it worth it the last 5 years to do all this saving and cutting? YES!!!
And how did I keep on track with all this cutting back? I pinned pictures above my desk, on my monitor screen and on my refrigerator of our dream. This kept the prize in mind and made it much easier.
And what did we do with the extra savings? We paid off debt and started saving for our dream homestead.
Get a hold of your spending to know where it’s all going by making a budget and tracking every penny. When we did this, it was an eye opener to see where the money was going. Was not at all where we thought. There are tons of free budget templates out there you can use. I found a few and then tweaked it for us and came up with my own. If your tech savvy make one for yourself in Excel or Numbers. Track weekly, monthly and yearly.
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