We all go through cycles of wanting to cut expenses and save money. Even after you make changes to work towards our goals, there are probably some expenses you still could reduce, or drop altogether, to save thousands of dollars a year. So it's important that you revisit your budget frequently.
Now whenever you've wanted to take action and save money you've probably first looked at which expenses are not necessary. However, sometimes it's hard to step back and really assess what is necessary or not. We've created this list to help clarify possible budget savers that could work for you. Some of this items might be small but they add up over time.
American households spent an average of $1,253 per year on cellular phone services as of 2020, the latest calendar year for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released consumer expenditure data.
How is this yearly value calculated? Well that depends on your plan and any possible phone payments. Simply by getting a new plan on your own or joining a family plan could save you money per month. Also are you paying for the latest and greatest smart phone? Perhaps it's time to take a break from phone payments and use a lower priced model for a year or so.
We all love to use apps on our phones, especially those of us who like to play games. Maybe you play a quick Scrabble game here and there. No matter what apps you use, we are all familiar with in-app purchases for more content or features. When it comes to budgeting, in-app purchases are an easy cut. They are typically small amounts per purchase but the $1, $5 , $10 items add up.
Food is a big part of life and can sometimes be a big part of expenses. Obviously we need to eat and enjoy what we eat, but we can’t let food expenses wreck our budget. Cutting out restaurants and fast food are easy pickings for saving each month.
Does cutting out restaurants and fast food all month sound too drastic? Then at a minimum cut down on how many times you go. The goal is the save money, not make life miserable.
So if you are going to continue dining out, plan out when you are going to eat and stick to that plan. All the unplanned trips to the drive thru add up. Try to make it work best with your schedule and best for you. If you know you want to relax Friday night after a long week, then make that your 'cheat day' and treat yourself.
If you are looking for more ways to save while cooking, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use but a lot of them find benefit in buying in bulk. So you might have a larger grocery bill the first trip, but over the course of a few weeks it will be much less.
For those looking to make a longer term change, you’ll want to invest in a good cook book that not only teaches you cheap meals now, but gives you the principles for making new meals. Here are a few from Amazon:
Cable & Streaming Services
Whether you like to admit it or not, entertainment is a big part of life and even more so digital content. We are all familiar with cutting the cord, that is stopping any/all cable subscriptions. If you have not done so already, it is more than worth it to review your monthly bill against how you actually spend your time and what you watch. YouTubeTv is a great option for those looking to make budget cuts while getting access to some of their favorite show or lives events.
The other aspect to digital content is streaming platforms, whether it be Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, or ay others. As consumers we tend to start these subscriptions based on wanting to watch 1 or 2 things. For the sake of saving money, it's best to revisit if you really want and need all of your subscriptions. If you're really on a tight budget perhaps you drop all subscriptions and just look to watch free content on Youtube. Take 15 mins and search for 10-30 video series or topics you would be interested in watching on Youtube. Sometimes validating that there is content you'd like is helpful for making the switch.
Gym & Fitness Memberships
Fitness and health is one of, if not, the most important thing in life. You've got to stay healthy to stay alive! Staying heathy sometimes can be costly, but there still are plenty of ways to stay healthy on a budget. A monthly membership to a gym, fitness app, or biking platform can be an easy cut to save money. However before you do so, it's recommended that you write yourself a month plan for exercises, be sure to use all the resources you're paying for before you cut the subscription. Having a fitness plan in place before you stop your payments will help ensure you keep your routine.
For a lot of us, coffee is regular part of the day. Without coffee, we feel out of whack and unable to function. Going to your local coffee shop is a great way to support local businesses but they money can easily add up. Switching to home brew can save a lot of money. If supporting local businesses is important to you then just make it a part of your monthly plan, but not an everyday purchase.
Travel & Gas
Gas prices fluctuate but the are high, like recently, it really can hurt your wallet. So obviously the goal is to use less gas but that can seem impossible with some schedules. Like most things, the solution is to plan. Create a list of everywhere you need to go in a week or two and group the locations nearby each other into 1 trip. This will not only help in driving less miles per trip, but also help you evaluate if a trip is really needed.
Two other good options are car pooling and biking/walking. Car pool with family, friends, and co-workers to frequent places to help cut down on driving. Also never exclude biking or just walking to nearby places. Obviously be safe, but walking and biking can be a great way to save money while getting fresh air.