Except you are CEO of your own company or a superb salesman, chances are your job salary have remained stagnant the last few years. The cost of living continue to rise nationally but people are still making the same per year. If you’re not bringing in any additional income, best course of action is to reduce your living expenses. Here are 7 good ways to do that.
1. Reduce Dining Out
Or just eating out in general. This includes those drive through to McDonalds, bring it down just a notch. Think about how much you spend on coffee or whatever sugar drinks you get at Starbucks every day. Take a hard look at those expenditures and see if you can cut back. My wife and I did this a while back and we realized our fast food rounds and stops at Starbucks were north of $350 a month. Can you believe that? I couldn’t. We soon made an adjustment and set a budget of only $120 a month for eating out. We committed to buying more groceries and eating home cooked meals. Over $200 in savings. Tough at first but stick with it and you’ll get the hang of it.
2. Cut the cord – Cable TV and land line phone
Have you considered joining the movement and becoming a cord cutter? that’s right, cut the cords. The last time I personally had cable tv was back in 2012. I decided to cut that bundle off and I have never looked back since. My bill at the time was right about $180/month for my TV and Internet. Now I only watch digital tv via Hulu and Netflix. With my internet, Netflix and Hulu, I am now only paying about $70 a month. That’s savings of over $100.
You may think this is hard because you’re used to having your news channels and favorite TV shows. Guess what? most of those shows will be available on Hulu or Netflix. And you can get a daily dose of current events by simply logging on to Facebook. You will have all of your shows except you are now paying much less for it.
3. Cancel or Change Gym Membership
You’ve probably been sold on so much amenities (most which you’ll never use). See, shopping for a good gym is like shopping for a luxury apartment. You get sold on so much amenities that you end up paying up to four times more for a gym membership. My wife and I used to be a member of a large chain gym and our membership fee was about $110 per month between the two of us. This gym had everything one could possibly need, a pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, Yoga classes and the list goes on. But when it came down to reviewing our finances, we looked at each other and we asked one simple question; how many times did you go to the gym last month? I had gone may be 3 times, she on the other hand, zero. And we realized that was the same sequence the previous 3 months. We had been paying for a gym membership we didn’t even go to. Plus we only use the weight room when we work out. All those extra stuff, never used. From that day on we decided to cancel our gym membership and find a smaller local gym. We found one with membership fee at only $15 per month. There goes $80 in savings.
4. Change Car Insurance Provider
Lowering your car insurance premium can be a tricky one. As it depends on your location, car year and model, you as a driver etc. But chances are you are paying more than you should on your car insurance. My rule of thumb is to shop with at least 3 different providers before making a commitment to one. I once switched my insurance from Allstate to Progressive and saved about $30 a month. And recently I switched my car insurance to Geico and saved 45% about $80 a month in savings. Those commercials don’t lie. I can truly say that I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico haha.
5. Reduce Credit Card Payments
Did you know that yo can negotiate your credit card payments? You absolutely can. If you are truly struggling to make payments, you can call your card provider and negotiate your payments down to much less monthly. Better yet, the interest also will be reduced. The obvious and best course of action is to pay your credit card down in time. You may not know this already but your credit card debt accrues interest on a daily basis. Not per month or APR yearly like they make you to believe. You are paying an interest on that debt every single day. So the sooner you make payments on it the better. Also always make much more than the suggested minimum amount due. The card providers are clever. Those minimum payments don’t actually go towards your debt repayment. They are simply fees and interest. Pay off that debt and save more of your money.
6. Change Your Cell Phone Plan
Just like your car insurance, your cell phone bill can be reduced by simply shopping around through different providers. In today’s day and age, you have more options and you aren’t tied down to a contract like it used to be. Cell phone carriers like T-mobile even offer to pay off your contract termination fee if you switch over. I personally use T-mobile mainly because it’s affordable enough and very cost effective. If you are in a household, I would check out family plans as this can save you even more money down the line. Think about it this way; by yourself, you would spend on average $70-$80 a month for a cell phone plan. Now, change into a family plan and get 4 more people on board, your bill cuts down to $25-$30 a month for the same plan and usage.
7. Go For A Walk
When you drive everywhere you go, chances are you are probably hurting your wallet and the damn car. Choose to walk places. Going to the store that’s only about 10 minutes or less walk? Get you a Fitbit and start seeing just how many calories you burn on your nice walks. It’s good for your health and your cash flow. Save on gas money, maintenance cost or even a possible accident. Start walking and save your money!