Sure it may be easier said than done when it means more income needs to come in over the course of the month compared to going out in the form of spending, but first taking a look at last month’s debit or credit card statement on the accounts you use for the monthly purchases is a great eye-opening way to see every dollar that goes out throughout the month and by putting each purchase under the microscope, you can hopefully reduce some of the impulse purchases and focus on the needs. Beyond just unnecessary purchases, there are also ways to think outside the box in order to really reduce monthly spending and have more leftover to pay down debt, build an emergency account, or even more important, saving for retirement so you can continue to enjoy life experiences when you do finally walk away from work.
Start Eating at Home
With this may be difficult for especially those that don’t particularly like to cook, or even worse, can’t cook at all, just the thought of not going out to eat anymore can cause a panic. Just think of how much it costs to go out to lunch at work, grab carryout on the way home, or take the family out to dinner. Even stopping for coffee every morning adds up over the course of a month. By going grocery shopping and preparing these meals at home, even brewing your own coffee to have ready in time to walk out the door for work, can be a fraction of the cost of going out. While it may be tough to cut out entirely, you can maybe even reduce to going out once a week and on special occasions, and you’ll probably still notice an extra few hundred dollars a week adding up.
Cut the Cable Cord
As long as you can remember being able to flip through the channels has probably been a regular occurrence, but in these times when we require our shows to be on-demand, free of commercials, it doesn’t make sense to pay for hundreds of channels you don’t watch, especially live with commercials, when it costs you a hundred dollars a month or so just for cable, not even including internet, or any streaming services you pay in addition. If you do opt for only a streaming service to keep up on shows, you can also purchase an HD antenna for around $30 that you can slap on the window at home and get local channels for free going forward so you can still see the news and network TV shows.
Just Cancel the Gym Membership
While it seemed like a good idea in the beginning, but after even a few months the visits began to die down and you’re probably paying for dues every month that you have gone in months. Instead of saying “next month I’ll go” just do yourself a favor, cancel the gym membership, and get active outside, even baby steps by taking the dog for a walk every day. It’s better than throwing money away every month.