When it comes to minimizing expenses, a myriad of people are like the famous statue- Darwin’s Ape (A sculpture of an ape sitting on a pile of books with a human skull in hand).
It’s rubbing its chin and looking at the skull, seemingly confused at what this thing is.
That’s not implying that people are stupid when they think about cutting expenses. But more than often, the answer is right in front of their eyes.
Of course, there are plethora of ways of saving money. It can take a small effort to figure out how to cut down expenses on things, such as insurance premiums, transportation, phone, and cable bills, but the result usually is less conflict in your life and that’s pretty much a good thing for anyone.
There’s no doubt in the fact that saving money needs a great deal of efforts and sacrifice. But there are some extra advantages included in some of the tips mentioned below, such as a better lifestyle. And there are some key benefits, like getting out of debt and taking control of your financial life.
If you don’t know where to start, here are the top ways to cut down your expenses to save money. All you’ll need to do is stop fooling around and add them to your new lifestyle.
We all take three things as our top necessities in today’s modern life, including phone, internet service, and TV. They can be availed separately or you can also bundle them, and the costs vary immensely. Getting the best deal demands a good amount of effort because the monthly bills include hidden charges that are seemingly designed to confuse the customers into submission.
But you must get on with it so that to decide what actually is needed in terms of data capacity and channels on your TV. Go for the best bundle or separate service. Well, a lot of people don’t use cable TV nowadays. They use an online service that provides complete access to different cable channels, such as ESPN, CNN, etc.
That could easily save you at least $1,000 or in some cases, more than that in a year. Apart from this, there are also some economical TV substitutes, including Netflix, Hulu, etc. Similarly, looking for affordable cell phone service alternatives can also prove to be helpful in saving you another $25-$50 every month.
I definitely don’t mean to say that get rid of your pet, but if you’re considering to adopt one, then it can be put to hold until you get out of debt. And if you already have one, then you don’t have to spend lavishly on pet treats every month.
When it comes to adopting a pet, it can easily cost you around $50 to $100, and that’s just initial figures. Add the cost of food and the veterinarian care; you’re looking at way above $400 – $500 annually.
Addition to this, if you treat your cat or dog just the way you would like to be treated, then you’ll need to spend money for toys, grooming, flea-and-tick treatments, and a good quality bed. That can sum up to $1,600 to $1,800 a year.
If you treat your pet like royals, you’ll take out money for things like professional training, teeth cleanings, and even a $2,000 cataract surgery when they get aged. All in all, the yearly cost could be more than this. You can spend less than half of that and your pet will still be the same loving sugar cube.
Eat out or eat at home? A long topic for debate so don’t push your ignition before knowing the latest survey results. The cost of food made at home fall 0.5% in 2016 while the eating out price boosted 2.7%. In accordance with a 2017 report (the U.S. Department Agriculture), these figures will continue to rise.
Well, that means the dinner you eat at a restaurant for $11.95 (excluding the tip and a beverage) will come at a price tag of $5.50 at home. When visiting a grocery store, you must go prepared, as studies have revealed that nearly 70% of purchases are impulsive in nature. So prepare a list of the needed things and stick to it, and use coupons.
The U.S Consumer Packaged Goods marketers stated that consumers can easily save $30 to $50 per week using coupons for clothing, food, and household items. Remember, never visit the grocery store hungry. Your stomach will get your brain and the chances of you spending more than you need, will increase.
An average U.S family having a credit card holds a balance of $16,425, and the usual interest rate is 16.49%. This concludes that Americans are wasting millions and millions of dollars every month in interest charges while overpaying with a credit card for that second big-screen TV.
Contacting your credit card company and asking them for a lower interest rate is a wise call. If you find yourself snowed under by monthly bills, then you can call a non-profit credit counseling agency and enroll in a debt management program.
Counselors will help you consolidate your expenses and work with lenders to get the lowest interest charges possible. You then have to make a single monthly payment to the non-profit and they distribute the funds to the respective lenders. In addition, they can also help in setting up a budget that can get you out of debt.
Electricity can be costly, but it’s not like there is any other option unless you are looking forward to living in a one-room shed, all cut off from the world. What’s optional is the amount of electricity you wish to waste.
Here are some simple steps through which you can save money:
Turn off the preprogrammed utilities – AC, heating as well as water sprinkler system. Often, they kick on when really not needed.
Have you ever been down the “Produce” aisle at your local grocery store? If yes, then you know how costly vegetables can be, especially the organic ones. We are not suggesting that you should get a tractor and begin farming, but one thing that you can do is growing a garden, which is quite easy as well as rewarding.
The initial cost is mostly the garden soil, few tools and vegetable seeds for the basics, such as peppers, carrots, berries, tomatoes, squash, etc. There is a ton of Do-It-Yourself videos and other information available on the internet for free.
Not only it will offer the old-time satisfaction for producing a major portion of what you eat, but also an average family could save up to five figures annually on food expenses. You can put that savings to better use.
Speaking of being healthy, this is a clear one. But even after decades of Surgeon General’s Warnings, a myriad of people still ignore the message. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 3,200 people younger than the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette every single day.
Touching the upsetting facts – cigarette smoking takes over 480,000 lives every year in the U.S., and 41,000 of those are from passive smoking.
If the mere thought of putting your life in danger or others around you isn’t enough to quit the smoky devil, then take a look at this: The standard price of a pack of cigarettes was around $6.16 in the very first quarter of the year 2017. So, if you consuming one pack a day that means that you’re throwing away $185 a month on cigarettes. To sum up, that’s $2,248 a year.
So if an individual starts smoking at the age of 18 and keeps the habit until they are 50, they would have burnt (assuming the prices doesn’t increase, which is not possible) approximately $72,000 on cigarettes. A nice BMW would be a far better choice.
Insurance is just like the bills of cable and cell phone. An I.Q. of 170 and/or determined mind frame is needed to understand all the baffling charges.
Check out a few simple tips:
Most people are all about traveling through cars. But if possible, don’t do it! According to the American Automobile Association, the cost to manage a typical sedan was $8,558 in the year 2016. That was $713 a month.
Even if you have a car like most of us do, your priority should be to use public transportation whenever possible. A lot of people rely on buses to travel all over town.
In addition, the ridesharing services like Uber have also made it possible to live car-free. You can also try to carpool as many times as possible using your car. Lastly, get around on a bike, which will not only help you save money, but will also keep you healthier.
This may sound small but this two-day course of action could end up in a lifetime of savings. The only thing you need to do is spend your one weekend (Saturday and Sunday) without purchasing anything.
Grab whatever you find in your pantry or refrigerator to eat. Instead of making a plan for a movie, watch one on your regular scheduled TV or you can choose to read a novel. If you have kids, take them to a kid’s park or enjoy board games with your family.
This will not only get you a chance to save money, you might realize that some of the better things in life are absolutely free.