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Even if you’re doing all right financially, there are always opportunities to save a little more money without feeling too much of a pinch. With a few simple adjustments, minor maintenance, and smart shopping, you can set up a buffer and put away some discretionary funds for a rainy day. With that in mind, here are several great tips for reducing your monthly expenses.
Make a Budget
Make a list of your current expenses. Are there any obvious ways to cuts costs, such as eating out too often or major non-vital purchases? Create a new budget for the future, exaggerating expenses and underestimating income. Plan for tougher circumstance to live by and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by a cash surplus by year’s end. That doesn’t mean you have to live like a caveman, just try to live a little beneath your means. What you need will always be more important than what you want, so make sure your needs are taken care of and leave the recreational wants for later.
Eliminate the Little Things That Add Up
It’s a cliche to blame the inability of some generations to get rich because they spend too much money on espresso drinks and avocado toast. But, honestly, while no one’s becoming a millionaire by cutting back on lattes and brunch, trimming a daily coffee to a weekly one and eating at home more often means more money in the bank. Also, consider how much entertainment content you’re consuming and the services you pay for but don’t use: magazines, streaming services, gym memberships, cable, organization fees, and more. Review everything your credit and debit cards are paying for and see if you’re getting hit with extra fees.
Look After Your Vehicle, and Use It Less
Cars are already a money-loser, depreciating in cost the minute you drive them off the lot. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep them in good working shape to the point where they’ll ensure a better resale value down the line. Keep your tires inflated at the proper pressure, make sure all the fluids are clean and topped off, monitor it for good gas mileage, bring it in for regular checkups, and go easy on the gas. Want to really take care of your vehicle? Take public transportation.
Turn It Off
One of the biggest tips for reducing your monthly expenses is to watch your energy usage. If you leave lights blazing in every room, take extra-long hot showers, turn the AC and the heat on when you could open a window or wear a sweater, you’re throwing money away. Utilities are one of those expenses you take advantage of but never feel until you get the monthly bill. Make sure your appliances are all energy-efficient. Unplug devices that use power even in sleep mode—such as computers, TVs, DVD players, game consoles, printers, and more. Adjust the temperature on your water heater. Adjust your heat and AC to a comfortable, but not outrageous, level. It all adds up!