Ways to Cut Expenses

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how to save a lot of money by cutting costs

There are many ways to cut expenses, which can be a simple way to save money. Cutting expenses can help you to stop living paycheck to paycheck, live below your means, and meet your financial goals.

If you are on salary or making about the same amount of money every month, then you don’t have a lot of flexibility outside of raises or getting a higher-paying job.

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Therefore, you want to lower your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Your DTI is all of your monthly expenses divided by your gross income, or the money you make before taxes and deductions.

For some people, making these changes may be a little painful. However, it’s worth it to live like you may not want to for a little while to help you to be financially healthier in the future. We made a lot of these changes, and it saved us over $500 every month.

These changes don’t have to be forever changes, but they can get you on a better path so you can have less stress and an overall better quality of life.

Disclaimer: This is meant as general information, and is not financial or any other type of professional advice. Always consult a professional in the area for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any financial or tax related decisions. Please see my Disclaimer for more information.

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Tips to save money on a budget

1. Move to a less expensive residence.

You can move to a less expensive place, whether you own or rent. This is a really huge one because, for most people, your mortgage or rent is a huge portion of your monthly expenses. You can easily save $100+ each month by moving to a cheaper place.

2. Cut cable.

We did this recently, and it felt amazing. I was worried I was going to miss it, but I love saving the money so much that I actually don’t.

We were paying over $210 every month for cable and internet, which I think is just insane. Plus, the customer service was abysmal at best, and the lack of transparency regarding the separate prices for cable and for internet was kind of sketchy to me.

Streaming services can be a much better alternative. They are cheaper, and they have tons of great content.

For example, we have Amazon Prime, which gives us access to thousands of movies and TV episodes. You can try it for FREE for 30 days, and cancel anytime. Plus we also get fast, free shipping on tons of items.

We also have Netflix, which you can currently try for 30 days free. If you decide to sign up, they have multiple plans available. Their basic plan is only $8.99 a month!

We are now paying less than $90 a month for internet and streaming services for a savings of over $120 a month!

3. Buy generic brands.

We recently started buying generic brand items at the grocery store. It not only saved us money, but we didn’t even notice a difference! There were even some items, like peanut butter, that we liked better. This was an easy and great way to cut expenses.

There are also things that the FDA regulates, such as medicine and sunscreen, which means they are all held to the same standards, generic or not.

We started buying generic brands, and also cutting out junk and other things we didn’t NEED. On average, we save about $40 a week on groceries now.

4. Buy and sell secondhand clothing.

There are a lot of ways to buy nice secondhand items for a lot less. For example, I recently joined Poshmark because I had clothes that I no longer wear and wanted to sell, and I’ve made $150 so far.

I haven’t purchased anything yet, but I sold nice items that I barely wore and some that I never wore at a heavily discounted price. It was a win-win. I made some money off clothes that I wasn’t wearing, and people were able to purchase nice clothing for much less money.

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5. Buy and sell certified used smartphones.

Orchard is a great place to buy certified used smartphones for up to 60% less than retail. This is a GREAT way to save money. Plus when you’re ready to switch phones, you can also sell your phone with Orchard.

Orchard will pay for you to ship your phone to them. They will prepare the phone and sell it, and then you can get paid via PayPal or check.

Get $10 cash back when you upgrade to a new postpaid phone with AT&T or Verizon on Walmart.com

6. Take leftovers to work for lunch.

Going out to lunch every day can really add up, even if you are getting fast food. It is an easy cost to justify in the moment because it seems like so little, but it can really add up over time.

If you were spending about $6 for lunch every day at work, that adds up to over $1,500 a year! Leftovers may not always seem appealing, but that could change when you take a look at how much you could save.

7. Limit going out to eat.

Most people love eating out at restaurants, but it can get really expensive pretty quickly. You can easily go out to a restaurant and spend the equivalent of a week of groceries on one meal!

A great way to cut expenses is by limiting yourself to a certain number of restaurant visits a month, or potentially eliminating eating out at restaurants altogether for a certain period of time.

We were spending anywhere from $75-$150 eating out each month. We have temporarily stopped eating out at restaurants, and only go to fast food places twice a month.

8. Reduce your utility bills.

There are easy ways to cut expenses by reducing your utility bills. You can take shorter showers, only run the dishwasher when it’s full, and wash your laundry on warm or cold when possible.

You can also use LED light bulbs, which can save electricity and save you money on replacement light bulbs since they last longer.

Another really easy way to save on utility bills is to be more conscious of turning things off when you aren’t using them. This includes things like lights, fans, and TVs.

One month we noticed that we had a particularly high electric bill. The following month we were more conscious of turning off lights, fans, and the TV when we left the room or weren’t using them.

It definitely made a difference because the next month our bill was about $50 less.

Additionally, when you buy new appliances, try to look for more energy efficient models. Or if you need to replace your toilet, try to look for a water saving toilet.

9. Cancel your gym membership and do home workouts.

I do home workouts because it takes less time, but it’s also a lot cheaper. I have some really great workout DVDs that I’ve been using for almost ten years.

They are really hard workouts and, even though some are pretty short, I feel like I got just as good of a workout as if I had gone to the gym. One of my favorite DVDs is comprised of four 24-minute workouts. All this DVD requires is hand weights and an exercise mat.

I purchased neoprene hand weights at Target and on Amazon. I prefer neoprene because I find them easier to grip. I also purchased a yoga mat at Target that was reasonably priced, and I’ve been using for over five years.

10. Save all of your change.

I hate carrying change, probably like most other people. We put all of our change into a soda bottle for over a year. When it was almost full, we brought it to a coinstar kiosk and exchanged the money for an Amazon eGift card.

There was no fee, the paper eGift card had a unique code on it that we used to shop on Amazon. Not all eGift cards are available at all Kiosks.

Coinstar offers eGift cards from AMC, Amazon, Applebee’s, Cabela’s, Chili’s Grill and Bar, Chuck E. Cheese, Domino’s, Gamestop, Gap, Hotels.com, IHOP, Lowe’s, Nike, Regal Entertainment Group, Showtime, Sephora, Southwest, Starbucks, Steam, Home Depot, and iTunes.

Check to see if there is a coinstar kiosk near you.

11. Purchase Amazon Warehouse items.

Amazon Warehouse offers millions of pre-owned, used, and open box items at a discount.

In most cases, used or open box items purchased from Amazon Warehouse and shipped from Amazon.com can be returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment.

Some products have different policies or requirements associated with them, so just be sure to check before making a purchase.

12. Find alternate ways to get to work.

You can save money by carpooling to work, taking public transportation, or, if possible, biking to work. I carpooled to work for years, and it saved me a lot of money and miles on my car.

13. Always look for deals.

Usually when I have to buy something, I almost always look to see if there are coupons or deals available. For example, at Target, when they offer $5 or $10 gift cards if I buy multiple items of something I was already going to buy, I usually will buy more upfront to get the gift card.

This will only be a great way to cut expenses if you buy items you were already planning to buy before you knew a deal was available.

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What have you done to cut expenses?

What have you done to save money and cut expenses? Please share in the comments below!

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