6 Ways to Reduce Living Expenses
Whether you’re trying to save some extra money or have had a recent cut in your income, reducing your living expenses might be the quickest and easiest way to meet your needs.
Every month, we rack up regular charges that seem to leave very little wiggle room for extra spending or saving.
These expenses can be reduced though if you make smart choices and commit to the adjustments.[related1][/related1]
Below are 6 ways to reduce living expenses to put extra money in your pocket.
1. Plan your meals.
The cost of food varies greatly depending on what you eat and where you purchase it.
Because we eat multiple times every day, it is also an expense that we tend to overlook. You have to eat, so what choice do you have?
The truth is that if you properly plan ahead, you have a lot of choices and can save an unbelievable amount of money by being smart about what you eat and where you purchase it.
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Instead of spending $10 eating out for lunch, bring something into the office. If you purchase the same ingredients to make what you would normally order eating out, you may be surprised to find that it ends up costing you closer to $3 or $4 instead of $10.
Frequently eating out can get extremely expensive, so that should be one of the first things you cut back on.
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If you regularly buy your morning coffee, this should also be something you cut. A $4 Starbucks latte every morning ends up costing over $1,000 a year!
2. Turn heat and air conditioning off during the day.
Heat and air conditioning bills can be a scary prospect since they vary depending on how much we use them.
And since the weather is out of our control, it becomes even harder to regulate this expense.
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One way to reduce this bill, however, is to have your thermostat set to automatically reduce the heat and air during the day or when you’re out of the house.
If you set the automation properly, you may not even realize anything has happened.
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3. Use a low-flow shower head.
Water is another variable expense that seems to be somewhat out of our control.
Sure, it can be obvious where the opportunities to cut back are, but do you really want to reduce the number of showers you take? Your family probably doesn’t want you to.
Luckily you don’t need to take drastic measures. Invest in a low flow shower head that will slightly decrease the water pressure in your shower.
You’ll still get to bathe as often as usual, but will be using less water. It is a win, win for everyone.
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4. Unplug electronic devices when you’re not using them.
Many people do not realize this, but even when your electronic devices are off, they are consuming small amounts of electricity if they’re plugged in.
This offers an easy way to cut back on your electricity bill by unplugging lamps, TVs, or stereos when you’re not using them.
One way to make this even easier is to plug a group of devices into one power strip. That way, you only have one plug to manage instead of 3 or 4.
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5. Refinance your mortgage.
Refinancing your mortgage can have many benefits, one of which can be lower monthly payments.
If you are anticipating a decrease in your annual income, this can be a great way to cut back your monthly expenses.
It will cost you money to complete the refinance though, so make sure you are ready for that.
See Also: Ten Top Ways of Teaching Kids about Money | Best Money Games for Kids[newsletter1][/newsletter1] 6. Carpool.
One regular expense that we generally overlook is our auto expenses. Gas prices fluctuate which makes budgeting hard, but we also need to pay for the upkeep of our cars, which increases the more we use them.
A great way to cut back on these expenses is to carpool. This is a great option if you live near coworkers or family.
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It is also a good idea if you are headed out for the day with a group of friends or family. The less you drive, the more money you put in your pocket.
Cutting back on expenses is not a fun project, but if you plan properly and follow these steps you may not even realize the adjustments you’ve made.
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Receiving bills is never fun, but you may be surprised how much you enjoy watching them shrink right before your eyes – especially if it’s all because of your hard work and commitment.[related2][/related2]