Cutting things from the budget will free up money for savings, retirement, travel, and of course reaching your FI number. The secret to personal finance goals is really not a secret anymore. Spend less than you make. This means drastically cutting your expenses.
Easier said that done for most people, including us. We have to work at it and stay aware. Below are ways we easily cut items from the budget, and ways we really had to work at in order to lower our monthly expenses.
10 Quick Ways to Cut Monthly Expenses
For us, we needed to cut things that were easy at first. Start slow, then build up to the more “painful” items to cut from the budget.
1. Cut the Cable
One of the first things we removed from our monthly expenses right after we move out of our first apartment together. It was simple
2. Stop Paying for Streaming
We also canceled our Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services. We only have Prime for Amazon, which is really something we could cut if we no longer wanted to buy our items online.
3. Unplug all Unused Electrical Devices
Phantom electricity use is a real thing. Angela talks more about it in her post on energy efficiency switches for your home. We made this a habit for the most part now. E
4. Shut D
Shut the doors to rooms of the house not in use. The guest room/office does not have regular use so
5. Change all Lightbulbs
Change your light bulbs to energy efficient ones. It sounds easy enough and it really is. Costco has most of the bulbs you need. It is a quick afternoon fix that can reduce your energy bill.
Seriously, unsubscribe to just about everythingng. Having the pesky e-mails out of my inbox means I am less tempted to blow the monthly budget on something I don’t really need.
Meal planning has saved us a huge amount of money. Food waste is a problem for Americans and we try to avoid this by eating leftovers and planning out our food. We spend less on eating out when we plan the weeks meals too.
9. Buy Generic.
Generic medicine. Generic pasta. It all works the same for the most part and will save you money in every category of the budget.
10. Stop Consumable Habits
Break the habit of consumables. Like buying water bottles at the store. See if you can find solutions so you do not have to buy the individualized items. Invest in a Britta filter or new water bottle you can re-use.
10 Not So Quick Ways to Cut Monthly Expenses
Time-consuming can be worth it. To save some more money and cut the monthly expenses we had to invest some time to get a good deal.
1. Automate your Finances.
This will save you time and money and keep you on track for savings goals. Automation only takes your time from the start, but then you can just let your money manage itself. (For the most part).
2. Learn to
I have several posts on how to DIY.
3. Research and Apply for a New Travel Hacking Card
Researching credit cards was NEVER something I would have done before I dived into personal finance a few years ago. I was that person who would apply for the offer in the mail. This worked out for me until I realized the potential of credit cards for travel hacking. Taking time to research and find the right card has saved us money in more ways than one.
4. Sell your Unused I
Probably one of the more annoying ways to cut your monthly expenses. OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace are great, but take a lot of
5. Get on a Group Cell Phone Plan
Do you have friends or family? I am sure you do. You can all pool together on one cell phone plan and get a better rate. We have ten people on our family plan and it significantly lowers the bill for everyone. It takes time to get everyone together and to split up the bill each month, but it has been worth it.
6. Shopping Ban and Breaking a Bad Habit
This is a tough one to talk about because I have struggled with it so much. I did a shopping ban. I thought I broke a bad spending habit only to have it creep back up on me when my stress levels are high. I did manage to break my latte habit and be more conscious of all purchases. I am no saint, but this is something worth working at to lower monthly costs.
7. Read a Self-Improvement Personal Finance Book
Reading in itself is
8. Change Up your Commute
HisFI started biking to work and this does take some extra time along with some extra rain gear. However, not using the car means less manitiemance and less money spent on gas each month.
9. Write Down What you Spend and Actually Make a Budget
This is in the time consuming category because we went through so many budgets and budget apps before finding a system that worked for us. Now we use Mint to keep track of spending. We created our own personal
10. Move to a Less Expensive Area
This may seem extreme, but we are seriously considering it. Not only do we plan to live in an RV someday in the future, but this may also be in a lower cost of living area for a bit. Looking into
Reducing your monthly expenses is a popular topic within the Financial Independence (FI) world. Cutting things from the budget is an option for some and mandatory for others. This list is not meant money shame, nor is it meant to be followed by all. These are things we have cut from the budget in order to reach our more recent money goals.
What are some ways you have cut your monthly expenses that I missed? Was it fast or did it take some time?