6 Ways to Cut Back on Living Expenses
This is a guest article by Stevie Clapton. If you are interested in contributing to Debt RoundUp, please follow our guidelines.
Although when asked, most people will tell you that they are aware of the importance of saving money, and living within their means, the sad fact of the matter is that many people live well above their means, going deeply into debt in order to fund a lifestyle that they cannot afford. However, with some due diligence, you can cut back greatly on your living expenses allowing you to pay down debts with your current income. A few tips that you can use to cut back on your monthly living expenses include;
Money Tracking Is Vital
You cannot effectively cut back on the amount of money that you are spending unless you are properly tracking where it is spent. You should be saving receipts of all purchases that you make, so you can see not only where you were spending the money, but the exact items that you are spending money on. Perhaps you are not overspending at the grocery store in general, but are overspending on chips and snacks, which is money that could be better spent on healthier food. By analyzing you’re spending in-depth, you can find areas in which you are overspending, and cut them out completely.
Bundle Your Services
If you are paying for many different services for your home, such as phone, cable, and Internet separately, you can save a great deal of money by bundling them altogether with a single company. Sometimes, you will be able to save $20 or more per month through doing so. This will also consolidate these bills with a single company, making them much easier to manage and pay.
With the rise in popularity of the Internet, coupons seem to have gone out of style. However, coupons are still a completely viable way to save a great deal of money when you were shopping at the store. Groceries can eat up a large part of a budget, and an excellent way to cut back on your grocery spending is to use the coupons that arrive with the newspaper. Although novice coupon users are usually only able to save around 20% on their groceries, with a little bit of training and experience you can expect to save up to 40% on your groceries through smart use of coupons.
Turn Off the Heat and Bundle Up
One of the largest portions of anyone’s energy bill is going to be the heat. Heating a home costs a great deal of money, and can significantly increase your living expenses. On days when it is just a little chilly and not freezing outside, you can save a great deal of money by turning off your heat, and simply wearing another layer of clothing. Although it might be uncomfortable at first, you would be surprised how quickly you can become accustomed to this style of living, allowing you to save up to $100 per month that normally would have gone into heating your home.
Entertain Yourself Cheaply
How much of your budget do you actually spend on entertainment? Many people spend hundreds of dollars every month entertaining them, without ever looking for cheap ways to do so. Examine your entertainment expenses in depth, and look at ways in which you can cut down on your spending. If one form of entertainment, such as going to the movies, cost less than another form of entertainment, you could plan to start going to the movies more often.
Just Stay In
When you are worried about the amount that you are spending, the best way for you to save money is just to stay home. Instead of going out to the bar with friends, stay in and watch a movie. By staying in, you do not give yourself the option to spend additional money, and having the willpower to do so will allow you to save a great deal of money over time.
Author Bio: Stevie Clapton works at RentersInsurance.net a company that provides rental related articles and connects people with renters insurance.