Ways to Cut Expenses Quickly - Brink's Money
Ways to Cut Expenses Quickly
20 Nov 2020
Do you think you’re spending more money than you want to be? The reality is that many Americans live paycheck to paycheck and can’t put money aside towards their savings. At times it’s because their income is too low to pay for necessities but oftentimes they don’t save money because they are spending too much.
Finding ways to cut spending is the fastest way to ensure that you’re saving money but this might not be as easy as it sounds. Initially, you might not notice that you’re overspending and it’s extremely difficult to break spending habits. Although it may sound difficult to start, there are a few initiatives you can take to set aside more money towards your financial goals. These initiatives will not only help you save more money but they will also help you plan ahead for your long-term financial situation.
Here are 7 tips to get you started on cutting a few expenses and saving towards your financial future.
How many times have you spent $5 and said it’s not a big deal because it’s only $5 and then continued to have that mindset the rest of the month? Another problem you might be running into is that you don’t know where your money is going and it might be adding up at the end of the month without realizing it. To better avoid these end of the month surprises, it is very helpful and worth tracking your spending. By keeping track of your expenses, you’re more likely to identify problem areas and think more carefully about a purchase if you have to write it down.
To start this initiative, you can track 30 to 60 days of your spending to give you an idea of what you’re buying. This indication will show you what you’ll need to cut. By making yourself write down every purchase, then you can hold yourself accountable and start to spend more consciously.
Make a budget
Making a budget or living on a budget might not be the most fun idea but if you need help cutting down your expenses then this step is a must. There are various approaches to creating a budget but the most important detail to remember is to consider what your needs and wants are and what areas you might be overspending in.
When creating your daily budget you need to start by adding up your income and estimating you much you spend in the span of a month. Then, you need to figure out the difference between your total income and your expense total and track your expenses so you can better stick to your budget.
When making a budget, consider which of your purchases are absolutely necessary and ask yourself why you want it. It’s important to set guidelines for yourself so in the case that you do decide to splurge, then you can cut other expenses that month.
Try using more cash
Although we have moved away from using cash and moved towards other payment methods, using more cash could help you cut down your expenses. Allowing yourself a certain amount of cash each week and sticking to spending only that is a way to avoid making impulse purchases. At times you’re not completely aware of how much you’ve actually spent with your debit or credit cards. By using cash you’ll be able to physically see how much you’ve spent and how much you have left. Also, if you go out and don’t have it with you, then odds are you won’t spend it.
Take advantage of discount codes and coupons
Even though you are trying to cut down your expenses, there are purchases that are necessary to make and in these cases discount codes and coupons can be a total lifesaver. Coupons can help you spend as little as possible on necessities. Anytime you are about to make an online purchase or going out to shop, see if you can find any coupons or discounts. For example, grocery stores always have a coupon booklet near the entrance with all sorts of coupons.
Have no-spend days
You might not know what a no-spend day is or have heard of it before but no-spend days are essentially a day when you don’t spend outside of the essential. In other words, no spend days are those that you only spend on needs and not wants. No-spend days can be some of the best ways to cut down on spending and you can try it out by aiming to have no-spend days each month or something a little more extreme such as no-spend months. These designated days can not only help your wallet but they can also help influence your thinking towards spending. Learning to change your spending habits can lead you to finding more creative solutions to your needs rather than making unnecessary purchases.
Cancel subscriptions you’re not using
Cancelling subscriptions you haven’t used in awhile might be one of the easiest steps towards cutting down on your expenses. If you get a magazine subscription or perhaps a newspaper every once in a while, cancel the subscription when the option for renewal comes up. An unread subscription is not only an unnecessary expense but it also creates clutter in your home. An alternative to taking part in the subscription, you can also check out the local library for dozens of magazines at no cost.
Make a saving game
If making a budget and limiting your spending seems like too much of a hassle, you can always make a saving game to make things a little easier. There are several ways you can accomplish this:
- Save every $5 bill you get back in change and put it in a savings jar.
- As you start taking part in no-spend days and they become more prevalent, treat yourself occasionally by doing inexpensive things like going out to lunch.
- When looking to buy a particular item, challenge yourself to find the lowest possible price for through different stores and taking advantage of discount codes and coupons.
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