It’s very easy to inflate your lifestyle. An added subscription here. A small weekly purchase there.
But it’s much harder to deflate your lifestyle. That is, to cut back on the level of consumption that you’ve become accustomed to.
If you’re able to do it though, reducing your expenses will have a lasting impact on your finances. For every dollar you are saving, you are that much closer to building financial security.
10 Ways To Reduce Your Expenses TODAY
- Cook at Home – Instead of eating out, eat your meals at home. It’s cheaper, healthier, and more engaging. And don’t just cook meals at home, enjoy your treats like coffee or dessert at home as well.
- Don’t Buy It – It doesn’t matter what “it” is. Just don’t buy it today. If you didn’t have that piece of clothing, tech gadget, or home living product before, you probably don’t need it now.
- Adjust Your Thermostat – Embrace warmer summers and colder winters with your thermostat. Even small changes can save you money on your monthly energy bill.
- Update Your Cell phone Plan – Go online or call your cell phone provider to see if they have a more cost effective plan available. Many people can shave $10-$20 off their monthly bill.
- Stop a Streaming Service – Try canceling your least used streaming service. We’ve personally cut out Netflix and Hulu after we realized we already have enough entertainment to consume.
- Refinance a Large Debt – With interest rates as low as they are, it’s worth seeing if you can refinance a large debt like your home. Although I prefer being debt free, reducing your interest rate can make debt more manageable.
- Pay Down Debt Principal – Making extra principal payments on debt also decreases your expenses. As interest payments are technically an expense, the more principal you pay down, the less interest expense you pay over the life of your loans.
- Update Your Insurance – Check to see if you can get a better deal on your home, life, or auto insurance. You can find a more competitive provider, or maybe change the terms of your policy.
- Buy Generic Brand – If you do have to buy something today, see if you can buy a generic version. For most products, buying a francy brand name only adds additional costs.
- Move Your Investments – If you are investing in mutual funds through your retirement program or other investing platforms, you might be able to reduce your fees. Moving to a low cost index fund can save you thousands of dollars in fund management expenses.
This post is Day 4 of 21 Days of Simple – Join me today in reducing an expense in your life.
Erin L says
I’m cooking at home… because I’m stuck here!
But I’m also actively trying to save money but not buying anything that I don’t need right now. It’s crazy how many times I’ve stopped myself from buyng something online recently. Then after I realized I don’t actually need it. My life is fine without it!
I hear you. We’ve been somewhat forced to cook at home as well. Although I also know a lot of people that are getting takeout often.
We have been getting take-out occasionally but we are choosing to do it so as to help support a local diner run by a wonderfully kind family. We want them to be able to continue to employ their staff. Our large co-op pulled funds together and donated many meals made by them to the local hospital which has been swamped with patients, (we are in NYC.) It allows the diner to stay in business and serve our community of incredible healthcare workers and hospital staff. Other than that we have been cooking even more than usual at home. Love getting creative in the kitchen when an ingredient we usually turn to is not available. I choose to see it as an opportunity to expand my culinary skills.
What a cool idea to have your co-op partner with the restaurant! It’s great to see how these high stress situations can bring communities together.
We’re with you on the take out as well. While we are eating out much less, we still are getting take out from a few of our favorite places. Getting some AWESOME thai food tonight!
William DeLanney says
I learned to do “more with less” from the tenkara method of simple fly fishing. I also consider strongly if it’s a “need or a want” before I buy anything.
I’ve only been fly fishing once in my life (in a beautiful stream in the Rockys), so I’m not familiar with that method. But you point is well taken that you can find simple, less equipment required, version of so many hobbies.
and what about if all the people, or a majority of the people, follow the advice and decide not to go out for eating, don’t buy it, buy generic brands…and more?
Is it sustainable at all? I honestly think it is not, and the added value goods/services, the “you don’t need” things, not only can give joy but can generate wealth (always doing it with care). How can we manage it?
I love this thought. What if everybody was frugal?
No doubt, the modern economy is built HEAVILY on consumer spending. If everybody at once became frugal, there would be drastic economic problems.
However, what if we imagined an economy where there was a slow and meaningful shift in the way we view our consumption and wealth? As an economy is essentially a measure of production – what if we moved to put more of our innovation and productivity towards true quality of life change?
More economic spending on health, technology, and environment. Less on luxury and “stuff”. A higher individual savings rate to make the economy less fragile to shock.
It’s an interesting discussion. The blog Mr Money Mustache has a nice post on this topic – https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/09/what-if-everyone-became-frugal/