Wednesday, May 10, 2017

How To Save Money On Monthly Expenses

We’d all like to save a little money here and there, but despite our intentions to stick to a budget, unexpected costs can make us reluctantly dip into our savings. If the goal is to have a little extra money left over at the end of the month, the best solution is to trim your monthly expenses so you can gradually grow your savings.
Whether your monthly expenses are your bills, essentials, or little luxuries, you can save a few pennies here and there without living like hermits for months on end.
Reduce your bills
Even if you pay your bills yearly, you can find ways to cut down how much you pay for water, energy, and wifi every month. The easiest solution is to go green. Start by switching to energy efficient LED bulbs, unplugging all appliances you’re not using, and insulating your home so you don’t need to turn up your thermostat as much. Doing these small things can reduce your energy consumption, saving you money on your bills each month and helping the environment.  Going paperless with your bills can also save you money.
If the cost of a single ink cartridge makes you groan, imagine running a utility company and having to pay to print out several thousand energy bills per month. Going paperless is not only good for the environment, it saves the company from having to pay for the printing process so they like to encourage their customers to cancel their paper bills. If you opt to receive your bills by email, you could save yourself a few extra dollars a month on your energy bills, which will add up to a few hundred dollars at the end of the year.
Shop smart
Buying groceries on a budget is a struggle for a lot of people for various reasons. The best thing you can do to keep your food bills low is to find ways to reduce the amount of waste you throw away each week. Fortunately, there are several more ways to reduce your food bill each week, including shopping for cheaper store brands, buying non-perishables items in bulk, or sticking to a shopping list. You can also save money on food by avoiding takeaways, packing a lunch to take to work, or freezing your leftovers to eat them later.
Wherever you can, take advantage of discounts, special offers, or coupons. You can find a lot of coupons in the Sunday paper, and if you use them regularly it will far exceed the cost of the paper. If your local supermarket has a weekly circular, take one and make a note of their weekly discounts. You can even find discount codes for many stores online. Your family’s furry friend won’t have to miss out on great deals with coupon codes.
If you’ve got a bit of a green thumb, try growing your own vegetables or some pots of herbs to save a few pennies here and there.
DIY as much as possible
Sometimes the best way to save money is by doing little things by yourself. When things break around the house, try doing your own home repairs instead of calling a professional (as long as it’s nothing too serious).
DIY is not just limited to fixing things that are broken. There are plenty of home remedies online for face masks, or hair products, which only require things you’d put on your grocery list. You could even set aside a Saturday and do a spa day in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price.
If you’re handy with a needle, you can also save money on new clothes by simply repairing or making new items out of your unwanted fabrics.
Caffeine addicts can save dollars every week by brewing their own coffee at home instead of getting a takeaway from a cafe. A really good coffee machine will soon pay for itself with the savings you make from skipping the visit to your local Starbucks. If you also go to cafes for the delicious pastries, then learn to bake your own treats at home.
With the price of gas constantly changing, your car is an unpredictable money pit. That’s before you even factor in the monthly payments, parking spaces, and unexpected repairs. You can save money and still keep your car by only using it for long trips, such as family vacations. In the meantime, there are plenty of public transport options to suit your lifestyle. Monthly bus passes are more than worth their value if you take the bus to work every day. Carpooling with a colleague splits the cost of gas, and can reduce traffic if enough people get in on the scheme. Finally, if you’re going out for the night and don’t have a volunteer for designated driver, Uber can save you the trouble of standing out in the cold to call a cab.
Find cheaper luxuries
Although luxuries are often deemed unessential when making budget cuts, some of them are necessary for relaxing after stressful days.  However, you should make sure they’re worth the money you pay for them. When is the last time you used your gym membership? If you only go to the gym every once in a while, then paying monthly for a membership is a waste of money. Cut out the middleman and start working out at home. There are a wide range of exercises you can do at home without equipment, or you can buy one exercise machine if you feel that you would benefit from having one at home.
Subscriptions to magazines you no longer read is also money down the drain. If you’re convinced that you need a certain membership or subscription, cancel it and see if you really miss it. Buying issues every other month is cheaper than forking out funds for a whole year’s subscription, or you could check if you local library has a subscription.
Budget holidays
Just because you’ve saved enough money to go abroad this summer, doesn’t mean you should spend all your savings on a luxurious beach holiday. There are plenty of holiday destinations to choose from that won’t eat your savings, so if Vietnam is on your travel bucket list you can probably visit on a budget. You can save even more money on accommodation by booking with Airbnb or a cheap hostel. Do some research into your destination and find out what activities you can do either for free or on the cheap.

Discount devices
It seems that every year an electronics giant announces that they’ll be releasing a new model later that year, even though it seems like they’ve just released their old one. Fortunately for you, this means that the prices drop on the previous model, making it more affordable than it was when it first came out. More importantly, they still perform most of the same functions as the new release, so you’re not missing out on much if you don’t buy the latest gadget.
To save more money, try negotiating your contract with your provider. Just get in touch with them, either in store or over the phone, and tell them that your current deal isn’t working for you anymore. They don’t want to lose your business, so they will help you find a better deal on your service. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. Just make sure you’re always polite when you’re negotiating.

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