Many of us faced financial turbulence last year. Maybe you dealt with a job loss or a reduction in pay and had a difficult time making ends meet. We are all looking for ways to cut expenses and keep more money in our pocket.
One of the smartest things you can do now is to sort through your expenses to see where you can cut costs. We’ve got 8 common monthly expenses and tips for saving money on each.
This is a big one so if you have a mortgage, look at your loan to see if refinancing will help. Mortgage rates are low so refinancing could give you a lower mortgage payment and save you money over the life of the loan.
If you are a renter, consider adding a roommate to split the costs, sign a longer lease to get a discount or downsize to a smaller, more affordable apartment.
Your dad was right – “Turn off the lights”! Start by unplugging unused appliances, getting a programmable thermostat, and turning off unused lights.
Food is expensive so there are a few things you can do to save on your grocery bill.
- Downloading apps that let you compare prices between stores and automatically download coupons to your phone.
- Keep an eye out for grocery store loyalty programs.
- Create a weekly meal plan and stick to it!
If you are eating out, try these ideas to cut your bill:
- Get a dish to share
- Get water to drink
- Look for restaurant coupons or nights they have specials
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2019 the typical American household spent $813 per month in transportation expenses! Here are some ideas to drive down those costs:
- Buy used vs. new.
- Keep a regular maintenance schedule to avoid costly repairs.
- Handle basic repairs yourself.
- Conserve gas by going the speed limit and braking softly.
The typical U.S. household spends $99 a month on cellphone service, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data released in 2019. Here are some cost-cutting ideas:
- Sometimes you can sign up for automatic payments to get a discount.
- Pay for your new phone upfront rather than paying it off monthly.
- Keep your phone as long as possible rather than getting a new phone every year.
- Change to a different provider.
- Look at your bill to see if there are any services you can drop.
- Shop around and compare prices from different providers.
- Stop renting the modem and router. Over time, you will save money by buying vs. renting.
- See if there is a discount for bundling services.
As of May 2020, the average U.S. household carried $5,338 in credit card debt, according to Experian data.
- Look at consolidating your debt onto one low-rate credit card and stop using the other cards.
- Talk to us about creating a plan to pay off your debt.
It’s easy to forget about the recurring memberships and subscription services since they happen automatically. Review all your statements to see if there are any that you can cancel – Think about gym memberships and video/music streaming services.
Now that you’ve found some additional savings, put that money away into a savings account to create a rainy day or emergency fund.
- Make saving a habit by automatically deducting a percentage of your paycheck each month.
- Once you have a nice savings, consider switching to a money market or certificate account where you can earn a higher rate of return. Check out our rates.
Small changes can add up to big savings without feeling like a huge sacrifice. Be mindful of the small ways you can adjust to keep more money in your pocket. Want to talk to an expert? Contact us at Members Trust.