Imagine how your life would change if you suddenly had money left in your monthly budget. What would you do with that money over time? Beef up your emergency fund? Pay off your car? Finally take the vacation you’ve always dreamed of? It can happen! When you make a few tweaks to your expenses, you could be surprised at how much money you have left in your budget.
1. Cut down on groceries.
Most budgeters are shocked to find out how much they’re actually spending at the grocery store each month. Save money on groceries by planning out your meals each week and taking inventory before you head to the store. This will help prevent you from overspending and wasting food. Cut back on snacks and junk food too, which can send you over your budget.
2. Cancel subscriptions and memberships.
Chances are, you’re paying for multiple subscriptions, like Spotify, Gym Memberships, or HOOQ. Cancel any subscriptions you don’t use regularly. If you really miss one, subscribe again—but only if it fits into your new budget.
3. Reduce energy costs.
Be more mindful of your energy consumption. Simple things like taking shorter showers, fixing leaky pipes, washing your clothes in cold water, and installing dimmer switches or LED lightbulbs are easy wins. There might be an initial investment for new, more energy-efficient appliances; but if you work it into your budget, you should be able to pay cash for those improvements.
4. Borrow, don’t buy.
Need a tree trimmer for some weekend yard work or a handheld blender to make a batch of soup? Borrow it from a friend or neighbor instead of taking a trip to the store.
5. Ask about discounts.
You’ll never know unless you ask. Next time you’re getting tickets at a movie theater, museum or sporting event, ask if they have any special discounts for seniors or students.
6. Try a spending freeze.
Don’t buy any non-essential items for a week (or even a month!). Make it work by prepping meals with the food you already have, avoiding stores where you tend to impulse buy, and saying no to anything that isn’t a basic necessity. Now that the secret is out, it’s time to get started on reaching your savings goals.