Skye Clemes September 26, 2020 Budget
Hey, I'm going to be sharing with you super simple and easy ways to reduce your average monthly expenses by 50%. Whether you're trying to save for retirement or pay off debt or save up money to purchase home, whatever your money goal is. These are super easy ways to cut your expenses in half.
The first thing you're going to want to do obviously is track all of your expenses in a spreadsheet. Now this does require a little bit of effort. However, without tracking your expenses and knowing how much you're spending, it is really difficult to know exactly what your big ticket items are, and what are the different areas that you're spending the most money on making sure to track every single dollar that is going out into a spreadsheet is critical. It is essential to have everything written down so that you can start focusing on habits and decisions.
What are the areas that I'm spending money on, what are those big ticket items that you could perhaps reduce your spending and cost or how much. Are you actually wanting to say I'm gonna throw a screenshot of a budget spreadsheet that both my husband and I actually use feel free to screenshot that and use it and customize it according to your own needs, and your personal expenditure. Essentially you're gonna wanna lay out everything that you are spending on a monthly basis and that's gonna include everything from transportation, housing, food subscriptions, cable utilities.
Having everything written down in a budget spreadsheet is going to make it even easier for you to come up with a plan for how much you actually want to be saving on a monthly basis once you have written down all of your expenses.
It's time to start cutting, especially in those areas that are your biggest areas of expenditures, and for us that meant housing, car payments, subscriptions and eating out. So I'm gonna share with you my personal tips on how to cut costs in those following areas.
The first one for a lot of people is housing, especially if you own a house, you have your mortgage principal mortgage interest, insurance, property taxes, maintenance if you're thinking of reducing costs on housing. You have two options. One of them is refinancing. Refinancing will help you get a lower rate, and will reduce your monthly mortgage payment. The second option is down sizing and reducing with your mortgage. So if you are thinking that this is too much house for you and living outside of your means, then downsizing to a smaller home might be the next option for you if you are wanting to cut your expenses on housing. The second big ticket item is car payment. For both my husband and I what we did was I actually purchased my car. So I purchased it out, right, and I don't have a car payment. We only have one car payment, and what we actually did for insurance is we consolidated and we got rid of the insurance on one of our cars, because we're currently in quarantine, and we are barely driving. So why pay insurance on both cars when we're barely using the cars? That is one area where we're saving hundreds of dollars on a monthly basis, and potentially thousands of dollars on an annual basis. So a lot of savings there for us.
Really love trying new restaurants, trying out new places, new foods and cuisines, and it's a really fun thing for us to do on the weekend. It's like our form of entertainment essentially, but with eating out. It's really key to be mindful of how often are you eating out.
Are you spending a lot of money on drinks? i mean, cocktails can be anywhere up to you know, $15 - $35 per drink if you do enjoy eating out. Establishing a budget for it and cutting back in that area is going to be really key for both my husband and i, what we decided to do was we decided that, "hey...we're not gonna go to these uber-fancy, expensive restaurants". We're going to stick to the casual restaurants. And if we want to do an uber-fancy place, we'll factor that in, but it's not going to happen every single week. So, cutting back with eating out has been huge for us and I know that cutting back in that area can save a lot of money.
This area is a huge one. We spend so much money on a monthly basis on subscriptions. We can easily rock up subscriptions for so many different things that being netflix, spotify, serious x.m. radio, gym membership. So take a look at all of your subscriptions and ask yourself, "do i really need to have these subscriptions? or what can i do to either eliminate certain subscriptions? or try to lower my monthly subscription cost. For example, for both my husband and I for serious x.m. radio, we always call them up every few months, and we say: "hey, we're going to cancel our series like some subscription, and that satellite radio". So, what they would do is they don't want to lose us as a customer and they then come back to us with a lower monthly subscription fee ,and that's great because that lowers our monthly subscription.
The same goes for our cable providers. We do this with them as well. We did this with insurance. Really shopped around and we figured out that if we called up our current providers that they would give us a lower rate and if they didn't, then we would go and shop around and find a cheaper place. So, I would urge you to shop around, don't be afraid to tell your providers. You know hey, I'm going to be canceling my membership, and if they try and come back to you with a different rate at cheaper rate, and by all means, take advantage of that. That's an area that you can definitely reduce your monthly expenses.
The last area that we were spending money on and it's an area that I know a lot of folks include in their budget is travel given the current situation. We are not traveling as much, so it's easy to kind of reduce our expenditures there. However, every single time we look at travel and in trying to book our travel, we utilize our points from our credit cards. We redeem those points for either cash or use those points toward booking for a hotel or a flight. There's a ton of different credit cards out there that essentially will give you cashback rewards every time you use the credit card, and that's great because you can use those tort booking for your next vacation and you can google this for yourself, because there's a lot out there.
But the ones that both my husband and I use are the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. We also have an Amazon credit card that gives us points. We have an Alaska credit card that gives us miles. You want to make sure that those credit cards are essentially working for you, and that you are receiving some sort of a perk every time you use that credit card towards a purchase. So those are some of my very easy, simple, but effective ways on how to reduce your average monthly expenses. I hope this post was helpful, and somewhat insightful if you did enjoy this post again.