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When it comes to simplifying your life, one very important thing everyone needs to learn is different ways to cut expenses from your budget! If you simplify nothing else in your life, this is the one thing you definitely need to simplify.
Planning a budget can sound like nails on a chalkboard, but the benefits of finding ways to cut expenses you don’t need and staying consistent with a budget can increase your quality of life tremendously!
For instance, a simpler budget can allow you to track spending easier, find money you never knew you have [which you can allocate elsewhere], and reduce stressing over finances.
When going through your budget, you should identify things as necessary, investments, or unnecessary.
Evaluate your necessary and investment expenses first, and give a concrete reason as to why you have to spend that money. If you don’t have a good reason, then maybe it is an unnecessary expense.
Then evaluate your unnecessary expenses. Look for things to cut out of your budget to simplify it a bit.
This will not only give you some freedom to reallocate things, you may also find that you can afford that dream vacation you’ve been wanting to take!
To give you a boost in simplifying your budget, here is a list of ways to cut expenses from your budget.
Some of these are probably expenses you do not normally think about, while others may be something you’ve had in your budget for years but no longer need.
Either way, I hope a few of these can be identified in your budget as unnecessary things to cut out of your budget, simplifying your budget and reduce your stress!
39 Ways to Cut Expenses from Your Budget
1 // Dining out
Whether it is fast food or a fancy restaurant, dining out costs way more than eating at home. By limiting yourself to only dining out for special occasions, you not only save money, but it begins feels like a treat.
2 // Coffee on the go
Drive-through coffee is way overpriced! When you can make a cup of coffee at home for pennies compared to several dollars, it is hard to want to keep it in your budget.
Daily coffee on the go will cost you 5 times more than planning ahead and making it at home. Sure it may not be fancy with a foam leaf, but saving somewhere around $1,000 a year makes that okay.
3 // Treating yourself every time you accomplish something small
Speaking to my fellow millennials here!
Treating yourself every time you accomplish something small, like making it through the workday, is not acceptable. You are wasting your money, and ruining your budget.
Sorry for the tough love, but treating yourself should be special! Like when you graduate from college, pay off your mortgage, land your dream job, etc., that is something to celebrate!
Related Post – Mental Cleanse Challenge [great way to treat yourself]
4 // Cable/Satellite TV
With so many internet streaming options that are fairly inexpensive, cable and satellite TV are not worth overpaying for each month. I used to pay for satellite TV that cost me $110 per month.
Now I only pay for Netflix, which is about $8.50 per month. The savings are incredible, and I never have to scan channels trying to find a good show to watch.
5 // Home Phone
Home phones are a thing of the past. If you are paying for a home phone still, consider canceling it and only using your cell phone. The savings definitely add up over time!
Side note: I realize some internet companies require you to have a home phone bundle and do not give you an option. However, it does not hurt to check in to see if they have updated their policies. You never know! You maybe able to remove that home phone after all!
6 // Unplanned Shopping
Shopping due to wasting time or boredom is another thing you need to avoid. This could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, which is just crazy!
If you do not have a purpose for going into a store, please stay away! Your wallet will thank you!
7 // Shopping while hungry
This is the worst thing to do!
I used to waste so much money by shopping when hungry. It also resulted in having food we would not normally eat and may possibly waste.
Try grabbing a bite to eat beforehand to keep your stomach from encouraging you to spend more money than you intended.
8 // Shopping without a list
Shopping without a list is pretty difficult. Often times this leads to purchasing things you already have.
You may also forget things you needed, and have to go back a second time, which opens the door up a second time to purchase things you do not need.
9 // Trendy Fashion
Trends come and go, and if you want to save money, you need to steer clear of them.
Having a wardrobe that needs purging of trendy fashion with each season change can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year. Of course depending on how expensive each piece depends on how much it costs.
10 // Target $1 bins
Who is not a sucker for the Target dollar bins?! I am pretty sure everyone is, but $1 items add up to a lot of money over time.
It may be difficult but stay away from these bins. They are money snatchers!
11 // Buying something because it was on sale
Have you heard that really saving money means that you only buy what you need? That is because buying something on sale costs money.
You think you are getting a deal on something, and if you really need it, you are. However, if you are only buying it due to it being on sale, you just spent money you did not have to spend.
12 // Vehicle you cannot afford
Sure it is nice to drive a fancy vehicle, but at what cost? If you are barely scraping the money together each month to pay for it, is it really worth it?
Looking cool comes and goes, but living comfortably within your budget can last forever!
13 // Brand name everything
Some things are better buying brand name, but there are a lot of things that do not have to be brand name to still be quality.
Just a quick example is oats. Brand name costs about $1-1.50 more than the generic store brand. It tastes the same, so why spend more on a brand name?
While this is an inexpensive example, just think of all the different things this can apply to and think of all the savings you are missing with buying a brand name.
14 // Overpriced makeup
Ladies, I am totally with you on buying all levels of makeup, but when you are trying to save money, drugstore brands often have great dupes that save you a lot of money!
Even going as far as making your own makeup can save you a lot of money. [This is something I am going to try out as my makeup is used up.]
15 // Full priced books
With all of the bargain websites, thrift stores, and free resources, there is no reason you should ever pay full price for a book.
I get it when it comes to a new release from your favorite series, but waiting just a couple of months can save you 50% or more on that book!
Related Post: Homesteading Books: My Current Collection & Wish List
16 // Subscription services you no longer want
How many different things are you subscribed to that you have no interest in anymore? This goes for magazines, subscription boxes, cleaning supplies, etc. Cancel what you no longer wish to receive and save that money!
17 // Pedicures/Manicures
Treating yourself every two weeks to fresh hands and feet is really expensive! Try pampering yourself at home and cut this expense out of your budget.
19 // Hair cuts
Depending on your hair type and cut, you may be able to cut this out of your expenses.
My husband used to pay $30 every month for a haircut. While he looked mighty handsome with a fresh cut, I could do the same for him with an at home kit.
We splurged on a quality kit, and cut this expense to ZERO! Every few years we have to replace our cutter, but it costs less than the original kit.
19 // Hair coloring
I will be the first to tell you that I treat myself to getting my hair colored. But it is the first thing I extend between visits or stop altogether when my budget does not allow it.
20 // Not buying in bulk
When you buy one pound of meat at a time, you are spending the most per pound. Instead, buy 4-5 lbs at a time to save money! You can freeze what you will not use right away, so nothing goes to waste.
Buying things in bulk that you will use saves money, and adds up to a lot over time.
21 // Buying things in bulk that you won’t use
The worst thing to do when trying to save money is buying new foods or cleaning supplies in bulk. You have no idea if you like it and stand to lose more than you save by not testing the waters in a smaller quantity first.
22 // Trendy home decor
Pulling back into the trendy fashion, the same goes for home decor. Don’t waste money on items that will not stand the test of time, or at least a few years.
Instead, save up for pieces that will last you for many years, even if it costs more upfront. The savings you will get by not replacing decor all of the time is worth the investment.
Related post: How to Simplify Your Home in 4 Simple Steps
23 // Things everyone else buy
Just because everyone else is buying a certain item does not mean that you have to buy it. Instead, be original and stand out from the crowd.
24 // Adult beverages at a restaurant or bar
Adult beverages at bars and restaurants are completely overpriced. If you want to enjoy am adult beverage, it is much more cost-efficient to purchase the liquor and make the beverage yourself.
Who knows, you may concoct your new favorite recipe!
25 // Single use items
Things like paper towels or plates cost a lot more than they save. Convenience should not trump saving money. Instead, use cloth napkins and real plates. It will save you so much money!
Related Post: How to Reduce Waste at Home: 101 Ways to Reduce Waste
26 // Non-quality items
Sometimes splurging on a quality item is worth the investment when you compare it to its non-quality dupe.
A quick example is a cheaply-made, inexpensive blouse versus a well-made, higher-priced blouse. The well-made blouse could last you years compared to the cheaply-made blouse that may last a couple of wears.
Related Post: Create a Capsule Wardrobe; My Project 333 Experience
27 // Single function small appliances
Marketers love it when you fall for a single function small appliance, but what it does is take up space and is not used too often.
Instead, invest in small appliances that can do multiple things. You will get more use out of their versatility, which makes the cost worth it.
28 // Gifts for every little occasion
One thing I do not understand is why we need to gift people with things for every little occasion. All that does is promote the “treat yourself” mentality that is growing in popularity.
It is also very expensive when there are a lot of people in your life doing things.
Instead, you should invest in giving gifts for meaningful reasons. Now, I cannot tell you what these meaningful reasons are, but you should not give a gift because everyone else is.
29 // Use public transportation
If you live in a city with a great public transportation system, utilize it! There are several ways to cut expenses or at least prolong the expense from needing to occur when you use public transportation.
You can reduce or eliminate fuel costs, extend your maintenance schedule, not have to replace your tires as quickly, etc.
30 // Running errands randomly
This is one of my favorite ways to cut expenses from my budget because of how far from the city I live. By consolidating all of my errands to one time, I can save money and time commuting.
31 // Expenses for a vehicle you don’t drive
If you have a vehicle you do not drive, cut any and every expense for it that you can! There is no reason to pay for a vehicle that sits and never moves.
Better yet, sell the vehicle and earn some extra cash!
32 // Debt
Whether you have credit card debt, student loan debt, loans, etc., eliminate your debt as quickly as possible to save money and remove it from your budget.
33 // Non-energy efficient things within your home
While increasing your home’s energy efficiency does require an upfront investment, it is a way to cut expenses from your budget.
This could include not having to change light bulbs as often, cutting your utility bills down drastically, and investing in quality things that last far longer than what you originally had. All are short and long term advantages.
34 // Subscriptions to things you don’t utilize or need
Do you have subscription services for magazines, groceries or pantry items that automatically ship, random subscription boxes that you don’t really need?
If so, cut these expenses and save some serious money!
35 // Restaurant specials
Restaurants lure you in with their specials, and they often cost more than the original meal you had planned.
If you cannot cut restaurant visits out altogether, look for the budget section or use a coupon that will actually save you money.
Another little tip is to order water versus anything else on the menu. It can save you at least $2 per person, which can add up to a lot of money over time.
36 // Club memberships
Have a club membership to something you have no interest in utilizing? If so, this is definitely an expense you want to cut from your budget right away!
These memberships could be for a grocery store, gym, country club, and so on. You should only pay for things that are valuable to you and that you actually use.
A slight word of caution is to look at their cancellation policy to ensure you don’t get charged an outrageous fee for canceling that would be cheaper than seeing the membership out through the expiration date.
37 // Expensive insurance
How often do you price check your insurance company? If it has been a while, go shopping to see what other companies charge for the same coverage.
You may find that you can tweak your policy to fit you better or move over to an insurance company that charges you far less than your current company.
38 // Expensive cell phone packages
Having a cell phone is expensive, but well worth it when you need it every day. However, that doesn’t mean that you should let them take advantage of you.
Give your carrier a call to see if there is a plan that better matches how you use your cell phone.
I’ve call my carrier once a year at least to ensure I’m on the best plan possible. The best savings I got in one call reduced my cell phone plan by $100 per month!
Yes, it is worth the time to check!
39 // Bad habits
If you smoke, chew tobacco, drink, or anything else that is voluntary and would be perceived as a bad habit, cut it all out of your budget!
Quit the bad habit and save some serious money and your health! You deserve far more than those bad habits anyways!
Personally, I quit drinking in December 2016, and have never looked back. My health and my wallet are so thankful, too!
Hopefully, you found a few ways to cut expenses from your budget for good!
If you take away one thing from this post, I want you to leave with the intention of being more purposeful with where you spend your hard-earned income. I realize not all of these will work for you, but maybe a few do!
The goal is to budget yourself into your dream life, and that means finding ways to cut expenses and save money where possible.
If you have anything you would like to add to this list, please do so below in the comments! Look forward to chatting with you there!
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