Every day, consumers go to balance their checkbooks or check their bank accounts online and find that there’s simply not enough money to meet their monthly obligations under their current expense regime.
This frustrating feeling is usually accompanied by a sense of helplessness or a resolution to make more money. Deciding to take on another job or work overtime are not the only ways to meet a financial deficit. In fact, there are numerous ways the average American can save money by living on a tighter budget and still enjoy a certain lifestyle.
Kick Your Bad Habits
Those who regularly smoke cigarettes or drink alcoholic beverages outside of the home are practically throwing money out the window. If you have any of these expensive bad habits, you can save yourself thousands of dollars practically immediately by reducing your consumption of these harmful substances or kicking the habit altogether.
Additionally, though expensive coffee and other luxury food and drink purchases may not qualify as “bad habits” per se, spending money on these kinds of excesses can also lead you to having that familiar feeling of being broke.
We’ve all had expensive bar tabs that leave our wallets hurting the next day and that fourth meal on the way home which also depletes monetary resources, but there’s the health aspect as well; consumers that take better care of their bodies and limit vice-like habits will be more favored by health insurance providers and will generally have a better sense of self by not constantly punishing their bodies with toxins.
Downsize Your Living Space
American culture has taught us that when it comes to housing, bigger is better. But, generally speaking, larger apartments and houses cost more to purchase and rent. They generally also cost more to maintain.
For example, in the brutal winter of 2013 to 2014, those with larger residences spent considerably more on heating their homes than did those with smaller residences.
So, by downsizing your living quarters, you would not only save on your monthly rent or mortgage payments, but you would also save on utilities.
For homeowners, typically living in a smaller home can help reduce property taxes as well annually.
As an added bonus, for those who are more concerned about the environment, smaller living spaces require less energy usage and therefore, the argument can be made that they are more eco-friendly.
Reduce Unnecessary Expenditures
Everyone has their favorite ways to spend money, aside from the necessities of housing, food, energy and transportation.
One popular discretionary purchase that nearly every American makes is cable television and internet services.
For most families with children, cable TV seems to be virtually a necessity. But if you’re already paying for internet, you’re likely one of the millions of subscribers to Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus that uses their television as streaming internet viewing device.
You can immediately save dollars per month or more just by reducing or removing cable and using on-demand entertainment as a means to watch television on your time.
Also, expensive cell phone plans tend to eat up way too much of the average American budget. This expense can also be reduced by reviewing the amount of minutes or data used versus the amount being paid for, and also by evaluating the benefit of using a family or friends-and-family group cell phone plan.
Cut Food Related Expenses/Google Your Favorite Dishes
This is one of the oldest advice tips in the book.
If there is one area of life in which spending money is mandatory, it is purchasing food. Americans like to eat rich, tasty foods, as evidenced by the country’s growing obesity crisis. One way to cut costs is to radically redo your diet.
In contrast to popular perceptions, eating healthy can not only be extremely cost effective, but can also help reduce costs associated with healthcare and missed work.
When redoing your diet, focus on eating well balanced, medium sized meals, consisting of generous helpings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, shop using coupons and don’t be afraid to shop around for a good sale.
As an added bonus, if you simply must have that Taco Bell quesadilla, Chipotle chicken burrito or Max n’ Erma’s tortilla soup, a simple Google search will put you in touch with replicated recipes that will allow you to make your favorite dining out dishes in your very own kitchen and limit the money wasted on those expensive meals out AND the cost of gas or transit fares you may spend trying to get there.
Take Up a Low-Cost Hobby
Many people spend money needlessly as a result of boredom (think shopping online or buying paid apps for your phone).
By taking up a low cost hobby, such as jogging, playing an instrument or volunteering for a cause, you can fill your time with something you find rewarding and valuable.
This can prevent needless spending on expensive entertainment.
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