Easy ways to cut costs and save more each month without impacting your lifestyle
There is a frugal-gnome that resides inside me. This little fella is at work all-the-time!
I am constantly looking for ways to cut costs and save more on my monthly budget without affecting my lifestyle.
I am no longer working full-time. This fella has gone into overdrive.
My monthly income has reduced drastically. This made cutting down on unnecessary expenses imperative. It also meant that I had the time on my hands to figure out what changes I could easily make, changes that would not impact our day-to-day life.
Oh boy! Was this gnome successful or what? I found so many things that I could either totally eliminate or cut back on that ended up saving me over $200 dollars each month. Many of these were expenses on services which I had all but forgotten about.
6 Ways To Cut Costs and Save More That Really Work
Here are some easy tricks that will save you a couple of hundred dollars each month without any pain.
Memberships you haven’t used in a while.
These may be a gym membership or a tanning salon, maybe an online subscription which you are charged for monthly. When did you last go to the gym?
You can easily save between $30 – $50 per month just by ending memberships you no longer use. Go review all the automatic monthly payments you are making for services you no longer use or need. Check your bank account and your credit card statements to hunt them down and cut them off.
BONUS: Keep track of your bills, memberships and subscriptions with the bill tracker. Get your access to the free resource library by signing up here.
Cut the cord, literally.
An average cable / satellite TV package in the US costs $72.62 per month. We had cable subscription on two televisions in our house. Now with so much of entertainment available via the internet, we decided to do away with the second package. The best part is that I do not miss the presence of a second TV in the house. I don’t really watch cable TV as much anymore, just use it for watching some sports.
Satellite and streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu are fast replacing TV as sources of entertainment. See which is your favorite. Time to give up on the rest.
Travel costs have come down.
Now that I don’t go to work, I drive much less. So my fuel costs have come down automatically. This may not be a viable option for everyone, but you can try car-pooling, using public transport.
Another thing that my husband and I do consciously is planning out our errand runs. We combine errands and jobs in the same direction to save on time and money. Here is a bonus tip: By making grocery lists saves you from making last-minute emergency trips to the market to pick that one item you forgot about.
Bump up the temperature on your AC.
Did you know that 51 percent of the energy used in a typical American household is for cooling the house?
What temperature do you run your AC at? Anything at 72 or below can definitely be bumped up to around 78-80 degrees while you are home and 85 degrees when you are away. For every degree you set your thermostat above 80 degrees, you save 2-3 percent on your cooling costs. The US Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees only when you are at home.
Try using the fan instead (or along with) the AC.
This one is big in our house. The AC is switched on only when absolutely needed. The rest of the times our ceiling fans do the trick.
BONUS TIP: Our windows stay for as long as there is breeze outside is cooler than inside.
You don’t need to use the AC all the time – say early mornings when your house has cooled down and the temperatures outside are not too high either.
If you live in a place where the temperatures are touching 110 degrees, then I would suggest using a fan along with your AC. Air circulation brings reduces the temperature inside the house by a few degrees. Just by using a ceiling fan, you can increase the temperature setting on your thermostat by 4 degrees with no reduction in your comfort.
So get those fans going and don’t forget to bump up the thermostat too.
Review Your Monthly Plans
Are you on an old cell phone plan? Or an internet plan? Over the past few years, cell phone and internet rates have reduced dramatically. Companies are offering new plans that offer more for less money. The only catch is that YOU have to change to a new plan, the company won’t.
My cell phone company came up with a much cheaper plan. Of course, they did not advertise about this – they never do. However, a visit to the store helped me save close to $15 per month. I also canceled certain features I no longer needed – such as international dialing. I use Facetime for that. So much better.
How are you cutting down on expenses currently without affecting your lifestyle? Anything else I can do?