Somehow, the ability to cut costs and create savings becomes a must-learn skill as you step into adulthood, more so when you step into parenthood. Sharing some tips that help with the changing times!
1. Do you need a landline?
With everyone having a cell phone at home, and having wi-fi at home, what is the need for a landline? Who calls you over the landline? Mostly spam callers when your number is listed. Any other feature, is provided at a lower cost by your wireless provider. Observe whom do you talk to over the landline and what do you use it for… within 2-3 months, you will have the clarity whether you need it or not.
Well.. after practically not using it for over a year, disconnected it. And it is fine.
We do not miss what we do not use.
Saves potentially $40-$50 per month.
2. What do you watch? TV or Netflix/Amazon/Youtube?
With all of us being as busy as we are, we need time to unwind and relax and most of us are used to binge watching shows these days. Mostly Netflix/Amazon fills the gap, and Youtube is always there as a backup. When do you choose to watch TV? Is it for Disney channel..? If so, taking the Disneyplus app is more economical than waiting for the package that includes Disney channel with the cable providers. If it is for ESPN or Sports or specific areas, there are packages that make it more affordable than a month of TV. Consider these and decide for yourself.
Saves potentially $25-$100 per month
3. Food varieties
For food-lovers, eating a variety of cuisines and different recipes for every meal in a week is interesting. However, when you are looking to cut costs, choose the meals of one culture (Mexican, Indian, Italian, American.. any one cuisine). In a month (for example) when you choose to eat only one cuisine, you can buy items in bulk that can be consumed over a longer duration. You can get to avoid multiple trips to the grocery store and make a variety of meals of that one cuisine in itself. Sometimes, this can cut down 50% of grocery budget. Your pantry might not be overflowing, but you would have used all that you have in your pantry effectively.
Saves at least $200-$300 month
4. review Spending patterns
Are you someone who has a lot of recurring expenses on your credit cards or one-time expenses. Over a period of time, it reflects your spending habits.
Whatever is your top spending category other than mortgage (or rent), evaluate what does it take to cut it down by 50%. Sometimes eating out takes a lot, sometimes it may be gardening budget, clothing & accessories, auto expenses, etc. Making a plan to cut it down helps. Evaluate your recurring expenses, as they paint a picture about your lifestyle and spending habits.
If you can reduce the top 3 spending areas by 10%, it would be a significant savings.
Money saved is money earned! A little bit of extra care, can create a pocket of savings that can be put towards another planned big expenditure item in future.
Whether we cut costs to help stabilize our finances, or stove away cash for a special purchase or gift during Christmas time, saving money always is tough! Figuring out what works for you and ensuring you continue to maintain the discipline to implement the changes you undertake is critical to create a pocket of savings!