A Bill-by-Bill Guide to Saving Money on Your Monthly Expenses
Most of us aren’t happy with the current state of our world’s economy. Wages are often too low and capitalism has a way of making sure that we pay a lot more in taxes, and not afford to purchase everything that we desire.
During the last couple of years, I’ve been hard at work, trying to determine what the best ways of saving money are, one bill at a time. It has been determined that regular bills, which may seem small at first, actually make up most of our monthly expenditures.
What are the best ways of saving money on transportation?
All of us travel- that’s a fact. Yet, how we choose to do it can make a difference. I reckon that most of you will agree with the idea that driving to work, or taking an Uber is a lot more comfortable, yet the AAA has estimated that in the U.S. alone, the cost of owning and driving a car can be of over $8,000 per year. With this in mind, using public transportation can help you save quite a lot of money on parking, gas, but also maintenance. In case you don’t want to sacrifice the comfort of a private car, then car-pooling is also an option. For those who do not know, it is the practice of sharing your car and its afferent gas costs with another person.
Cutting down on energy and water bills
I was surprised to hear a report from Energy Star, stating that people spend roughly $2,200 per year on energy bills. This cost can be cut down significantly by employing a couple of simple practices. While most of these are an investment at first, they’ll quickly reach their value.
LED and CFL light bulbs have been proven to be more energy efficient when compared to regular bulbs. The strength of the light doesn’t differ much, yet the fact that these bulbs are four times more energy efficient should have a considerable impact on your decision.
Unplugging your electrical devices when they’re not being used and shutting down the lights when you head out of a room can also help save a couple of dollars monthly. Just like me, chances are that you have numerous electronic devices that you don’t really use, yet you keep them plugged in at all times.
Get a programmable thermostat. Installing it will take a couple of hours and some money, but this will give you the possibility to turn down the heat when you’re not home, and considerably reduce your heat and cooling bills.
The average water usage of a simple person is of 80-100 gallons worth of water on a daily basis, most of which is used to flush the toilet. I found that installing a low-flow toilet system has allowed me to reduce my water usage by at least 25%. Checking your entire household for leaks and changing the way you take showers and wash your hands can help you save a total of 50% of water usage.
Consider reducing your entertainment expenses
This particular tip isn’t always welcome by most of us, and that’s understandable. However, there are several entertainment expenditures that you can cut down with ease. Your first step may be to cancel club memberships (gyms, tennis, golf and so on), as they usually eat up over $1,500 yearly.
Other choices include reducing or even eliminating your cable and landline bills. People don’t want TV as much as they used to in the past, and the internet is basically a platform of endless entertainment, where you can watch your favourite shows for cheaper, or even for free. Landline phones are quickly becoming a thing of the past, so why keep them around when you have your mobile device with you at all times anyway?
Saving money on food
Reports indicate that food is a major problem for most of the world’s households. People have gotten considerably more comfortable, which is why many prefer to eat out as often as possible, or order food. Purchasing ingredients from your local grocery store and cooking at home will only eat up a couple of minutes daily, yet it’ll save the average person a couple of hundred dollars monthly.
If you happen to live in your own house and you enjoy gardening, then plant your own vegetables and fruits. Not only are they healthier, but they’re basically free.
Saving money on debts and credit cards
While I believe that not owning anyone money is the best way to go about things, most of us have a credit card or a debt that needs to be paid. There are several tips that you can consider to reduce your monthly costs on credit cards and their afferent commissions. With this in mind, do not avoid looking for a low-interest credit card, or one that offers rewards whenever it is used. If you have an outstanding balance, current regulation should enable you to easily transfer it to a lower-interest card.
Another trick that I used a couple of months ago was to call my credit card company, and simply let them know that I’ve been a customer for a long period of time, and that I needed a break. The associate I spoke to was more than happy to reduce my interest rate as long as I stayed loyal and continued to use the card as before.
Learning to avoid distractions and vices
When it comes down to saving money, people often find it difficult to stop shopping and purchase items that they do not need. Things are even worse for those that have vices, such as smoking, drinking and gambling. Finding a way to cope with addiction is an essential part of saving money. A pack-a-day smoker for example, will likely save around $180 per month by quitting.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, cutting down on your monthly expenses, one bill-at-a-time isn’t impossible. It just requires a will and ambition, fuelled by a little bit of optimism.