I’ve written a lot about ways to cut corners saving money, but sometimes that just isn’t enough. If you don’t make a large salary to begin with, it can be difficult to send money to savings if there’s very little of it left after you pay your monthly bills. In that case, drastic times call for drastic measures — you may need to cut out some of the monthly expenses that you can live without. It will be tough, for sure, but you’ll be happier overall when you’re no longer living in the house poor.
With the advancements in Internet-based technology, cable TV is becoming almost obsolete. I rarely watch TV on an actually TV, so I would be comfortable cutting the cable if I had to. If cable TV is a luxury that you think you can live without, cut it. You can find plenty of other, free entertainment by renting DVDs at the library or streaming shows and movies online.
2. Eating Out
Food is a necessity, but you don’t have to eat out for every meal. By reducing or eliminating all together the amount of meals you eat out, you’ll notice a generous amount of savings within the first week. To prevent yourself from slipping and ordering takeout or grabbing a quick snack while you’re on the go, plan your meals, especially lunch and dinner, so you know what you’re going to eat and to make sure you have the ingredients to make whatever meal you have planned. Another good trick to stay away from is buying quick bites to eat. Instead pack healthy snacks in your bag — like granola bars, peanuts and fruits — to satisfy those hunger pangs until you get home.
Petrol is a huge expense, especially since costs seem to keep rising higher and higher. To become independent of petrol, consider biking or walking to destinations nearby or taking public transportation when you can. Also, see if one of your coworkers lives nearby and is willing to start a carpool. Even reducing your driving time by 25 percent will help you put a nice chuck of change into savings every month.
4. Car Payment/Insurance
If you have a vehicle that is consuming a lot of your income, maybe it’s time to give it up or at least downgrade. If you can’t afford your car payment — and its pricey insurance — you should get rid of it. Living beyond your means is never a good idea. In the long run, that will only create larger financial problems.
Earlier I suggested that you cut the cable in favour of watching TV and movies online, but if your monthly Internet expense is also putting you in a financial bind, maybe it’s time to turn that off, too. Now, I’m not saying that you need to cut yourself off from the world and everything fun just to save a bit of cash (although, these are drastic times, remember), but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Luckily, there are plenty of places nowadays that offer free Wi-Fi that you can access to stay connected at least part of the time.
6. Home Phone
Unless you have a home-based business, you don’t need a cell phone and a landline. The cell phone is already a major monthly expense (which you should look into reducing by eliminating some of those add-ons that you don’t need), so it’s a no-brainer to get rid of the underused home phone that’s costing you money that you could be saving.
How much money are you spending on recreation every month? I bet it’s a decent amount. Going to the movies, playing on sports leagues, and other activities cost a lot of dough. Take inventory of where your money is going in the entertainment department and slash that budget by choosing to stay in more often or engaging in free activities. Remember, there are plenty of ways to have fun without dropping a wad — and thinking of ways to have free fun is fun in itself. I think you’ll find that those experiences are much more fulfilling when you’re not broke when they’re over.