Now that we are in 2018 for a few weeks now it’s time to make some spending adjustments to free up extra money every month. Instead of blowing your money on nice cars and clothes, it’s time to really cut spending down so you can start to put that extra savings into your finances and build an emergency fund with a few months’ worth of expenses to give yourself a cushion in case of unexpected charges, or even worse, a job loss. You also cannot forget funding your future retirement, so any extra money you start to get should be used to increase 401k contributions so you have a nest egg when you do finally walk away from work. From monthly bills to spending money, there are plenty of ways to cut corners to free up extra money.
Depending on your method of payment when it comes to paying bills or using for spending money for that matter, it may not be as easy as seeing how much money is left in your bank account at the end of the month. Between the credit card bill coming due and any cash or debit that you use, it may be tough to juggle just how much you are spending every month. If you pull the bank or credit statement from last month you can actually go line by line, even separating out what are necessary monthly bills, which are food, gas, and spending expenses so you can start to look at where to make cuts.
Reduce Impulse Purchases
If you take the amount that falls outside if necessary spending each month and add it up, it can actually scare you see how much you could still have in your bank account, so going forward it’s a good idea to start to make adjustments. Try looking at reducing the amount of times you go out to eat, whether that is getting coffee in the morning, or going out for lunch or dinner. You will be surprised how quickly the savings will add up, probably in the hundreds compared to what you would spend if you went grocery shopping and prepared meals at home.
Cut the Cable Cord
Getting into a more difficult cut to make to save money would be cutting the cable cord. First think about how much you actually watch TV, how many channels, and remind yourself how annoying it is to flip around with nothing on, with commercials on just about every channel you turn to. By opting to get rid of cable and go for a streaming service for around $10 a month you can watch the shows that you intend on watching, and let’s face it, Netflix has the best shows on anyways, and for about $20 you can pick up an HD antenna to still get your local channels, even buying a TiVo service to fast forward commercials that would probably cover the cost for one month of not having cable any longer.
Food Delivery Services
It’s nice to have the new healthy food delivery services that will deliver fresh, quality ingredients to your door to prepare that selected meal, but if you think about how much that costs compared to how many meals you are getting, especially if it’s a few times a week, you can go grocery shopping and meal prep yourself.
Take Advantage of Grocery Store Rewards
Spending of going grocery shopping, there are plenty of options where you can go, but you should really start to pay attention to prices and shop where you can save the most money. Maybe the stores that offer the shopper rewards card may seem like a gimmick, but when you see the amount of sales you can get by using your card, not to mention the promos like “10 for $10”, it is worth repeating your business so you can continue to save each time you go to the store.
Use a Credit Card
Now talking about rewards, what better way to earn free money than using a credit card for all of your purchases so that you can earn airline miles, points, or even 1-4% cashback each year just by making the purchases that you would be making anyways. Years ago, it may have been frowned upon to use a credit card, giving the impression that you don’t have the money to make the purchase, but actually provided you are able to pay the entire statement balance by the due date so you don’t carryover the balance and be charged interest, it can actually make good financial sense to use a credit card all the time.