7 Ways to Reduce Your Monthly Expenses (and Stress)
Sometimes monthly bills seem never-ending. You finish paying one, and then another arrives. If you’re having trouble keeping up, it’s time to start lowering your monthly expenses so you can get on top of your finances. From lowering what you pay for car insurance each month to substituting luxury items for something less expensive, we’ll go over seven of the easiest ways to reduce your monthly expenses and, in turn, lower your stress.
#1. Lower Your Car Insurance Premiums
You can use a few techniques to lower your car insurance bills, and if you combine them all, you can maximize your savings.
- Compare quotes: Compare auto insurance quotes from several different companies. If a reputable company offers you a lower rate for comparable coverage, you can switch providers and save.
- Discover discounts: Check to see if there are any discounts you’re eligible for that you’re not getting. Ask your agent to add those discounts to your account.
- Evaluate insurance needs: You may be able to eliminate coverage like collision and comprehensive coverage if your vehicle is over 10 years old.
- Increase your deductible: The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums. Just remember that you’re responsible for paying your deductible if you damage your car, so you’ll need to be able to set that money aside.
Spending an hour or two evaluating your insurance coverage may help you significantly reduce your monthly bills.
#2. Track Your Spending
Simply tracking what you spend won’t equate to lower bills, but it can help you identify where you could spend less. For example, you might not have realized that eating out three times a week could add $200 or more to your monthly spending. If you plan meals and prep your own food, you can cut most of that money out of your bills.
If you’re having trouble staying on top of your bills, saving $200 a month may be precisely what you need to do.
#3. Substitute Cheaper Options
If you buy coffee on the go most days, consider making coffee at home instead. There is a multitude of options available for coffee lovers to brew at home. If you buy lunch during your workday, plan ahead and pack a lunch.
Anytime you can make something for yourself instead of paying someone else to do it, you’ll help reduce your spending.
#4. Adjust Your Thermostat
For every degree colder you keep your thermostat in the winter, you’ll save about 2%. So, if you turn your heat down 5 degrees, you could save 10% on your heating bill.
In the summer, the opposite is true. The higher you turn your thermostat, the less energy you will use to cool your home, and the lower your cooling bills will be.
#5. Give up Some Luxuries
You may think you need your pedicure or massage, but you don’t. You can treat yourself to a soothing bath, a sunset evening walk, or a tension-releasing workout routine to make sure you get your well-deserved “me time.”
Pampering yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. If you eliminate the luxuries and replace them with low-cost options, you’ll help relieve the stress that money problems can bring.
#6. Stop Paying for Things You Don’t Need
If you stream everything you watch, stop paying for cable or satellite. If you realize your surprise box subscription is just filling your life with extra things you don’t really need, cancel your subscription.
It’s time to reevaluate all your monthly payments so you can eliminate the things that aren’t serving your needs.
#7. Don’t Waste Electricity
Turn off the lights when you’re not in a room. Unplug your computer when you’re not using it. Don’t stand in front of your open refrigerator for five minutes trying to decide what you want. Shut your door when it’s cold outside.
Basically, just live mindfully, and you’ll find several ways you can lower your power usage and reduce your electricity costs.
This list should get you started on a path to living within your means so you can start building up your savings, allowing you to live more freely.
Melanie Musson writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, 4AutoInsuranceQuote.com. She strives to help others understand how to get the insurance they need at the best price so they can build and protect their financial stability.