Saving money is a big goal for most people, whether for a new TV, a big vacation, a down payment on a house or even retirement. You can get to your savings goals faster by considering these 17 simple ways to cut expenses:
Reduce food costs
1. Pack a lunch. Going out for lunch twice a week and spending $10 each time could add up to $1,040 per year. You can cut these food expenses by making food at home to bring for lunch.
2. Look for deals. Finding good deals at the grocery store can lower your food costs even more. Create a price book to keep track of where you can get items for less money.
3. Buy what you need. Buying in bulk isn’t always better; it’s money wasted if you have to throw away food that has gone bad.
4. Cut the soft drinks. Not only will you trim costs by drinking less soda and more water, but you’ll also find an easy way to trim your waistline.
5. Shop with cash. When you head to the grocery store, bring cash, so you know exactly how much you can spend. This will help you stick to the basics and avoid the impulse buys to keep costs low.
Cut Car Expenses
6. Shop lower rates. You may be able to lower costs by shopping around for a lower rate on car insurance. Don’t settle for the high price you may pay now.
7. Fix it yourself. Learn basic car maintenance, like oil changes, so you don’t have to pay for labor costs. Search for video tutorials online to see if this fix works for you. You may also be able to increase fuel efficiency with basics like keeping your tires well-inflated.
8. Find cheaper fuel. Getting cheaper gas may be as easy as an app download. You can find lower prices with crowd-sourced apps and websites that track the cheapest gas in your area.
9. Ditch the car. If you’re really ready to cut transportation costs, biking and public transportation might get you where you need to go for far less money.
Low Energy Costs
10. Change the thermostat. Adjust heating or air conditioning to lower your energy costs throughout the year. A blanket or a small fan may be all you need to stay comfortable.
11. Get efficient. A simple switch to reduce overall costs is replacing all light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones. If you’re willing to spend more money up-front, consider replacing home appliances and electronics with energy-efficient versions.
12. Unplug it. Simply unplugging your electronics when not in use can keep them from leeching electricity from the outlet, even though they’re turned off.
Entertain for Cheap
13. Find it for free. Look for free entertainment alternatives such as going for a walk, picnics in the park, backyard football or free local events open to the public.
14. Nix the gym. You can get a workout by running or walking outside rather than on the treadmill and by doing bodyweight, elastic band and low-weight lifting exercises at home.
15. Use the library. Rather than spend money on books, borrow them for free from the library. You’ll even cut down clutter with fewer books on your shelves.
16. Check the thrift store. Many items that you use everyday, such as clothing and furniture can be just as good when bought used. Make sure to look for well-made products that can last a long time.
17. Look for refurbished. You can find savings with refurbished electronics—devices that have been sent back, had broken parts fixed and are now being resold.
When cutting expenses, one of the easiest things you can do to find savings is to shop around for the best price. You’ll also be able to boost your savings simply by knowing exactly where your money is going. Navy Federal Credit Union can help you create a budget and calculate how you can save for your big goals.