Simple Strategies for Saving Money

Cut back on recurring expenses to trim the fat from your budget.

Everyone is familiar with the “latte solution” – cut out your daily coffee habit to save money. And while it’s true that a daily coffee drink may be costing you upward of $1,000 a year, there are plenty of other substantial ways to save money. One way to trim the excess out of your budget is to examine your recurring monthly costs.

  • Cell phone: Examine your plan. Are you paying for too many minutes that go unused? Or, do you regularly exceed your allotted minutes and pay a high per-minute usage fee? What about text messaging? Adjust your plan accordingly to save yourself money.
  • Land Line: Do you need both a cell phone and a land line? More and more people are ditching the land line in favor of cell phones. If you think all of your needs could be met with a cell phone, consider getting rid of your land line for a substantial monthly savings.
  • Insurance: When was the last time you shopped around your insurance rates? You might be surprised to find out how much money you could be saving. It’s a tedious chore, but could be well worth your time.
  • Gym Membership: First of all—do you use it? Be honest. If you’re paying a monthly fee to a gym you haven’t visited in months, consider canceling it or at the very least, taking it to an inactive status. There are plenty of ways to get and stay fit without a gym. If you use and enjoy your gym consistently, good for you—this is money well spent. But, if not, consider letting it go.
  • Subscriptions: What are your monthly subscriptions costing you? Are they worth it? Most magazines and newspapers are available free online or at the library. If you’re a Netflix user, you may benefit by switching to Redbox or checking videos out from the library. Are you a member of online communities and subscription services? Only you can decide if this is money well spent, so sit down and examine the cost of these memberships and decide what you can live without.
  • TV: Whether you’re paying for cable or satellite service, you may be spending more than you need to. There are many ways to watch television online, or, if you’ve decided to hold on to that Netflix subscription, you can watch many of your favorite shows via Netflix.
  • Housing: Often, we consider our housing costs “fixed” and non-negotiable, which they sometimes are. However, if you’re struggling to make ends meet, it’s important to take an honest look at your housing costs. Financial planners suggest that we shouldn’t spend more than 30 percent of our monthly income on housing costs. If you’re spending more than that, consider downsizing or taking on a roommate. This could offer you substantial savings.

These are just a few suggestions to trim the excess from your recurring monthly expenses. There are countless ways to save…one penny at a time.