10 Practical Ways to Cut Expenses and Save Money

If you need to save some money or need to cut back on your expenses in order to pay off debt, but you aren’t really sure how or where you can make cutbacks then take a look at these 10 practical ways that you are able to cut your expenses and save some money.

save money

Stop and Think Before You Buy

Have you seen something that you absolutely must have? Well, before you buy it, stop and think about it. You should give yourself at least 24 hours before you really decide if you have to have it and giving yourself 72 hours is even better. You can save yourself quite a bit of money when you do this because even though at the time you thought you had to have it, you will realise that your life is just as satisfying without these things.

When the impulse buying urge kicks in, stop and give yourself a time out and go away from the item and think about it. You can also ask your friends and family to help you call this time out.

Alternatives that Cost Less

You don’t need to give up on the things that you enjoy doing, but rather find low cost substitutions. For instance, if you are an avid book reader then why not go to the library instead of the bookstore or if you play golf swap a tee time for a trip to the driving range. You will be able to save a little here and there, but this can add up.

Do You Really Need Fancy Things?

You may believe that your value is represented by the things you own, but making smart financial decisions has a lot more value. You should look at your lifestyle and see what changes you can make. This could be your house, your car or your clothes. You should look at where you can downsize and rather be financially secure than having a bunch of fancy things.

Wait…There are more ways to make cutbacks below…

Why Drive When You Can Carpool

You can cut down on the number of times that you use your car, which will then save you money on petrol. You can look at creating a carpool with other parents, for instance, for taking the kids to school or you can carpool with other employees once a week. Another option would be to use public transport if you can.

If you are still working, you can find out if it is possible for you to work remotely from home once a week.

If you have errands to run, then write them all down and get them done in one day and plan for times when there isn’t a lot of traffic. You could even consolidate and carpool all at once and run your errands with a friend.

Resist Your Favourite Store

Is there a shop that you can’t resist going into and every time you do, you end up spending money? Whatever, your favourite store is the next time you go by it, just keep going and resist that urge to walk in. You need to break the habit of shopping for the sake of shopping, so find other things to do to occupy your time like going for a walk, reading a book or having a cup of coffee.

coffee

If your weakness is online shopping then rather watch an episode of a show you enjoy or a movie or even a music video instead of shopping.

In order to make this work, you need to replace your shopping habit with a new habit and it is a lot more satisfying having your savings increase then just buying stuff.

How Much Are You Paying Each Month

You need to take a look at your home expenses and see where you can save money. Take a look at your phone bill and see if you are paying for any extras that you don’t need, which can be turned off. Also, look at your satellite TV bill and see if you are paying for channels each month that you don’t need, as these expenses can quickly add up.

Also, turn off your heater or air-conditioning during the day and when you are not at home. It won’t be as comfortable in your home when you walk through the door, but the savings will add up.

Time to Cook

It is easy to consistently buy your lunch or dinner, but this can add up to a lot of money if you are in the habit of doing it every day. You should take a lunch from home once in a while and before you head out for dinner or order a takeaway, check your pantry and see if you can come up with a creative meal at home.

If you have to eat out often, then skip the sodas, or alcohol or other drinks and go for water. This is better for you and will save you money on drinks when you have lunch or dinner.

Keep reading for more practical ways to save money…

Sales and Discounts Help You Save

With a little effort, you will be able to pay less for most things. You will be able to find sales and discount codes that will save you money. Many online retailers constantly have offers where you can save money on clothes, household items and more, so you should check for these. Physical stores also have sales and offers, for instance, a supermarket might be offering discounts on certain products and even though it may not be your brand, you can give it a try and save some money.

However, be careful, many of us get tempted into spending more because there is a sale. You should then resist buying things you don’t need and only buy what you do. Take note of the things that you already buy and find ways to get these for less or if you need new clothes, determine what you already own and what you need and only look for these items in the sale and not get tempted by other items just because they are on sale.

Stay Fit at Home

Exercising and being fit is important and if the only way you are able to stick to an exercise regime is through a gym then keep your membership.

home fitness

However, if you are a self-motivated type of person then there are plenty of ways you can stay fit without having to pay a monthly fee. You can walk, run, watch fitness videos on YouTube, do yoga, push-ups, sit-ups and more. You don’t need to pay to stay fit.

Turn Your Hobby into a Business

If you have a hobby, have you ever thought about turning it into a business? You may not make a lot of money, but you can make some to cover the cost of your hobby and maybe even a little extra to save.  So, if you have an arts and crafts hobby like beading, knitting, making jewellery, baking or anything else then see how you can make some money from it.

If you are a horse rider, you can perhaps make a trade where you work in the stables for a few hours a week in exchange for lessons. You can do this for a number of hobbies and it doesn’t hurt to ask as you can still enjoy your hobby but without the cost behind it.

Implement some of these practical money saving tips and use the money you save to pay down debt that you may have or put it away in a savings account and just watch it grow.

Manage Your Debt Problems

If you are facing debt problems then you need a sound debt management plan, which usually consists of three parts.

paying off debt

Create a Budget

The first thing that you will need to do is to list all your sources of income no matter how big or small. Gather all your payslips, interest payouts, rental incomes, policy payouts etc. You need to know how much money you have to work with so you can avoid overspending.

Now you will need to list all of your monthly expenses, even those smaller ones that you may forget about. Determine how much you spend on groceries, utilities, entertainment, toiletries, subscription services, parking, snacks, eating out or takeaways etc.

Next, you will need to list all the credit providers that you owe money to and how much you have to pay each month. You will be able to find this information in your credit report.

You will need to allocate some of your income to a savings fund that creates interest. This money should only be used in a case of an emergency.

Also, there will be expenses that don’t occur regularly like holidays, a doctor’s visit, a wedding etc. You should have a contingency fund for these type of expenses.

Prepare a Debt Repayment Plan

You will need to have a good plan in place to avoid debt. Once you have your budget, you will have a better understanding of where your money goes each month.

You need to have the goal of paying your debt off as soon as possible by using any additional income or extra cash that you have into paying off your debt. You may find that you will need to make cutbacks in order to pay off debt.

You can focus any extra funds on a high interest debt first as once this debt is cleared, you will be able to free up some money that you can then use to pay off your second largest debt and so on. Or you can start with a small debt to get the ball rolling and tackle your largest debt last.

Stick to Your Plan

You may find that you are not keeping track of your accounts and expenses, which can then lead to unnecessary spending.

You then need to stick to your budget. You should update your expenses daily and review and adjust your budget every month.

You also need to avoid taking on any new debt and focus on paying off the debt that you have.

Paying off debt takes discipline and if you need further help, you can get advice from a debt counsellor and they may assist in creating a debt management plan for you.