I’ve been searching my brain and then the internet for creative ways to cut spending and save money this year. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts my husband is in school full time, so we have to be really careful about how much we are spending in order to minimize our student loan debt. It’s really difficult to save money when there isn’t any extra! Working at Insight I get to hear Shayna’s ideas on how to spend less and put away more. In this post I’ll share a few ideas for spending less that have worked great for my situation, someone else’s situation, or something that I just think sounds creative and worth a try.
First, take a look at all your paid subscriptions and evaluate. Is it worth the cost? Do you actually use it? Is there a free or cheaper version? Cutting cable is a great example of spending less. Most of the shows you watch are probably available on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu for much cheaper. You could even look into sharing your subscription with family members, friends or roommates, and that way everybody saves! Call me cheap, but I still don’t pay for spotify premium, I don’t really mind the ads and it’s just one small area where I can reduce spending.
Save money AND time with bill autopay. Find out what bills you can pay automatically online. In addition to ensuring you don’t get late fees if you forget to write the check, there might be some discounts available. I get a little bit lower interest rate with my student loan payments, just by setting up automatic payments!
You can spend less money by spending time on grocery planning. This could mean writing a list before going to the store, shopping at a more affordable grocery chain like Aldi, or even ordering your groceries online for pick-up. There is a service charge for ordering online but if the charge is less than what you typically would spend on impulse buys in the store, it’s totally worth it. And it saves you time, that’s a win-win. Another added benefit to planning your grocery shopping is that it will help you eliminate food waste and hopefully eat healthier. Now that’s a win-win-win.
Some spending goals are harder to stick to when it seems impossible to stick to the new habit long term. Instead, try something new each month. That can make it seem easier because you know that there is an end date to look forward to and you keep it fresh with a new challenge for next month. You just might find out that that habit is more sustainable than you thought. Some ideas for these monthly goals are:
Take your lunch to work everyday instead of eating out.
Decide to do an “essentials only” month, where you don’t spend ANY money besides what you NEED.. like bills and groceries.
Walk or bike to work instead of driving or paying for the bus.
Clean out the house and host a garage sale.
Eat all your leftovers and food in the pantry before heading back to the store. You’ll be forced to get creative in the kitchen and save money on replacing food that otherwise would have expired.
If you’ve never worked with a financial advisor, make it a goal to research advisors in your area and schedule a meeting.
I’d love to hear your ideas for spending less this year! Let us know what has worked for you and what’s been an epic fail. Stayed tuned, next week I’ll be writing about ways to save more in 2019!