It can be tough in today's world to make ends meet day after day. After all, we all have bills to pay, and mouths to feed. However, even a few simple tweaks to your weekly routine can add up to big savings over time. If you're looking for simple ways to cut down on ordinary expenses without "rocking the boat" too hard, here are 6 suggestions that may help:
1. Plan Out Your Meals for the Week to Cut Down on Ordinary Expenses
You'd be surprised how much money you can save on groceries if you know exactly what you need for the next several days. Meal planning is not only a great way to stay within your budget, but it also eliminates the indecision and uncertainty you may feel when 5 o'clock rolls around and you still don't know what to fix for supper.
2. Resist Impulse Buying
Speaking of groceries: have you ever walked into a grocery store when you're hungry? Odds are you came out with more food items than you'd planned on, right? The point is, impulse buying is one of the biggest obstacles to reducing your expenses.
Look for ways to avoid situations that could trigger impulse buys. For example, can you place a curbside grocery order from your local store? Such a shopping method is not only social distancing-friendly; it's also a great way to forestall purchasing ordinary expenses!
3. Conserve Electricity and Water
Utility bills are usually predictable expenses each month, although they may fluctuate with changing seasons. However, there are things you can do to cut down on your power and water bills. For example, make sure you turn off lights that you're not using and even unplug devices or appliances that are going to be inactive for a while.
Also, conserve water to the extent possible. For instance, don't leave your faucet running when brushing your teeth.
4. Enjoy Inexpensive Recreation
There's nothing wrong with eating out, renting a movie, or spending money on other forms of recreation. However, can you set aside some time to enjoy simpler (and less costly) forms of recreation now and again? For example, are there hiking trails near your home? Do you have a bicycle you can ride? Are there sports you enjoy playing that won't cost you a dime? All of these types of recreation can be refreshing for both you and your bank account.
5. Get Onboard the DIY Train to Cut Down Ordinary Expenses
Whether it's your home or your car, repairs and maintenance can be costly when professionals get involved. That being said, can you take care of certain tasks on your own? Many people have found that performing basic maintenance tasks save them hundreds of dollars every year. Some common examples of DIY duties include:
- Changing your HVAC system's air filter
- Changing your vehicle's oil and oil filter
- Fixing a leaky faucet
6. Drive Smooth
This last suggestion to cut down on ordinary expenses may mean you have to change some deeply ingrained driving habits. However, the truth is that vehicles that are driven smoothly will generally last longer and perform better than those that are driven like race cars. Over time, sudden starts and stops can lower your car's miles-per-gallon (MPG) performance, wear out your transmission, and even result in expensive repairs. You don't have to drive like a little old lady — but if you drive smoothly, you'll end up spending less on vehicle maintenance in the long run.
Cut Down on Ordinary Expenses
If you put the 6 suggestions above into practice, then you may be surprised how much you could save in just one month! The beauty of these tips is how simple they are; none of them mean earth-shattering changes in your life, but they can all help you to cut down on expenses, and enjoy better financial health.