5 Easy Ways to Cut Expenses and Tighten Your Budget

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Are you looking for easy ways to tighten your budget? We’ve got you covered. Below we cover easy ways to cut expenses and tighten your budget

5 ways to save without breaking a sweat.

1: Cancel Subscriptions and Memberships

Subscription and membership options have really taken off. These days, you can pay a monthly fee for just about anything.

Want a new box of toys for your pet rottweiler, Snuggles, each month? There are subscriptions for that. Need to feed your sugar addiction with random samples of candy? Yep, you can subscribe to that, too. You can even pay to take online flying lessons or join a community of nail art enthusiasts.

All of these “little” monthly fees may not seem like much at first but it can add up fast. The next thing you know, you’re spending more on subscriptions and memberships each month than your yearly trip to Vegas.

Add up all of your subscriptions and memberships. How much are they costing you? If you’re not sure, go through last month’s credit card statement. You might be shocked.

Of course, the obvious choice is to cancel the ones you’re not using anyway. But if you need to cut back even more, consider cancelling the subscriptions and memberships you use but don’t really need. For example, do you really need Hulu, YouTube TV and Netflix? Pick your favorite and cancel the other two.

You can also consider using an app like Truebill, which finds and cancels subscriptions for you. Truebill takes 40% for any annual savings it secures for you. If they can’t save you money, it’s free.

2: Only Buy the Essentials

One great way to tighten your budget is to only buy the essentials.

Shopping with a list is one of the best ways you can avoid buying extras. Before you even go to a store (or browse Amazon) write down what you need and only buy those items–nothing else.

You can also avoid stores and websites that trigger shopping sprees. Why tempt yourself? Avoid the stores and sites that carry your favorite fashions or gadgets. If shopping has become your favorite hobby, try replacing it with something else that’s free or cheap. Go for a walk, invite friends over for a potluck or break out the retro board games.

Finally, before buying anything, ask yourself if you really need it. Sometimes taking a pause and thinking about it is enough to walk away.

3: Manage Your Debt

Debt can be a drag. But there are ways to manage it so you can pay it off sooner.

One popular tactic is called the debt snowball method. This is when you pay off the smallest loan first, even if it has a lower interest rate than the others. Although this technically isn’t the best financial choice, it can be a great mental boost knowing you have one less loan to tackle.

Another option is to apply the debt avalanche method. With this approach, you would maintain the minimum balance on lower interest debt, while paying off as much as you can on your high interest debt (think credit cards!).

You could also consider a consolidation. This means you take out one loan and use that money to pay off all of your other debts. Often, the loan is at a low interest rate.

Be sure the company you choose is reputable. Your bank, credit union or credit card company is a good place to start.

4: Stage a Staycation

That trip to Tahiti can derail your finances. Why not skip it and opt for a staycation?

With the average weekly vacation costing around $2,100, foregoing your annual trip can put some serious cash in your wallet. While staying home may not be as exciting as sightseeing in Paris or Peru, you can still have fun.

Here are some creative ideas to make your staycation stand out:

  • Host a luau for friends, complete with Hawiian hula and leis.
  • Try something different, such as pottery or axe throwing.
  • Pick up a new hobby, like fencing or painting.
  • Set up a spa day, either at home or at your nearby wellness center.
  • Play tourist in your local city or town.
  • Take a day trip to a nearby location.

As you can see, staycations don’t have to be boring. With a little planning and creativity, you can still explore new places and activities–and maybe even create some lasting memories.

5: Evaluate Your Insurance

If your insurance coverage is costing you more than your coffee addiction, you might be overpaying. Even paying just $30 a month more in insurance will cost you an additional $360 for the year.

One of the best ways to get a better rate without a lot of work is to contact a licensed insurance broker. These professionals look at rates across many carriers to find a policy that matches your needs at the best rate.

You may need to contact two or three separate brokers. Some brokers only work with auto and home policies while others only life and health. There are, however, some insurance brokers who handle all kinds of insurance plans, including home, renters, auto, life and health.

Another option is to get insurance through a wholesale club. The three leading chains, BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s Club, all offer some type of insurance, with Costco providing the most options.

A third way to save on premiums is to opt for a high-deductible plan. This will decrease your monthly insurance costs. Just keep in mind that should you need to file a claim, you will have to pay more for your deductible.

The Payoff

Cutting expenses takes some work but the payoff can be well worth it. Even if you use just one or two of the tips here, you’ll save money. Then you can take that money and do something amazing like invest it.

Even small amounts of money invested can make a big difference in the long run. Over time, the money will grow and you’ll be more in control of your finances.

So don’t hesitate to cut back. The sooner you get started, the bigger the impact.