According to CNN Money, 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. In order to resolve that, let’s get to work on your budget. A budget truly is the foundation for your financial success. If you don’t have a budget yet then you should create one in with these 5 simple steps. Once you have created your budget, make sure you negotiate your reoccurring bills to save money. Once you have taken those steps, it’s time to look at things that can be cut from your budget. Check out these 10 items that you should slash from your budget!
Per CNN Money, cable rates are rising at 4 times the rate of inflation! The average package comes out to about $100 per month. On top of the fact that most television shows are available online or through a monthly subscription service for much less, cable is becoming a thing of the past.
Personally, I ditched cable about 6 months ago. Honestly, I thought it would be difficult. I previously had a bad habit of leaving the television on as background noise while I worked. I am happy to say that I am much more productive and I have cut my electricity bill down considerably.
Related: How to Negotiate your Monthly Bills
I know, I know, you want your car to be shiny for the summer and dirt free in the winter time. I agree that washing your car is important but have you looked at the prices lately? Especially if you opt for the inside and outside wash. Invest in a good bucket, hose, sponges and other supplies to wash your car at home while it is nice outside.
Personally, I had an unlimited car wash package. Honestly was a financially fit and fab deal – only $12 a month for unlimited car washes! Unfortunately, my deal ran out and that package went up to $18 a month. Instead of renewing the package, I have taken the time to wash my car myself.
Is bottled water really worth the expense to you? Getting a bottle of water at a gas station is easily $1-2 if not more. Even a larger pack of water at the grocery store isn’t the most financially fit.
Personally, I bought a Brita water filter for my house. That way I can still enjoy filtered water without the on going cost of bottled water. In addition, I take reusable plastic water bottles to the gym and work to avoid buying bottled water.
I remember a time when I was literally spending hundreds of dollars on Starbucks a month! Crazy because I don’t even like coffee that much! I had to start budgeting like a pro to really get a handle on my coffee spending. I will treat myself to a coffee every once in a while especially when I receive gift cards.
Have you looked at your coffee budget lately? Hopefully, it hasn’t gotten out of line like mine did. If your coffee budget is outrageous, there are quite a few ways to cut back. Do you really need coffee on the way to work or can you substitute for the free coffee at work? If you can’t do the free coffee, have you thought about investing in the
Eating out Lunch
Eating out for lunch during the work week can easily add up. Say, for example, you are able to find a meal for $6 per day (of course, we know that’s on the low end). Over the course of one week, that is $30 spent towards lunch and $120 over the entire month. Whereas, if you were able to meal prep for the week, you could easily cut the lunch expense in half.
Personally, eating out for lunch is one of the hardest habits for me to crack. I will do well at it for a month or two and then fall back in the slump of costly and unhealthy meals. A tip to avoid this cycle is to only use cash for lunch if eating out. For example, if I budget myself $10 cash to eat out for lunch, I will only eat out on Friday if at all.
Lawn care can easily cost upwards of $30-50 every two weeks if not more. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love mowing the grass especially with the heat. I honestly never mowed grass until this year after becoming a homeowner. In the long run buying a lawn mower made more sense financially to me (even though one of the neighbors offered me a pretty cheap deal). Although I always dread mowing, I feel proud that I can do it myself and save money in the long run.
(Certain) Personal Maintenance
Now, I am not saying stop getting your hair or nails done but do you need to go every week? Since I wear my hair natural my regular hair appointments were cut out of my budget many years ago. Therefore, it is more like a treat when I do get my hair done. I do understand everyone doesn’t have that same luxury. Are there other ways you can cut back on personal maintenance though?
You have gone to the grocery store and stocked up for the week – fresh fruit, veggies, and meat. Then what happens? You make plans for dinner with friends and end up eating out a few nights. Not only have you defeated the purpose of eating at home but you also may have wasted money on certain food items that don’t have a long shelf life. It happens to the best of us but what can you do to avoid that from happening?
Personally, I try to grocery shop with a specific list of things I know I will need for the next week or two. In addition, I don’t stock up on too many fresh fruits and vegetables that I know will spoil. I am only grocery shopping for myself – therefore, it makes it a little easier that I don’t have to depend on others eating habits.
When is the last time you used your Netflix or Hulu? How about Apple Music or Tidal? Or even your Gym membership or Personal Trainer? If you haven’t used a membership in a while, it may be time to slash that from your budget. Although services like Netflix and Hulu are less than $10 per month, it can add up over time. Personally, I slashed Netflix, Hulu, and Apple Music. I reminded myself what I did without those services and realized there were so many other free services that work just as well!
I hate hate hate convenience fees. For example, to pay my mortgage online there is a $5 fee per transaction. Although it only seems like $5, over a year that is $60! And it isn’t like my mortgage is simply going to go away after a year. Instead of figuring the $5 convenience fee in to my monthly budget, I have decided to mail my mortgage payments. I will admit I never purchase stamps but I would rather mail the bill then deal with the convenience fee.
Make sure that you avoid convenience and late fees at all costs. Bank fees can literally eat up your checking account if you don’t pay attention. Checking the due dates of all your bills and associated convenience fees that are typically in the fine print can help to avoid extra fees.
You may also like these posts about saving money:
- 10+ Tips to Save Money on Back to School Shopping
- How to Save More Money This Year
- How I Save 50% of My Income
Subscribe below to have posts regarding budgeting, saving, investing and travel hacking delivered right to your inbox. No Spam!
What items have you slashed from your budget to save more money? What would you be willing to slash from your budget?
*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich, Disease Called Debt and Financially Fit & Fabulous*