For some people, frugality is more of a sacrifice. But that is not true, according to my friend Lizzy. Lizzy showed me an article from Daily Finance with 5 Simple ways to cut your monthly expenses:
1. Reduce your food bill
The “food” category is often the one with the most potential for reduction. Take a hard look at your own budget and find places where money was leaking out in your food expenses. For example, eating out can put a huge dent on your pock so why not learn to cook new dishes at home which your family can enjoy. Start looking at leftovers from dinner each night to create lunch for the following day. Whatever you prefer, make it your habit and make sure you add enough ingredients to your shopping list to account for this increased cooking.
2. Cut the car payment
One of the major components of your monthly budget may be your car payment. If you are bent on cutting expenses, take a look at how much you pay for your car loan. Get a functional car that you can rely on to get you where you need to go, with no monthly payments. If you can find an older model car like a Toyota or Honda that tend to be quite durable and reliable, the reward is a big-time savings in your monthly cashflow.
3. Take advantage of free entertainment
Do you know how much you pay for all your entertainment in one whole month? Adding up your spending on cable TV, Internet, movie subscriptions, concerts or sporting events you attend, happy hours with friends, etc., you may see that your entertainment spending is hundreds of dollars per month. Do a quick audit of your costs and decide what you can cut. More importantly, make a commitment to focus on free ways to have fun – such as picnics in the park or local events that are open to the public like summer concerts sponsored by the city. I’ve often been surprised at how satisfying free entertainment like hosting a board game night with friends can be compared to more costly activities.
4. Don’t pay (much) for a gym membership
It’s always good to exercise, but these days a lot of gyms cost a hundred dollars per month or more. The reality is, for most people, effective exercise can be done at home with light weights and resistance bands. If you’re someone who appreciates exercising in the gym, you can still do it in a frugal way if you find a good deal. There are lots of gyms that advertise discounts online, and one prominent nationwide gym has a very cheap discount available for anyone who shops at Costco. With one of these options, you can still get your workout while reducing your monthly expenses.
5. Remember that fashion is fleeting, but clothes are not
How much do you spend on clothes per month? One quick way to find out is to tally up all your clothing purchases over the last 6 months and then divide the total amount by six. That average will tell you what to expect on a monthly basis. Then think long and hard about whether you really need any new clothes. It’s one thing to replace a pair of worn-out jeans that you’ve worn for years. But it’s another thing to buy a new pair of jeans every couple of months. Remember, you’re not going to save money unless you focus your spending on things you need, not just things you want.