Spending Habits: Effective Ways to Cut Back on Your Monthly Expenses
Every pay period, do you get paid and suddenly wonder where all your money went? It’s as though as soon as you get paid, your money is already gone. Well, it happens to us all at some point or another but it’s no way to live, for sure. Taking control over your finances is the only way you’re going to financially thrive and grow.
Sure, it would be nice to just have money to do whatever you want to do with it but that’s hardly anybody’s reality, and for those who do live that reality, you better believe they’ve budgeted for it… And budgeting is your key to success for effectively managing your monthly expenses.
The thing about finances is that, to the human mind, there are levels to spending, and it can indeed cause financial anxiety for some people. Financial anxiety can stem from different triggers and can be displayed in people in many different ways. For example, being overly frugal is a form of financial anxiety just like spending beyond your means is. If you can determine your financial triggers, you can then become financially stable and start effectively incorporating a monthly budget in your finances.
To budget is to be more mindful of your spending habits, and the key to success here is to write down every single thing you spend your money on. You, of course, can check your bank statements, but that’s only going to help you track your card purchases.
Consider getting a notebook and writing down everywhere you spend money, for cash and card purchases, including fast-food, lottery tickets, groceries, etc… Every time you spend money on anything, make it a point to write it down to have a general idea of where your money goes every month. Now, your spending won’t look the same every month but you’ll have a general idea of your spending habits and will be able to physically see the areas you can cut back in.
To get your budget off to the right start, here are some money-saving hacks in areas that will help you save tremendously on your monthly expenses.
Helpful Tips to Save on Your Monthly Expenses
Check to See If Alternative Electricity is Available in Your Area
Aside from your rent or mortgage payments every month, your electric bill is the next most expensive bill you have, and it’s also the bill that people try to reduce. To reduce your monthly electric bill, there are some things you can do, like being more mindful of your usage by turning off lights when they’re not in use and unplugging electronics, but those habits only make a small impact on your bill.
To truly see savings on your utility bill, you need to see if alternative electricity is offered in your state. For example, Texas is a deregulated state, meaning, residents can compare TX electricity rates and go with the provider that offers them the best plan. Non-deregulated states don’t give residents that luxury, so you want to at least check to see if you have that option, and if you do, you could see your utility bill decrease significantly.
Kick Your Grab-N-Go Coffee Runs
If you’re like most coffee lovers, you love to stop and grab a hot coffee on your commute to work. There’s just something about sitting in stop and go traffic and letting the heat of the coffee from the cup warm the top of your lip. Unfortunately, this piece of morning heaven is burning a hole in your finances.
By making your own coffee at home, you can still get that same effect. Just think about it… You already wake up early to make your coffee stop, so use that same amount of time, just in a different way. Instead of waking up early to stop for coffee, you’ll be waking up early to make coffee at home. While your coffee is brewing, you can get yourself ready for work.
Simply pour your coffee into a travel mug, and you can still have that same sensation in stop and go traffic with your own coffee as you do with coffee shop coffee.
Take Your Own Lunch to Work
If you think about it, aside from rent/mortgage and utilities, the next thing most people spend lots of money on is food, more so on dining out. By cooking more at home, you’ll be able to have leftovers to take with you to work for lunch, thus, preventing those afternoon runs to fast-food restaurants and catching those tempting lunch specials at your favorite local eateries.
That’s not saying you have to spend the rest of your days in the kitchen cooking, but do a thorough assessment of how much you spend on eating out and first try cutting it in half by cooking more and see how much more money you have leftover at the end of the month.