When we think about managing our money we tend to think about reducing major monthly expenses like car, mortgage and credit card payments. Those play a substantial role; however, you’ve heard about how it’s the little things that count. We will be dissecting to see how those little things factor into our monthly expense. Those little things you don’t think about because they happen without thinking about them. This is interesting because they are things that are “second nature”.
Grocery shopping is probably on your weekly list of things to do and each time you go you may marvel at how quickly the visit adds up. You pick up a few things throughout the week then you add your weekly grocery shopping to your weekend to do list. That task alone amounts to spending an additional $75 to $150 each week depending on the size of your family. Take a more cost effective approach.
Consider making a major grocery shopping trip at the beginning of the month stocking up on perishables and items that can keep in the freezer. Then when you need to go for bread and milk and other items necessary for the moment, the amount you spend will be much less, thus saving more money at month’s end.
Common Monthly Expenses to Cut Down
Monthly utilities are areas that can be managed and result in unexpected savings.
- Think about if you really still need that landline phone, you could be saving an average of $30 a month, that’s $360 a year. With so much of technology having moved to wireless this decision could be seamless.
- Decide if the wireless service you have is the most cost effective for your phone use, if not look at other plans and carriers. Many carriers allow you to keep you current phone number if you move over to them. Some companies offer an upgraded phone with the move. Remember to read the fine print to ensure you won’t be signing up to a lengthy plan that may cost more if you decide to move on.
- Consider cutting back or adjusting your cable service plan. The price of cable service will continue to increase and only you can select the one that’s necessary and most cost effective to suit your household needs. The promotional plans do have an expiration date and all the “new customer” discounts do go away. You are then left with an exorbitant bill just to watch television. Start with a basic plan to decide what you can live with and build from there. The cable companies are always thrilled when you ask to upgrade. But for now keep that money as your monthly savings.
Wants vs. Needs Monthly Expenses
Evaluate your monthly subscriptions whether its music, movies, clothing, food, shoes, etc. These fall into the category of wants vs. needs.
Are you really getting the most from that ad free Pandora subscription; how much could you save for the year if you just listened to that 30 second ad?
Do you really need Netflix, Hulu AND the cable premium channels? I personally haven’t met many people who watch that much television.
Manage Subscription Boxes
Now understand, I love Hello Fresh and Blue Apron but honestly they really started making me cook everyday even when I didn’t feel like it. They can create positive cash savings with grocery shopping and that was a positive cash savings step. If you don’t get rid of them, take advantage of the delivery options for fewer delivery frequencies. It can save money and when you want to have cereal for dinner you can.
Now, this is the part where I know I will be touching some sensitive areas. Stitch Fix, Menlo Club, FabFitFun (clutching my pearls), Graze, Candy Club, Uncorked, and so many more are the simple pleasure and rewards we have become accustomed to. Rewarding yourself from time to time is not a bad thing when it is measured based on savings. Just reduce the frequency of the subscriptions until you have seen improvement and savings in your monthly expenses.
When you start this journey, pick your battles for success. After you have pinpointed the areas for savings and reduced expenses, measure your savings. Implementing this money saving tip will help with continuing to Invest in You.