Apr 19, 2023

Want More to Spend on what Really Matters?

Reduce these expenses
Want More to Spend on what Really Matters?

Everything – from groceries to gas to rent – is becoming more expensive. And for many of us, our income just isn't keeping pace. So, what can you do to keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket to purchase the things that really matter?

You could set up a monthly budget and track your monthly expenses and really get to know your spending habits.

And if you felt you needed professional assistance, you could consult financial experts like a credit counselor or a nonprofit credit counseling agency. Pros like that can quickly help you get ahold of your finances, showing you areas in which you could start reducing expenses and other areas of spending you could get rid of completely so you're cutting expenses.

The idea is to get a better understanding of your finances so you can cut expenses and have more money for the things you and your family really need.

How else can you reduce expenses?

Here are several ideas – from packing your lunch to auditing your expenses to switching to a budget friendly cell phone plan – to get you started saving money by spending wisely.

Pack your lunch

It’s easy to give in to the convenience of fast food. But going out to get lunch every day, at $10 or so a pop, is a $50 expense. That's money you could’ve saved. And you could’ve eaten healthier, too.

We know of one woman in the U.K. who has come up with time-saving way to make lunch sandwiches for her kids and herself and save money at the same time. She pre-makes all the sandwiches in one sitting and freezes them, pulling them out on the morning she needs them. Now that's a much better deal than spending $10 a day!

(Her trick to preventing sogginess? She doesn’t use butter and she squeezes all the air out of the sandwich bag.)

One of the tricks to packing your lunch is getting into the habit making a shopping list and shopping for lunch foods and preparing tomorrow’s meal before you go to bed.

Note: Until the habit of making future meals gets really ingrained, leave yourself a note for the morning or you might just leave your lunch in the refrigerator!

Cancel those sneaky subscriptions

Cable tv. Magazines. Gym memberships. Weight loss and meditation apps. These and others like them are subscriptions (expenses!) so many of us forget about...

but still get charged for.

Set aside time to review your credit card statements and checking account statements and you might be amazed at the number of items you thought you cancelled but are still making payments for.

Don’t have time to do it yourself? That’s ok. Try Truebill. The site searches forgotten subscriptions on your behalf quickly and easily.

Just be aware that for every dollar you save by using the service, Truebill takes 40% as what it calls a “savings fee.” So if they save you $500 annually on a particular bill, they’ll charge you $200.

Do a home energy audit

Did you know that your coffee maker, toaster, phone charger and other devices suck up energy even when you’re not using them? They do – and they can account for as much as 20% of your monthly electric bill.

In fact, according to the Alliance to Save Energy, the average U.S. household spends $5,550 a year on energy.

To cut expenses in this area, take a walk around your home and unplug the items mentioned here and others you’re bound to discover.

You can also make your home more energy efficient by replacing air filters every three to six months, and making sure your windows, vents, and even the space around electrical outlets are properly insulated. Having your water heater serviced annually is another important step in cutting expenses.

To see how you’re doing, ask your utility company to provide you a year over year expenditures statement so you can see if any of your bills are trending upward. If that’s the case, take steps immediately to stop it.

Lower your auto insurance payment

You compare the prices of electronics and pet food and clothes before you buy them, so why not compare auto insurance quotes? You can do it two ways.

One, you can call around for quotes. It sounds old fashioned, but we know one woman who made a few phone calls and replaced her $300 a month auto insurance plan with one for $55. In less than 20-minutes, she cut her spending to the tune of $2,940 a year.

The other way is to go out to Experian.com or TheZebra.com. Both provide multiple auto insurance quotes in minutes. You can see all the best rates side-by-side, request information on the one that best meets your needs, and quite possibly cut your spending in this area by more than $900.

Save money by deleting those delivery apps

It’s so tempting to have ready to eat meals delivered right to your door. And while they might make your stomach happy, you won't save money and your wallet won’t feel the same. If you’ve got apps like UberEats, DoorDash, and GrubHub on your phone, delete them.

You can still treat yourself to occasional takeout meals that you pick up yourself, or an evening or two out at a restaurant, but those apps are notorious for charging exorbitant fees on orders. On top of that, you also have to pay the delivery fee and tip the driver.

Ask for a lower interest rate

Are you paying a high interest rate on your credit card or cards? Contact your credit card company or companies and ask them to lower it. They won’t offer to do it, but if you have a history of making your credit card payments on time and for at least the minimum payment required, pick up the phone and call. It’s really quite possible they’ll agree to lower your current interest rate.

Remember: if you don’t ask, the answer is always no. Call your credit card company and ask.

Audit your expenses for 30-days

To really get a handle on your cash flow, you need to take a close look at what exactly you’re spending money on. From fixed expenses like car payments to variable expenses like groceries and entertainment, take the time to log them every day for one month. Keeping track this way is easy enough to do with an Excel spreadsheet, a Google sheet, even a notepad and pen. Of course, you can also use your banking app or one like YNAB (You Need a Budget), which is terrific for IOS users, and 1Money, which is growing in popularity among Android users.

At the end of the 30-days, you’ll see what you’re spending money on, how much, and where you could cut back.

We know one woman who suspected she had an office supply “addiction,” so to speak. After tracking spending for 30 days, she realized she’d spent $212 on Sharpie pens, pretty folders, and notebooks she absolutely did not need. We’re pleased to report that it took her a whole minute to recover. 

Switch cell phone carriers

If you’re using one of the pricy wireless providers – Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile – you could save yourself a bundle by switching to Life Wireless. 

Get free wireless with Life Wireless

Life Wireless offers government subsidized cellular services through the Affordable Connectivity Program to qualifying individuals and families.

If you’re unemployed or participate in a government benefit program such as SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, or WIC, you already qualify for this Federally funded free cellular service. As a participant, you receive the following, free, each month: Unlimited talk, text and data, and a free smartphone or you can bring your own.

Even if you’re paying just $20 a month for cell service, wouldn’t you rather have that $240 to put toward your emergency fund or pay down debt? It takes just a few minutes to complete the application. Do so now, and you could be cutting your monthly cell phone bill to nothing in no time.

Plus, if you’re approved for Life Wireless/Lifeline Assistance Program and sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), you get two sources of free talk, text, and unlimited data that you can split between two phones. That means free cell service for you and free cell service for someone you love. If your child has been asking for a cell phone, this is a terrific opportunity to provide him or her with talk, text, unlimited data and the ability to stay in touch with you!

Of course you don’t have to split the service between two phones, you can keep it all on one. But it’s a wonderful option if your spouse, child or relative needs a phone – and who doesn’t? – but has been unable to get one due to the expense.

Whichever option you choose – to keep the data on one phone or split it between two – Life Wireless will make sure you receive the free talk, text, and unlimited data to help you stay connected.

Option 1: Combine Your Data

Activate Lifeline and ACP on the same device and receive unlimited talk, text, and data, plus 5GB of mobile hotspot.

Option 2: Split Your Data
Split your data between two phones or supported devices and you’ll have one device with ACP’s free talk, text, and 6GB of data and a second device with Lifeline’s talk, text, and 4.5GB of data (6GB of data in California).

Keep more of your hard-earned money with Life Wireless. Start now!

What our customers are saying:

“Without this phone I would be lost. It has helped me stay in contact with my daughter’s specialist. I schedule her appointments and they can call back if there are any complications with her results. Thank you, Life Wireless.” Amanda Z., PA


Posted 1 year ago