Just Stop—11 Ways to Cut Expenses from Your Budget Today
Want to drastically decrease your household’s overhead costs? When you cut expenses, you free up cash in other areas. Here are 11 things we bet you could do without:
Cable. If you haven’t broken up with cable yet, what are you waiting for? Did you know that the average cost of cable has increased by nearly 40% in just the last 5 years? One research group found that it costs roughly $100 dollars a month for this utility. In the day of Netflix and Hulu, which cost 1/10th the price at around $10 a month, why is anyone still paying for cable?
Water bottles. They’re not only bad for the environment, but these little plastic 20-ouncers aren’t good for your wallet, either. A one-time purchase of a glass or metal reusable bottle will cost you about $20, whereas using a plastic bottle every day for a year is going to cost a whopping $550 on average! The next time you’re tempted to pick up a bulking square of plastic bottles, grab a reusable option instead.
Drying. Did you know that your dryer is the single most expensive appliance to run in the home? While we don’t advise you to drag yours to the curb in hopes of saving money, we do recommend using it less often and watching your utility bill go down. Instead, invest in a wooden clothes-drying rack for indoors and hang a clothesline outside. Once clothing and linens are dry, you can toss them on cool for pennies to release the wrinkles.
Paper towels. Another repeat offender in terms of landfills, the one-time-use paper towel is easily and cheaply replaced with alternatives that can be used over and over and over again. Look for a stack of plain white cotton washcloths, flour sacks from the grocery store, or even replace worn out towels, cutting them down to a hand-size option that will be even better than paper towel at absorbing liquids and wiping away messes.
Printer cartridges. If you have a home office, chances are you’re constantly tossing old cartridges in the trash. While it takes a little more patience and time, you can buy printer ink in bulk for much less and refill your cartridges yourself, saving tons with each fill-up.
Hair cuts. The average woman spends $53 per haircut. Depending on how often you go to the salon, you could be looking at an upwards of $400 a year on your hair alone, When you start adding multiple kids in there, you’re looking at literally thousands of dollars every year going toward keeping your ends trimmed. You can prolong visits to the salon by investing in a good pair of hair scissors and trimming in between visits.
Dryer sheets. First off, dryer sheets are full of chemicals that not only attach to your clothes, but also become airborne and are dispersed throughout the house. Plus, they are expensive. Instead of dryer sheets, opt for a cheaper, healthier alternative, such as apple cider vinegar.
Coffee stops. Coffee can be a daily expense that drains your finances. For instance, the average fill-up at a shop is $5 (not even taking gas and tips into consideration). If you do this, let’s say, 4 times a week, it adds up to over $1,000 a year for a caffeine kick! Start making your coffee at home and taking it with you instead. This will save you tons of money, as well as the time and gas it takes to get to your favorite barista.
Landline. While most people aren’t using these bad boys anymore, some houses still have them, and for almost no reason. Since everyone nowadays is connected through a cellular device, a landline has simply become a monthly expense that has stopped collecting messages and now, instead, collects dust.
Transportation. This one is huge. Want to save on one of your most expensive items? Consider downsizing your transportation needs. You can look into carpooling into work and going down to one vehicle per household, or bicycling to and fro and selling the old grocery-getter altogether. This will save you gas money, maintenance costs, parking fees, oil changes, and insurance, to name a few.
What are some of the drastic cuts your family has made in order to decrease your overhead? If you’re serious about getting your finances on track, consider some of these and work your way up to bigger options.
 Heisler, Y. (2015). The average cable bill has increased by nearly 40% in 5 years. Accessed May 2, 2016. Retrieved from http://bgr.com/2015/09/09/cable-tv-bill-price-100/.