7 Things you can do today to cut expenses

I find that I am constantly evaluating my expenses to see where I can cut back. Cutting expenses is a lot easier than trying to increase your income. I am a firm believer in the saying "It is not how much you make but what you keep." Someone earning $30,000 per year and saves $3,000 is a lot better off than someone earning $100,000 and saving $0. Living under your means will allow you to save money.

I have compiled a list of things people can do to cut expenses now. This is handy for those starting to budget or having to reduce a budget due to a job loss or income reduction. Examine your expenses and see if you can do any of the following:

  • Take your lunch to work: I am guilty here. I go to lunch very often but can justify based on sanity terms. I work in IT and am on the phone all day. I need to get out for a bit to remain sane! I do plan to start bringing lunch and still leave for a break, though.
  • Cancel the land line phone: If you have a cell phone you can do this. I have heard the argument that you may have a home security system. Most of these now work with a cell phone antenna that can be added onto your system. This can save you, on average, $40 per month which is $480 per year! If you really need the land line switch to Magic Jack.
  • Make your own coffee! Even though we are currently in bad economic times I still see some fairly long lines at Starbucks each morning on my way to work. $3 for coffee 5 days a week saves $780 per year!
  • Maintain your car: This can (potentially) be a big one. I asked my dad, a mechanic, what could be done to save money. He recommends keeping your tires inflated properly, changing the oil on the correct schedule, and put the minimum gas octane that your manual states. This will ensure smooth running and better gas mileage!
  • Shop around for insurance: I wrote an entire post on saving money on insurance here. Premiums vary from company to company so it definitely pays to shop around! Even if you save $10 per month it is worth your time.
  • Use Coupons! I highly recommend reading Coupon Cravings daily as they have some really good deals and save on food and health items in particular. It takes almost not time and they have done the coupon searching for you!
  • Check your bank and credit card fees: Be sure to close and change your accounts so that you don't pay needless annual fees or monthly service charges. Change banks or to a credit card (with the same company) that does not carry an annual fee to save today!
All of the above items will cut any budget fast! You have to focus on the expenses that you can control easily and get them as low as possible without sacrificing quality of life or health. I am sure we all can do at least one of these today and begin reducing expenses. Including me!