Times are tough for a lot of people. Unemployment and underemployment are prevalent problems for a lot of people these days. As the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, people are finding themselves in some dire financial straits.
Even if you are working full-time and seem secure in your job, it is always a good idea to prepare for the worst when the economy shows signs of weakness. Which is why it is so important to be frugal and look for ways to save money.
The first place to look to save is with unnecessary spending. There is surely a lot of waste that can be cut from your monthly spending by eating out less and curbing your consumption in general.
There are opportunities for savings even among your monthly expenses, however. Though these figures may seem fixed every month, there are ways to cut them down so you can save money. In this article, we will go over several ways that you can reduce your monthly expenses and keep more money in your wallet.
1. Cut your tax bill
Some people don’t really think of taxes as an expense. Even fewer realize that you can cut your tax bill down to a reasonable size with a few simple tweaks.
For instance, if you often end up getting a tax bill after filing instead of a return then you are likely not having enough money withheld from your paycheck. Revise your W-4 that you give to your employer to instruct them to withhold a bit more so you aren’t socked with a big bill next year.
You can also put money into things like IRAs so you can reduce the amount of taxable income that you have. Yes, the money has to be put away and can’t be used now, but in the long run it saves you money while also making you money over the years.
If you are in financial trouble and can’t pay the money that you owe, then contact some tax relief services and find out if they can help you reduce how much you owe to the IRS.
2. Cut your car expenses
Transportation is one of our biggest expenses after housing. There are a lot of ways to save money on cars. If you are making car loan payments then you should look into getting rid of your car and buying something used that doesn’t involve paying a loan.
Even though you may end up paying money for some repairs or to get the car in good shape after buying it, you will likely save money anyway as loans can be expensive. You’ll also save money on your car insurance as older cars cost less to insure.
You can also save money on your car insurance, even if you stick with the car that you have just by shopping around for the cheapest insurance available. Many companies have many different ways of calculating their rates. Call around and get some quotes as you will probably find one that charges less for the same coverage. You can also make sure that you are not over insured and go with a smaller policy to save money.
Gas prices seem to only be going up these days so try to cut back on how much you drive to save. Carpooling with colleagues is a great way to cut back on how much you drive. And be mindful of short trips in the car. Often, you can go by bike and save gas. Also, making sure that your tires are properly full so they don’t have you spending more on gas for something so menial.
3. Eat more whole foods
Grocery bills can get very high if you are not careful. Saving money on groceries, therefore, is an important step towards better personal financial management. One way to make sure that you are not overspending is to skip the processed food aisle at the grocery store. Packaged foods cost more per calorie than buying the ingredients you need to make food yourself.
When you buy flour and make your own bread you are saving up to a dollar per loaf. This can easily amount to $30 per month just on the savings from bread alone. Get yourself a bread machine and have fresh bread baked every day with almost no effort.
When you cook yourself you can also buy in bulk instead of getting packaged foods. Rice, grains and beans can all be bought by weight so you can save a lot of money there, as well. If you eat more beans and grains you will also have less need to eat as much meat and can save money there.
Cooking from scratch does take time, but if you plan your time well then it won’t seem so bad. And cooking from scratch will also end up saving you money on health expenses as your health will improve dramatically.
4. Get handy
If you are a homeowner then you surely know how expensive it is to have somebody come out to your home to fix things that are not working. Just to have a plumber come and give an estimate will cost you over $100 in most areas.
By learning how to do a lot of small jobs yourself you will save a lot of money in home maintenance. Replacing a toilet that has gone bad, repairing the railing of your stairs or some loose boards on your deck can save a considerable amount of money every year.
And, in the process you can feel really good about yourself for being self reliant and learning something new. Saving money feels good, but saving money and making something work in the process is even better.
To learn how to do these things, look into some adult learning centers near you as they often have instructors giving classes on things like home plumbing and easy woodworking. Otherwise, check out some Youtube videos as there are a lot of people on there sharing their knowledge so you can do things yourself.
Cutting expenses is a key step to improve your personal finance. But it is not the only way. After reducing spending, you may also want to look at increasing your income through a raise, a change in job, or a side hustle, like using these money-making apps to earn PayPal money instantly!