Do you feel like it is impossible to get ahead with your finances? The problem may be that you are paying a lot more than you should be each month on necessary expenditures. These expenditures could include your housing, food, utilities, and insurance. Recurring expenses tend to consume the bulk of your budget, making it difficult to set aside money for your savings and retirement. However, there are actually many ways you can trim these costs down, leaving you with more money each month to invest in your future. Here are 5 ways where you can cut costs and have more money each month.
1) Change How You Buy Groceries
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a family of four spends an average of $1,300 a month on food for the home. This can take a huge chunk out of your monthly budget. A great way to reduce these costs is to stock up on nonperishable items and frozen foods when they are on sale rather than buying just what you need for the week. After buying items on sale and building a stockpile of these goods, you can plan your weekly meals based on the items you have and what perishable items are on sale at the supermarket that week. TheGroceryGame.com members report savings of $523 a month for a family of four by stockpiling sale items and using coupons.
2) Reduce Credit Card Payments
You can dramatically decrease the amount you pay each month on credit card payments by taking advantage of a 0% balance transfer offer. You will need a credit score of at least 680 to qualify, but if you qualify the savings are incredible. For many credit cards, the interest rate is around 20%, so by transferring a $10,000 credit card balance over to 0% rate, you could be saving around $160 a month! Check to see how much you could save by transferring your balance here.
3) Eliminate Your Landline
Nowadays almost everybody has a personal cell phone which allows you to be accessed essentially anytime and anywhere. As cell phones have grown in popularity, many people have decided to abandon their landline service, and for good reason. According to the Labor Department’s most-recent Consumer Expenditure Survey, consumers spend an average of $357 a year on residential phone service. You could save as much as $30 a month by dropping your landline and joining the 45% of the population who use wireless phones only.
4) Adjust Your Tax Withholdings
The average tax refund is about $3,000. This is a sustainable amount of money that you could be receiving in your monthly paycheck instead of a payment at the end of the year. While there is nothing wrong with a large payment each spring, you can establish a more effective saving strategy if that income is distributed throughout the year. In order to do this you will need to file a new W-4 form with your employer and claim more allowances. The more you claim, the less tax is withheld.
5) Cut Your Electric Bill
A great way to lower your heating and cooling costs is to install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in your house. It is possible to see savings of around $180 a year ($15 a month) in energy costs by using a programmable thermostat. In addition, you can save money by unplugging devices that use electricity even when they are turned off. These devices, which account for as much as 20% of your electric bill, includes things such as cable boxes, televisions, DVD players, computers, modems, stereos and more.
By applying some of these tips hopefully you will begin to see some dramatic changes in how much money you have each month. A few hundred dollars a month can go a long way when it comes to saving for your future. If you want to learn more about how to save money each month check out GoBankingRates.com.