Do you seriously need to cut back monthly expenses? Every time you look at your budget, you wonder where all your money went. It seems that you barely make it to the next paycheck…that there just isn’t enough cash to stretch from week to week.
If this sounds like you, you need this list! It’s some of the most common – and most money wasting – expenses you may find in your budget. Take a look at the list below and see where you can make cuts!
12 Household Expenses to Eliminate to Cut Back Monthly Expenses
1. Bottled Water
I used to be guilty of spending money on bottled water at the supermarket every week. I thought it would help me stay hydrated each day. Really, all it was doing was shrinking my bank account! Now, I have a couple of refillable water bottles from Amazon that I fill up and place in the fridge every night before bed.
2. Starbucks Coffee
There are many people that have made store-bought coffee a permanent staple to their morning commute. However, it also equals $20 each week that you are tossed out the door. That’s about $1,000 in a year! I would much rather have that money for an emergency fund. The solution is to make coffee before you leave home each morning. Grab an insulated travel mug if you need to take it with you and cut back monthly expenses.
3. Cable TV
In this day and age, there are some many different forms of entertainment available that you don’t have to pay for cable in order to eliminate boredom. Break up with the cable cord (or satellite dish) and switch to a cheaper alternative. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Prime all offer much more value than a $100+ monthly cable bill…at a fraction of the price.
4. Landline Telephone
With most people having cell phones, and DSL being a thing of the past, most homes can cut out the expenses of having a landline phone. We use our cell phones for 98% of our phone calls, so it was pointless to keep paying for a landline number that just collected voicemails on the machine!
5. Gym Membership
I won’t lie, it’s nice to have a place to workout…but if you are trying cut back monthly expenses, a gym membership should be the first to go. There are many ways you can still lose weight or get healthy without going to the gym. Buy a couple workout DVDs, or just meet a friend at the park for a jog. My husband has bought a lot of weights over the years to negate the need for the gym.
6. Physical Books
Again, another thing of the past! Hardcover books were hard for me to give up. I like the feel of the cover and pages, and the sense of completion once I’ve closed the book. However, not only do books reduce my bank account, they also reduce the free space in our home! Now, I use the Amazon Kindle app on my phone to read or visit the library if Amazon has a book that’s too expensive for my taste.
7. Magazine Subscriptions
Magazines may have been the easiest unnecessary household expenses for us to let go of. I simply wasn’t reading them once I had kids. I’d rather hope on Pinterest for a recipe or design idea, and my favorite blogs have more than enough stories for me to read. Magazines would sit in a basket in the living room for months after they arrived in the mail, making them pointless to continue buying.
8. Garbage Pickup
We are lucky to have free garbage pickup because we live in the city now. However, it has never been something I would pay for. It’s convenient, sure, but it’s much cheaper to haul off the garbage bags yourself. I remember my grandfather paying $50/month ($600 per year) just to have someone pick up his trash from the road – crazy!
9. Cleaning Products
Most of the cleaning products you can buy are harmful for your family and pets, so avoid them to save some money and keep everyone safe. Two everyday household cleaners you can invest in instead…baking soda and white vinegar. Both work as cleaning agents, and there are a number of cleaning recipes you can use to create products to remove stains, mildew, and more!
10. Late Fees
This is an easy household expense to eliminate – just pay your bills on time! In order to avoid wasting money on late fees, it’s important that you budget your money each month and send in payments, or schedule them online, in time for the date they are due. Also, make sure you always return library books and Redbox movies before they are due to avoid those kinds of unnecessary fees too.
11. Storage Unit
If you aren’t currently moving, letting go of a storage unit is a great way to cut back monthly expenses. Take everything out of it that will fit in your home. The rest needs to go! Have a garage sale or make a donation to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
12. Unused Memberships
Take a look at your bank account and credit card statements. Evaluate all of the monthly fees you pay for miscellaneous services or products. If you haven’t used something you are paying for in the last two months, it needs to go! We recently did this with my business bank account. It’s crazy the forum memberships and monthly fees for tools I was paying for but haven’t used in months!
You must be willing to eliminate costs in order to cut back monthly expenses. Keep a close watch on your month and get rid of things that are not essential!