If you’re sick of living paycheck to paycheck and not having savings, you may need to manage your expenditures better. Here are some ways to do that so you can save more money in the long run.
In this article:
- Save First, Then Spend
- Use Credit Cards Wisely
- Bring Food and Drinks from Home
- Cut the (Cable) Cord
- Get a Cheaper Phone Plan
- Quality Over Quantity
- Prevent Bank Fee Shock
- Save on Your Bills
- Ease Your Entertainment Expenditures
Expenditure Management: 9 Ways to Save More Money
1. Save First, Then Spend
Every time you get your paycheck, get 20% of the amount you get after taxes and set this aside to your savings account immediately. This won’t leave you scrambling for savings until the next payday.
2. Use Credit Cards Wisely
Credit cards can be a great tool to manage expenditures when used properly. It’s an easy way to build your credit score, which can get you lower rates for rent, mortgage, and other types of long-term loans.
- Don’t treat your credit limit as “extra cash” and stop spending on unnecessary items.
- Make sure you pay off your balance every month so you don’t end up paying interest. Do this if you don’t want to start a mountain of debt.
- Use only one credit card with a limit you can handle.
- Plan any big purchases accordingly and pay them off as soon as you receive your bill.
- Call your credit card provider and negotiate for an annual fee waiver.
3. Bring Food and Drinks from Home
Eating out every lunch break can pile up your dining expenses. You can save more money and be more mindful of what you eat if you make your own meals at home.
Here are some things you can do to maximize the amount of money you save when prepping your meals:
- Throw a bunch of meat and vegetables in a slow cooker and have yourself a week’s worth of meals.
- Only buy enough food that you don’t have to throw anything away.
- Choose your grocery’s in-house brands whenever possible.
- Don’t forget your morning lattes – get a French Press or coffee maker and learn how to brew your own coffee. You skip the lines, save the environment, and your wallet will thank you later.
- Trade microwave dinners and canned food for their fresh and healthier counterparts.
4. Cut the (Cable) Cord
You’re probably not watching all those channels your cable TV provides. Cutting out cable can save you expenditures as much as $75 per month.
- Check out various streaming platforms, like Netflix and Hulu, to see if you can get your TV and movie fix from there.
- If it so happens that one of your favorite shows is exclusive to one streaming platform outside of your main one, see if you can share an account with a friend or family member to save costs.
5. Get a Cheaper Phone Plan
Don’t pay more data than you need. Here are some tips to consider when shopping around to get the best phone plan deals:
- Switch to a prepaid plan or a limited data plan if you’re mostly going to places with Wi-Fi access.
- Check out the smaller carriers as most of them piggyback on the big carriers without you having to pay high carrier prices.
- Shop around and try buying your phone unlocked. In this way, you can decide how much you’ll pay monthly rather than paying a fixed price for a certain number of months or years.
- Look for a contract with no lock-in period so you can switch to another provider if a cheaper deal comes around.
6. Quality Over Quantity
Sometimes, investing a bit more on quality items can save you money in the long run. These items can last a while, so you can avoid having to buy replacements all the time.
- Shoes: Spending a bit more on a quality pair can spell the difference between a comfortable, durable pair and a painful or poorly-made one you have to replace every few months.
- Mattresses: A quality mattress can help you sleep better and avoid back pain. It’s also one of the things you absolutely must buy brand new.
- Kitchen Knives: Good knives can make or break your cooking experience. Quality knives stay sharp for longer periods and have a better grip to avoid slipping and accidents.
- Your Computer: Buy the best computer you can afford, especially if your livelihood depends on it.
A rule of thumb is to spend where you spend the most time in, then spend less on the rest. This allows you to focus on things that add value to you.
7. Prevent Bank Fee Shock
Bank fees can shock you and send you to overdraft quickly. The good news is, there are some things you can do to avoid this:
- Sign up for bank account alerts, so you know when money gets added to or deducted from your account.
- Only use the ATM for your bank, so you don’t pay out-of-network fees for other banks.
- Maintain your minimum balance.
8. Save on Your Bills
Utilities are another thing where you can save a few expenditures here and there.
- Set up automated payment on your bills.
- Shop around for promo rates on your Internet connection.
- Turn down your heating a few degrees during cold months and your air conditioning during the hot months.
- Use cold water to wash your clothes.
- Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use.
- Upgrade your appliances when you can afford them. Many newer appliances have energy-saving features.
9. Ease Your Entertainment Expenditures
Yes, you can have a great time without going broke. Here’s how to do just that:
- Get a library card and frequent your local library. There, you can access books and videos for free.
- Look for local concerts and events you can attend for free or for cheap.
- Shop for used electronic gadgets or wait for deals to crop up during specials like Black Friday.
- Check your credit card rewards packet if you can find deals on travel accommodation.
- Subscribe to a music streaming service to listen to songs without having to purchase them.
- Travel during the off-season to get lower rates on airfare, accommodation, and attractions.
Now that you’ve managed your expenditures and cut corners here and there, you may have a lot of savings stacked up. You can now set this aside to your savings account and watch it grow.
This helps you stick to your goals and may even inspire you to save more and live within or even below your means. Live well, spend less.
How do you manage your expenditures? Share your tips in the comments section below.