If you feel as though you spend way too much on everyday expenses, you’re not alone. While your salary or pension remains static, your cost of living goes up every year.
As high as the prices for many everyday items have become, though, the fact is that most people have more power than they think when it comes to getting their expenses under control.
Sometimes, an expense that you think of as simply part of your cost to live is actually an indulgence that you’ve allowed to become a recurring expense – and most indulgences are easy to replace with less expensive alternatives.
These are just a few of the best ways to save money on everyday expenses.
This one is probably obvious to you, but it bears mentioning anyway that if you smoke cigarettes, you’re spending upwards of $2,000 per year – and potentially a lot more than that – on a product that brings you no benefit and may even kill you. Your best bet is to quit using nicotine completely, but if you can’t do that, buying an e-cigarette from a company like V2 Cigs UK is the next best option. E-cigarettes are just as satisfying as tobacco cigarettes. They’re also much, much cheaper – not to mention much tastier.
Get a Good Water Filter
Do you think that America’s most popular bottled beverage is soda? How about beer? Nope – it’s water. In an absolute triumph of marketing, Americans spend $18.5 billion per year on bottled water – and most of what they’re buying is nothing but filtered municipal water. If you buy bottled water, you’re paying a 4,000 percent markup on something that comes out of your tap for cheap or free.
Yes; bottled water tastes much better than the tap water available in many areas – but you can get exactly the same result at a dramatically lower monthly cost with a good water filter. Bottled water is one of the largest unnecessary expenses in many American households.
Don’t Double-Pay for TV, Phone or Internet Services
When you consider whether you’re actually getting your money’s worth from your monthly bills, your TV, phone and Internet services should be the first place where you look. Are you paying for broadband Internet, cable TV, and home phone service – and a mobile phone service with unlimited data? If that’s the case, you’re essentially paying for every service twice. Here are just a few examples of how you can reduce your monthly expenses for media, data, and communication.
- You can discontinue your home phone service and use your mobile phone instead.
- You can discontinue your cable TV service and stream video content online instead.
- You can discontinue your broadband Internet service and use the unlimited data on your mobile phone instead.
Buy Household Necessities in Bulk
Shelf-stable foods and general merchandise are where many supermarkets earn the bulk of their profits. Since those products don’t spoil, supermarkets can price them higher and let them sit on the shelves until they sell. Every time you buy a box of aluminum foil or a container of laundry detergent from a supermarket, you’re paying a huge markup for a product that you could get in a much larger package – probably for the same price – from a big box store like Costco. Here are just a few of the other household necessities that you can buy for much less if you buy in bulk.
- Paper products
- Cooking oil
- Dish soap
- Water filters
- Canned goods
Big box stores also often have great deals on fresh produce, meat, seafood and bakery products. Plan your meals for the week before you shop to ensure that nothing spoils before you have a chance to use it.
Buy the Coffee Maker of Your Dreams
Buying a $5 cup of joe from your favorite coffee chain might be an enjoyable part of your morning ritual, but it’s also an expense that really adds up over time. A coffee expense of $5 per day may not seem like much, but that’s more than $1,000 per year if you buy coffee five days a week. If you think that the chains make the best coffee, it’s only because you have a low-quality coffee maker and are buying canned coffee that was ground several months ago. Buy a good coffee maker with a built-in grinder. You’ll love the coffee, and your investment will pay for itself in just a few months.
Insulate Your Hot Water Heater and Pipes
If you live in an area that gets cold during the winter, your water heater is the source of a significant portion of your monthly power usage. You can reduce your power bill by lowering your water heater’s temperature, of course, but you can save even more by insulating your water heater to prevent the heat from escaping into the air. Put an insulation blanket around your water heater to keep the heat inside. It’s also a good idea to insulate your hot water pipes.
More Your Credit Card Debt to a 0-Percent Interest Card
If you follow the tips in this article, you’re going to find it much easier to pay for your everyday expenses in cash rather than incurring credit card debt. Incurring less new debt means that you can finally start to pay your balances off – and that’s a good thing because interest is a monthly expense that gives you absolutely nothing in return. To pay your credit card balances down more quickly, transfer the balances to a card with a 0-percent introductory rate for transfers.
If you have a balance of $5,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 15 percent and pay $200 per month, it’ll take you 31 months to pay off the full balance. In the process, you’ll pay more than $1,032 in interest fees. With a balance transfer card, on the other hand, you’ll pay your balance off in just 27 months and will reduce your interest payments by more than $760.