Have you ever been in a place where you’re at a financial stand still? You know you need to make some changes but you’re not sure where to start? Sometimes the easiest place to start is by looking at what you’re already spending and making some cuts. So I compiled a list of some of the biggest money wasters that may be in your monthly expenses right now.
We are in a season where there’s no room for any extras. If it’s extra, it has to be cut for now. And I know there will be a season where we can add some of these back in. There’s also some that will never be added back because I know that saying yes to them means I have to say no to more important things and that’s not a price I’m willing to pay!
So pull up your bank statement and see what’s on there that falls under these categories. They’re all wants, not needs so it’s a great place to start cutting down your budget!
Your Daily Coffee/Tea/Smoothie/Whatever
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been with people complaining about money while sipping on their venti $7 frappaccino. I know because I used to be guilty of this. I started my daily starbucks habit the minute I learned to drive and from that day until I kicked my habit I figured out I spent over $10,000 on coffee and baked goods. It sounds really ridiculous even just seeing it written down. $10,000 down the drain. But you live and you learn right? Today is a new day and believe it or not coffee is in pretty much every grocery store! (gasp) And even more crazy is it’s pretty dang cheap if you make it yourself. Whatever that daily (or even weekly if you’re on a tight budget) habit is, it’s a want not a need so it’s totally cutable.
Savings= Approx. $150 a month
House cleaner and/or gardener
I’m so sorry if this is what you do for a living and you now hate me for telling people not to use your services but if you can’t afford it or you need something to cut to save for something more important, this is a totally unnecessary expense. At one point we had a house cleaner and I loved having her come over because when she left my house looked so dang clean and I felt on top of the world. But if you can’t fit it into your budget, just be ok with your house being cleaned by you and your family little bits at a time. Most of us don’t have time to clean our whole house from top to bottom all at once like a house cleaner would but it all gets clean at some point. Besides, we all know if you have people living in your house it gets messed up again within a matter of hours, sometimes minutes!
Savings= Approx. $150 a month
Restaurants and Takeout
If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know how I feel about this one. And when I chat with you all about money this is one of the biggest things we know we could do a better job at and yet, busy mom life gets in the way and we spend $30 on a pizza on a random Tuesday because we got busy with after school activities, and then we grab lunch out 5 days a week because it’s easier than bringing a lunch to work, and then of course we have to have date night and spend $60 on two meals and drinks and before you know it you’ve spent $200 in one week just on quick food. The struggle is real friends. I get that it seems easier, but as someone who has changed her take out ways, it’s really not any easier. In fact it’s harder because then you have no money left for the cool stuff you really want. So figure this out quick because you’re throwing away so much money if you don’t.
Savings= Approx. $1000 a month
Credit Card Interest
Let’s get the obvious “Don’t have credit card balances so you don’t have to pay interest” out of the way. That’s a given. However, if you have credit card debt and you’re working on getting it paid off as quickly as you can, did you know you can call the credit card company and ask them to lower your rate? They may not help, but it’s worth asking because if they do you can get the card paid off faster and waste less on interest. Here’s some tips on how to do this from CreditCards.com
Now please don’t go and try to cut your own hair. I would never suggest that unless you know what the heck you’re doing. But boys need more frequent trips to the barber and it adds up. There are so many youtube tutorials on how to cut boys hair so invest in some clippers and start doing them yourself. We save ourselves about $40 per month by having me cut my husband’s hair and my son’s hair. Does it look perfect? No, but it’s close enough and frees up $40 every month for our goals so it’s worth it to us! These are the clippers we use in case you’re looking for a good starter set.
Savings= Approx. $20 a month per person
Whether it’s an expensive cable package, date nights, kids activities, or whatever you do to occupy yourself these expenses add up really quickly but it’s an easy fix. Well I guess not easy, but simple. I know first hand how expensive it can get keeping little ones busy if you’re not selective with the activities you’re doing with them. And date nights? As if dinner and a movie wasn’t enough, when you add in a babysitter it’s more than most people can afford. So look up free things you can do together as a couple or as a family. And when it comes to babysitting, swap with a friend so you can have free babysitting when it’s your turn for a date night. Don’t get rid of date nights all together because datenights are cheaper than divorce my friends. Think about that for a second. But seriously, get creative and find frugal ways to spend time together that won’t break the bank.
Savings= Approx. $500 per month
So how did you do? Have you already cut these things? If you have, and you’re still struggling financially I would bet that what you have is an income problem, not a spending problem.
What else have you cut to save money? I’d love some more ideas!