Now that spring is here, it’s time to take a look at your budget and see some ways that you can cut down on how much you are spending, on a month by month basis. If you don’t already have a budget, then make one! If you do, then pull it out and take a look at some simple ways you can cut down on the money you routinely spend…
Use Public Transit (or Other Methods to Drive Less)
Cutting down transportation costs is one of the best and quickest ways to lower your monthly expenses significantly. If your area has sufficient public transportation to get you where you need to go, don’t hesitate to use it. You’ll be surprised at the fortune you save on gas.
Again, anything you can do to cut down on transportation costs will make a huge difference. Another option you have is to ride a bike. Making a bike your primary mode of transportation will also be good for the environment and improve your health. If you’re looking to cycle to work, but don’t have the budget for a brand new bike, check the inventory at secondhand stores and check yard sales too.
Get Rid of Unused Gym Memberships
Cancel your gym membership and head to your local park to get the same workout for free. Use the natural layout of the park, trails, playground equipment, and benches to create a comprehensive workout routine. Not only will you save on gym membership fees, but you will also enjoy some time in the sun.
Cut Back on Subscriptions
Whether it’s the newspaper, magazines, or even an internet streaming service like Netflix, subscriptions are usually things you can easily live without. If you’re really looking to cut monthly expenses this summer, cut all subscriptions and spend more time outdoors.
Be a Smart Driver
You’d be surprised at how much money you can save merely by changing some simple driving habits. Let up on the gas pedal just a little when accelerating, cut down on speeding, and try walking to destinations that are reasonably close. Even if you can’t completely live without a car, chances are you can whittle down your gas expenses significantly.
Eat Less Meat
It may be difficult to BBQ less and cut down on the number of steaks you grill this summer, but the fact is meat is expensive. Take the opportunity to learn some new recipes and cook some refreshing vegetarian dishes. If you grow a garden, you can use your own vegetables and save even more on meals than you ever thought possible.
Partake in Free Events
Summer is a great time to get out into the action of your hometown. If you’re looking for some budget-friendly excitement to mix up your summer, go to a free concert or local outdoor event. Taking advantage of these seasonal events may provide your family with a free or inexpensive experience that would normally cost a lot more to enjoy.
Update to LED Lightbulbs
LED lightbulbs are becoming a popular alternative light source in contemporary homes. Not only do they last longer than traditional light bulbs, they are also more energy efficient, more versatile, and completely silent. Switching over to LED lightbulbs will cost some money upfront, but will prove to be a saving investment in the long run.
Unplug Unused Electronics
It may be a task so simple that it never crossed your mind. Or, it may seem so menial that you haven’t actually gone through with it. Either way, now is the time to try it out. Unplugging all electrical devices you aren’t currently using them can save significantly on monthly electric expenses.
Ask About Loan Modifications
If loan payments are becoming more than you can handle from month to month, you might want to look into getting a loan modification. Making a permanent change in one or more items on your loan can be a huge help in giving you some leeway on your monthly budget. Not to mention your loan payments will feel less daunting.
Do Specific Chores Yourself
For some chores, you may be tempted to use a professional service, but you can save hundreds of dollars just by doing it yourself. For example: lawn mowing! Use a non-electric push mower and turn a boring activity into a time of connection with the outdoors. Mowing with a push mower will save you the money you would have otherwise spent on gas for an electric one.
Another example is car washes. Now that the weather is warming up, it is the perfect time to wash the car in your own driveway and complete a chore while having some family fun too. Grab some cleaning supplies and head to the driveway when the heat of the summer strikes.