The average American household has nearly $140,000 in debt. As you can imagine, many of those families are looking for ways to cut costs without cutting corners. However, this isn’t always as easy as it seems. The key is to making incremental changes, rather than expecting to save hundreds overnight.
As you start to trim some unnecessary costs, it helps to have budgeting apps to help you manage your efforts. With budgeting apps, you can track your savings progress from month to month, and link your card to learn more about your dollar-for-dollar spending habits. With that in mind, here are six ways you can save money by trimming unnecessary costs. As you’ll learn, these small costs can quickly add up.
Pool Subscription Services
In today’s tech-centric world, there are hundreds of online subscriptions that help you streamline your everyday life and stay entertained. These include video subscription services like Hulu and Netflix, shopping subscriptions like Amazon Prime, and subscription boxes like BirchBox and Dollar Shave Club. A unique way of trimming dollars is to pool all your subscription services with a group of friends or family members. In this arrangement, each person is responsible handling an account, and the groups shares login information.
Pack Your Lunches
Your daily food costs will lower significantly if you eliminate purchasing lunch on your work breaks. One study found that the average American spends $3,000 annually on purchasing lunches—a cost that can be greatly reduced by packing your own. By packing lunches, you can save $100 per month, or even more. To help encourage you to pack, there are a few things you can do. For example, try making your dinner with larger portions so you can have easy leftover the next day.
Use The Right Type of Hosting
By September 2014, the Web officially hosted 1 billion websites. Today, everyone from business owners to musicians to newly-engaged couples launch websites for a variety of reasons. However, there are multiple types of website hosting, which is necessary to have a website. Some people hear about the benefits of dedicated servers, for example, and think that they need to have it. However, if your website is getting hundreds of thousands of visits, there’s no need, and you could save plenty of money by downgrading to shared hosting for a fraction of the price.
Use a Smart Thermostat
There are several smart thermostats on the market that you can take advantage of. These smart thermostats allow users to manage their home temperature remotely, ensuring that you aren’t wasting unnecessary money to keep your home warm or call. For example, if you have a long work day, you might turn off the heat before you leave the house, and turn it back on from your remote location an hour or two before you return. Over time, this can help you save significantly on electric bills.
Reduce Your Phone Bill
If you’ve had the same cell phone provider for quite a while, you could be missing out on some savings. It’s safe to assume that if you’re fed up with the cost of your plan, you’ve probably put some time in with your current carrier, and may be nearing the end of your contract. In this case, you can call up your provider and let them know that you’re looking to trim your phone bill to see what alternatives are available for you. You might find that some features you’re currently paying for aren’t really being used, and they can be eliminated to save money.
You should also consider no-contract options like MetroPCS, which offers flat-rate monthly bills for as low as $30 per month. However, keep in mind that if you go contract-less, you’ll likely have to pay for the cost of the phone outright. You should check sites like eBay for refurbished phones that work with the carrier you’re considering. Before you make any commitments, use OpenSignal to determine whether your area is covered well by the provider you’re considering.
Avoid the Convenience Store
A convenience store may seem convenient, but it isn’t for your budget. In fact, popular household foods at the convenience stores can cost up to 45% more. Rather than purchase there, you should work to avoid it and focus on timing your grocery store runs so that you have everything you need and won’t feel forced to go to the nearest shop. Keep a recurring grocery list saved with a grocery store app to help you manage your grocery store runs better.