Ways to cut costs every month in 2020
Cutting spending can be easy and saving money can be fun. It just depends on how you go about it. You cannot easily cut all costs like groceries, rent, and utilities; but you could cut other costs. Making this process fun not only helps you spend less, but if you have kids, it can also teach them about money. This can help foster great spending habits and better personal finance management later in their life.
Today we have some easy ways you can save money every month this new year! Comment below if you have more ideas on how to save.
Go cash only
Keep paying your monthly bills the same way you have been, but use cash to pay for your day-to-day expenses. Studies show that when people pay with cash, they tend to spend less. They see and feel how much money they spend each time. Use cash to buy items like clothes, food, and entertainment. You will start noticing where you can spend less. As you save money, you can actually see and feel what you have saved. Turn it into a race to see how quickly you can make your bank account grow. At the end of the month, deposit the excess cash.
There you go
You are about to buy the cutest dress you have ever seen, but you stop and look at the price first. The dress is $20. Before taking it to the register, think about this situation for a moment: Your best friend runs up to you and says, “I have a gift for you! Pick one.” In one hand she has the dress. In the other hand, she has $20 cash. Would you pick the dress, or the exact amount the dress costs in cash? If you still pick the dress, then you can rest assured knowing it is a good investment. If you would rather pick the cash in this scenario, then put the dress back on the rack since it is not worth the money. This rule can apply anywhere. Would you rather be given Netflix, or $9 every month? Would you rather have the box of popcorn at the movie, or $8 in your pocket? Thinking of what you are willing to pay for something can help cut un-needed costs.
Go with a list
Go to the grocery store with a list and a full stomach. We have all gone to the grocery store hungry. It is a great way to purchase way more food than you need. Going without a list often results in the same conclusion. You may come home with a whole cake, multiple frozen pizzas, enough buffalo wings for a whole football team, four family-sized bags of chips, a dozen donuts, and many regrets. Having a list not only saves money; it saves time. You can save time by making an effective trip through the store, rather than wandering around aimlessly. Consider turning this into a ‘beat the clock’ game by setting a quiet timer on your phone, and seeing if you can get in and out of the store in under 30 minutes. It may sound impossible to some, but if you have a list and are determined enough, you might be surprised how quickly you can race through the store.
Go on a diet
You can cut costs and calories at the same time! If you buy less food, and eat smaller portions, you can have more leftovers and more money. Most restaurant entrees actually include 2 meal portions placed onto a single large plate. The $10-$30 you spend on a meal at a restaurant can actually be broken up into two meals. Split your meal in two before you take your first bite. When the waiter stops by to ask how the food is a few minutes later, that is a great opportunity to ask for a to-go box. Enjoy your food by eating it slowly. You will start to notice how quickly you feel full.
Go 24 hours
Think over every purchase for at least 24 hours. If you want to buy a new pair of jeans, or a new TV, think it over for a full day before going back to the store. If you make a grocery list, think it over for 24 hours before going to the store. If in that time you decide you really want to purchase the item(s), you still can. Giving yourself 24 hours to think a purchase over really allows you to consider if you truly want to spend the money or not. This rule can also apply to going out for lunch or dinner. Cravings are common. Having the same craving for multiple days is rare. If you wait 24 hours before you go out to eat, you may realize you do not actually need chicken nuggets.
Nowhere to go
For one day: do not go anywhere, do not do anything, and do not buy anything. There are plenty of activities you can do at home for free. Need some inspiration? We have a whole list of family-fun activities here. It has everything from baking cookies, to building a fort and watching movies. This is a great way to spend a lazy Sunday once a month, but you will save even more money if you can do this twice a month.
Coupons are everywhere. Start couponing by cutting them out of the newspaper, searching online, or even signing-up with your favorite stores. Consider encouraging your young children to help you find and cut coupons. It is a great way to spend some quality time together. Some coupons will only save you a couple cents, but others will cut your bill in half. To avoid spam, you can create a new email address to use only for free sign-up offers. The next time you are in line at your favorite store, just open your new email account, and search through it for applicable offers.
Go to battle
Competition is always a good thing. Live with a roommate or spouse? Have a friendly competition and race to see who can save the most money. Keep two jars in a localized spot in the house, and deposit any spare change you find in your pockets at the end of the day. If you manage to save a few dollars here or there, add them to your jar. As time goes on you will both be able to see your savings grow. At the end of a month, see who was able to save the most amount of money. Winner does not have to wash dishes for a week. Be sure to deposit the money into your respective saving accounts.
These are all fun and easy ways that you can cut costs every week. By decreasing the number of impromptu purchases, you can save a few dollars each month. Just be sure to add those savings into some type of bank account! You will slowly be able to watch your savings grow with pride. Even if you don’t expect any big purchases any time soon, it is still a good idea to have at least a little bit of a savings for emergency expenses.