How to Cut Costs While Still Living Comfortably
By Brittany Fisher
Living within your means isn’t about feeling deprived. You don’t have to give up all the things you enjoy to get out of debt, squirrel some extra money away for retirement, or save up for your dream home. In fact, you might find that you can live better with less money. Cutting costs is all about downsizing and simplifying your life, which can open up time and mental energy for activities that make you feel truly fulfilled! Check out the following tips from Financially Well to help you trim the fat from your budget.
Reduce Your Housing Costs
Housing is a major unavoidable expense. Fortunately, you may have more control over your monthly housing costs than you realize. If you don’t want to move to a more affordable area or downsize into a smaller home, explore your mortgage refinancing options to reduce your monthly payments. Mortgage rates are currently low thanks to the pandemic, so this could be a great time to refinance.
There are many different options when it comes to refinancing your home. If you currently have an FHA loan and you want to reduce your monthly payments, consider refinancing to a conventional home loan with better rates and terms. Do your homework and find out if this move is right for you. You can learn more about FHA vs conventional home loans on financial websites like PennyMac.
Of course, the real estate market is constantly changing, so it’s always a good idea to talk to a professional before a major financial decision like this.
Learn How to Eat Well for Less
Food is another spending area where you can make some surprising cuts. We all know that dining out, ordering takeout, and grabbing fast food on the go is much more expensive than cooking at home. But it’s easy to waste money even when you’re cooking most of your own food. According to Rubicon Technologies, the average American family of four throws away $1,500 worth of food every year! Following a shopping plan, cooking leftovers into new dishes, buying generic brand products, and eating more seasonal, local-grown produce can help you save money, waste less food, and eat healthier too.
Cut Out Meaningless Expenses
How many mystery subscription charges do you see on your credit card statement every month? Surveys show that most people severely underestimate their spending on subscriptions. Believe it or not, the average consumer spends $273 per month on subscription services! Most of this money is going towards nice-to-have but non-essential services, including cloud storage sites, gaming subscriptions, meal delivery services, fitness apps, subscription boxes, eBook and audiobook services, and even dating apps. Take a good look at your subscriptions and cut out anything you don’t really need!
Shop Gently Used Items
You don’t have to cut all frivolous spending to trim the fat from your budget. By purchasing gently used items instead of their brand-new counterparts, you can still enjoy some retail therapy while keeping more money in your pocket. Everything from clothes and books to appliances and furniture can be purchased online and from thrift stores. This is a great way to find high-quality products at a steep discount while keeping useful items out of the landfill.
Buying a car that’s just three years old will give you more value for your hard-earned money than purchasing a brand-new vehicle right off the lot. Used cars typically sell for 50% of the original purchase price, if not less. Plus, you’ll be able to get more of your money back when you sell your used car in the future!
When you think about living under your means, do you imagine scrimping and saving, giving up the things you enjoy in order to meet your future financial goals? You don’t have to make such serious sacrifices to save money! Look for ways to live more simply, spending money on the things that matter and cutting out costs that don’t serve you.
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