10 Ideas to Cut your Expenses

Buy things used

Many times, things I need to buy can be found on Craiglist, Swappa, or other secondhand sites at a huge discount.  I got my laptop (a Surface Pro 4) for $300 because someone got a Macbook Pro a few weeks after buying it for graduation.  I got my phone (Google Pixel) on Swappa for $350 over a year ago, and I couldn’t tell it had ever been used.

If you are patient, you can find great deals on the things you need.

Use your car less

Depending where you live, you might be able to save money by utilizing other forms of transportation.

Is riding a bike feasible?  This is a great way to exercise, as well as an investment that pays for itself in a few months.

Can you ride the bus free through a work program?  I had an EcoPass at my old job that let me take the local busses for free.

Do you live next to coworkers?  Carpooling could be an option.

Sell unused stuff

Getting rid of things you don’t use can be a way to earn a little extra money.  You probably won’t make thousands of dollars, but you could make a few hundred.  Start with things you haven’t used in over a year. The entire process of getting rid of old stuff can be mentally relaxing as well.  Decluttering your environment declutters your mind as well.

Learn to Cook

Eating out is a place many people (used to be myself included) spend tons of money.  Instead of eating out for convenience, give yourself a set amount of money each month to use on eating out, and treat it as socializing.  I never eat out alone anymore, only when I feel like it is a way to spend more time with my friends.

Cooking can be a great hobby, as well as save you some money.  I went through “Eat Cheap and Healthy” and picked out my favorites, which are now a part of my regular diet.

Be careful, however, as cooking can be expensive as well, so be sure to track how much you are spending at the grocery store.

Find roommates

Are you child-free and live in an area where having roommates is normal?  This is not for everyone, but can be a great way to save a lot of money.

Track every purchase

Write down every cent you spend.  You may find areas in which you are spending a lot of money each month.

Spend less on nights out

There have been times in my life where I could spend $60 on a night out with friends.  If I did this twice a month, that is $120 per month.  I am not saying to eschew going out with friends, but pre-gaming, or eating dinner before going out can be a good way to save a little money. Maybe just drinking one fewer beer each night out.

Reconsider your cellphone plan

Check out other phone carriers to see if you can save a little bit of money.

I have google-fi, which costs me between $30-$40 a month depending on how much data I use.  It also works anywhere in the world.  It includes unlimited calling (in the US) and unlimited text messaging (around the world), as well as $10/gb (around the world).

Check out the major carriers to see if they have a plan that works better for you circumstances.

If you are tied into a series of two-year plans and constant upgrades, especially consider the switch.  $1000 for a new iPhone that locks you into a contract is ridiculous.  A year-old phone has all the features anyone could need can be bought for a reasonable price on Swappa or Craigslist.

 Ditch the gym membership

First, ask yourself honestly if you really utilize the gym membership.  Do you only go running on a treadmill?  Could you invest in some freeweights to save money in the long run?

Consider doing bodyweight regimens such as “Convict Conditioning” or going running outside.

Take care of your stuff

The best way to not have to buy new stuff is to take good care of the stuff you currently own.  Have your car serviced at regular intervals, invest in a good case for your phone if you are prone to dropping it, etc.