7 Ways to Drastically Cut Monthly Expenses
Living paycheck to paycheck is a drag.
How many times have you told a friend: “I can’t until payday.” Life doesn’t have to be this way. When you spend less than you earn, you have money to save. This lets you build a safety net so you no longer live paycheck to paycheck.
Become the master of your financial domain when you follow these hacks to drastically cut expenses.
1. Get Rid of Hidden Grey Charges
Grey charges are fees you pay unknowingly (forgotten subscriptions is a grey charge) and can cost $200-$300 a month [source]. A common grey charge hits your account after you enroll in a free trial and don’t cancel on time. Individually, these grey charges don’t cost much which is how they slip into your bank or credit card statements without you noticing.
Scrutinize your bank and credit card statements each month to uncover these “grey charges.”
Trim: The Grey Charge Exterminator
Trim’s premium service will negotiate lower rates on your cell, internet, and cable bills, or it can cancel your subscriptions all together.
Trim wants to help you trim your expenses. Your spending accounts will be analyzed to create a custom dashboard for your money, and you will begin to make logical money decisions. Trim helps you grow your wealth.
Trim has saved its users $40 million. Sign up for Trim to never lose money on grey charges again.
2. Reduce Expenses with a Cash-Back Credit Card
Credit card users happily earn hundreds of dollars (sometimes $1,000+) every year in free cash.
All it takes is finding a rewards card and paying off the balance each month. One business owner uses his card to buy equipment for his company and earns $6,000 back annually [source].
Credit Land has reviewed the top-earning rewards cards for us average consumers. They explain the benefits in plain English to help you find the card perfect for you. You might like the card that pays you 2% cash back: 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and then another 1% back when you pay the credit card bill.
What if the 2% cash back rewards card was your main payment card. You’d probably spend at least $20,000/year with your card. That’s $400/year in free cash back rewards.
Head over to Credit Land to find a credit card that complements your spending and start earning cash-back rewards.
Stack Your Cash Back with this Hack
Kick those cash back rewards into high gear gear with the Dosh App. Dosh, the ultimate lazy cash-back app, makes earning more cash back with your credit card a breeze.
Simply link your payment card to the app, shop at Dosh partnered stores, and you’re done. You will multiply your cash back earning: you’ll earn cash back on your credit card, AND you’ll earn cash back through the Dosh app for swiping your card at Dosh partnered locations.
Download the free Dosh app, grab a $1 welcome bonus (you get $1 just for linking your card to the app), and Dosh will do the rest.
3. Pay 5X Less For Meals
When you eat at a restaurant, you pay for more than just food: You pay the server, the cook, the manager, the hostess, the building lease, the insurance, and corporate infrastructure. Why do you think a cup of coffee at Starbucks costs $5 in store, but only 30 cents a cup when you buy a bag of beans at the grocery store. You pay 5X for a meal in a restaurant versus cooking that meal at home. Explore the fun of cooking at home by choosing healthier ingredients (check out our re-envisioning traditional corned beef hash). Cooking at home will save you serious bucks.
Save More When You Cook at Home with the No. 1 Grocery App
The Ibotta App is a grocery store cash-back machine; no wonder it is the go-to app for food shopping.
The free app is stocked with incredible cash-back deals from brands you love. Select the deals you want; shop at an affiliated grocery store; earn points; and redeem them for cash. Link your store loyalty card for greater savings.
Check out our Ibotta explainer video for more information.
Download the free Ibotta app (+ grab a $20 welcome bonus), snap a pic of your receipt, and get free cash.
- Related: 15 Tips to Save Money On Groceries
4. Lower Your Interest Payments
Stop taking on more debt! Debt isn’t free. It costs money (your interest payment). The more debt you have, the higher your interest payment.
Likewise: the less debt you have, the lower your interest payment. So don’t keep paying the minimum payment if you can help it. If you want to stop throwing away money on interest payments, buckle down on your debt. You will lose less money to interest with every payment.
How to Pay 0% Interest
A balance transfer credit card will give you a respite from your interest payments. You will pay 0% interest–zip, zilch, nada interest– for 12 to 18 months (actual interest rate depends on your credit history). 0% interest is an opportunity to aggressively tackle your debt because is eliminates your monthly interest expense. 12 months of zero interest could be what you need to become debt free.
Spend some time over at Credit Land to find the perfect balance transfer card for you. Go for 0% interest!
5. Paper Towels = Throwing Money Away
Paper towels are a convenient way to wipe up spills in the kitchen and wipe our faces. But, convenience always comes at a price. Go with cloth towels or multi-use towels to stretch your dollar. Hang them on your oven door handle and by the sink to keep from using paper towels. Cloth towels are good for the wallet and the environment.
Be on ‘Patrol’ to Find Wasteful Areas in Your Budget
Everything in our homes needs upkeep, including our budgets (you know a budget is the ultimate tool for saving money, right?).
The Money Patrol budgeting app will organize your spending data, so that you can analyze where your money goes. View your spending in the Transaction calendar. Track your debt. Build a budget with spending caps. Money Patrol visually displays the data on a clean interface so you can see the trends behind your spending.
Sign up for a 15-day free trial of Money Patrol, explore the demo of the service, and gain new insights into your financial life.
6. It Costs Less to be Healthy
“Let food be your medicine, and let your medicine be your food.” The quote, attributed to Hippocrates, demonstrates the link between diet and overall health. Whether it’s a proper diet, brushing and flossing your teeth, drinking water, and getting exercise, they all help you lead a healthier life. When you embrace a healthy lifestyle, you will avoid future medical and dental expenses.
HealthyWage: Dieting for Dollars
The Mayo Clinic discovered people with a financial incentive are more likely to lose weight [source].
HealthyWage will provide you with a financial prize if you commit to losing weight and reach your goal. You agree to “bet” money each month that you will lose weight (your choice, but at least 10% of your body weight) over a defined period of time (also your choice). If you lose the weight by the date you chose, then you will receive a prize.
Several studies have shown a financial incentive aids weight loss [source].
Bet on yourself! Finally lose the weight by making a healthy wager over at HealthyWage.com.
Check out a few HealthyWage success stories featured on the Today Show.
- Related: 25 Cheap Keto Diet Recipes
7. Don’t Free Feed Your Dog (Save on Food and Future Vet Bills)
Free feeding is when you leave food out all day for your dog to eat. This style of feeding leads to higher rates of dog food spoilage, it can make your dog a picky eater, and it can lead to your dog carrying more weight than he should. Throwing away dog food gone bad and unnecessary trips to the vet due to obesity have negative consequences on your budget.
Feed your dog twice a day (puppies might need three meals); PetMD recommends ⅓ cup of food for every 10 pounds of body weight [source], but always consult with your veterinarian. Always have fresh water available.
You Can Save Money When You Have Your Dog Food Shipped Automatically
Save money on dog food with Amazon’s Subscribe & Save. It’s a convenient way to buy essential products you use. Choose your products, and select when you want them (from every month to every six months), and you will save up to 15% on your entire S&S order. By now, you know to use your cash back credit card with all Amazon purchases.
- Related: Ultimate Amazon Hacks: How to Save Hundreds Shopping On Amazon!
- Also See: 20+ Hacks to Collect Free Amazon Gift Cards (super easy)
Bonus. Call Your Internet Service Provider to Negotiate a Lower Internet Bill
Who knows the price of anything anymore. You pay one price for your internet service, your neighbor may be paying less with the same ISP. The reality is people pay different rates for the same exact service. It’s kind of scammy.
Want to lower your internet bill? You can call up your provider and ask for a better rate. But they’ll probably say no. You have to negotiate. You could try telling them to cancel your service because you are going with another company. See how fast they get you a better price.
Let Trim Negotiate Lower Bills and Save You the Aggravation
Trim is a powerful financial assistant, AND it specializes in negotiating lower internet bills for you.
Trim analyzes your internet, cable and cell phone bills to see if you are paying more than the average for your area. With just a click, Trim will send a message for you seeking a better rate — saving you the hassle of haggling with a CSR. You pay nothing if Trim can’t lower your bill, or you’ll pay a percentage of savings it negotiates. But, if you sign up for the premium service, it’s included at no extra charge.
Trim lowers bills for its users by an average of $250 a year. Sign up and see how much Trim can cut for you.