Most people have an enormous amount of debt. According to an expert study, the average American is approximately $90,400 in debt. People between the ages of 40 and 55 have the highest amount of debt at almost $136,000. How can you avoid getting burdened by such a heavy amount?
No, you don’t have to find an original Bob Ross painting stashed in your garage or sign up for a pyramid scheme to get a lot of money. The best way to avoid debt and dig yourself out of a crazy situation is by reducing your expenses. This frees up your finances and lets you start saving as much as you can as soon as possible.
If you want to reduce your spending, here are 15 different and easy ways help.
Reducing Food Expenses
People eat at least three times a day and almost everyone snacks throughout the day. According to a survey, 94 percent of Americans eat snacks during the day. Although this is isn’t an issue, you should not only watch what you eat but also how much you’re spending on your food. Here’s how to take a big bite off of your food expenses.
- Bring coffee to work. Instead of buying from a vending machine or a coffeeshop, mix coffee at home and put it in a thermos. You’ll save a lot of money buying a single $5 bag of coffee beans than spending the same amount every day for a latte.
- Pack a lunch to take to school or work. Rather than spend who knows how much on a greasy burger, pack a sensible meal that you can still eat with your coworkers, minus the hefty price tag.
- Cook bulk meals. When making dinner for you or your family, make a big batch that you can reheat for two or three sittings. This will reduce costs on buying ingredients for different recipes.
- Stop buying soda. Soda isn’t just overflowing with sugar and calories, it’s also quite expensive, especially if you buy a liter for every meal. Cut down on soda can cut down your expenses.
- Label groceries and meals. After you buy fresh produce or cook a large meal, store them in clean containers and neatly write their expiration dates. This will reduce food wastage and, consequently,your spending.
There are also several ways you can make smart financial decisions to increase your savings. Although some large expenses may require you to refinance your home or take out a new bank loan, you can offset these costs through a variety of small measures.
- Pay with cash. This may be totally inconvenient at times, but unless you have no other choice, try to pay for purchases with cash. Unlike credit card payments, using cash doesn’t have interests that could snowball quickly.
- Pay dues on time. Again, this can be difficult, but the benefits of paying bills before or on their due dates exceeds the inconvenience. You won’t have to scramble to keep your utilities on and you won’t have to worry about ballooning interest rates as well.
- Keep an eye on credit scores. Your credit score is a vital part of your financial identity. Interest rates, bank loans and even rent agreements can depend on how great your credit scores are. Monitor them closely and you’ll enjoy lower premiums and interest rates.
- Start multiple savings accounts. Yes, having a single savings account is much better than having none, but setting up multiple accounts means you’ll have more to look forward to. Because interests of an account grow over time, multiple accounts will outstrip the growth of a single account over the years.
- Find the best deals and discounts. You might find it undignified to clip out coupons from a newspaper or prove it’s your birthday just to get a discount, but this all adds up. Looking for great deals and availing discounts can reduce so much of a product or service’s price, which means you can put that money to good use elsewhere.
Cutting Down Living Costs
Finally, don’t forget that even the small things you do at home can be costing you money. Here are a few methods you can reduce living costs a few dollars at a time.
- Buy unbranded. Unbranded products are mostly the same quality as branded alternatives, but with significantly lower price tags. Unless your skin is particularly sensitive, you can buy the store-brand toilet paper and save a few dollars along the way.
- Turn off electronics. Don’t just leave televisions blaring or the lights on when you leave a room. Not only does this increase electrical consumption, it also drives up your utility bills. If you’re going to stay in one room for a while, then the rest of the house doesn’t need to be lit up like a Christmas tree.
- Reduce subscriptions. Assess everything you’re subscribed to that you’re paying for, from streaming services to online newsletters. Sure, a dollar or two every month doesn’t seem so bad, but it adds up when you have a ton of subscriptions. Determine which ones you can live without and unsubscribe.
- Schedule No-Spend days. These days are exactly what they sound like. These are days when your goal is to avoid spending a single cent. Instead of online shopping or eating out on a weekday, stay indoors and curl up with a good book or make something delicious out of pantry staples. Every day you don’t spend any money is another day you stay out of debt.
- Sell, sell, sell. Go through your stuff and find anything worth putting on the market. Old paintings? Unused appliances? Clothes that no longer fit? Put them all up for sale and use the proceeds to pay bills or put them in one of your savings accounts.
Here are 15 different and easy ways that you can use to decrease spending and increase savings. Know some other tips? Share in the comments.