Everyone strives to save money, especially since the annual inflation rate in the US accelerated to 9.1% in June 2022 which is the highest it has been since November 1981. However, nobody wishes to compromise their quality of life whilst trying to reserve funds for rainy days. So this guide provides 5 easy everyday cut backs that can help you to top up your savings account without any hassle.
How To Cut Back On Spending
1. Shop smartly
The average US household spends around 10% of their outgoings on food shops, so it is definitely wise to shop smartly. This can be achieved in a number of ways including by shopping at lower priced supermarkets to make sure you get the best deals. Bulk-buying products with good shelf lives that you know will be used is also a good idea since it tends to be better value in the long term.
Another clever way to cut back on spending is to buy supermarket-branded products. Grocery stores often sell their own versions of many well known branded products at a fraction of the price, and they usually taste the same if not better! Switching out some key items in your weekly shop to these cheaper alternatives can definitely save you money at the check-out.
Finally, a great way to cut back on spending is to do your shopping later on in the day. To prevent waste, many supermarket stores reduce their prices at the end of the day before they close. Whilst this is not the case for all grocery items, products that are perishable or close to their expiry date will be discounted.
So why not try combining the three methods mentioned above? You will be surprised at how much money you could save!
2. Prepare meals in advance
Whilst we are on the topic of food, a further great way to cut back on spending is to meal prep. Advantages of doing so include that you are likely to purchase less unnecessary products or waste foods that you don’t end up cooking. It will also prevent you from ordering excess takeaways since you will have food ready to be eaten, saving you further money.
We recommend creating a meal plan for the week which you can take with you to the supermarket to make sure you get the right ingredients. Ideas for meal prep include chicken and vegetables, pasta salad or tofu fried rice to name a few.
Those who go into work could also benefit from this since they could take packed lunches and save significant cash by not eating out during the week. Even if you are only spending $5 a day on lunch, this amounts to roughly $100 a month and around $1200 a year! The small sums add up so it’s definitely worth taking in a prepared meal.
3. Change your energy habits
There are many simple ways to save money on energy bills and help the environment at the same time. Examples include turning off the lights once you leave a room, showering rather than bathing and using colder water in your washing machine.
It is also definitely worth shopping around to make sure you are getting the best deal possible on gas and electricity. Check out price comparison websites and do some research as switching energy companies could be an easy and straightforward way to save some dollars.
4. Monitor your money
Keeping any eye on your cash flow is definitely a good idea. For instance, you might notice you are paying for subscriptions that you no longer use or an overly priced gym membership.
Paying with cash rather than through credit may make it easier to keep track of your finances as you can withdraw a certain amount for the week and try to stick to only using this, rather than aimlessly tapping your credit card without noticing how much you are spending. Likewise, creating a budget should make it easier to reduce unnecessary expenditure.
5. Avoid temptations
If you are easily swayed, then it could be worth considering alternative activities to prevent you from spending. Only go shopping for clothes if you actually need them and unsubscribe your emails from tempting retailers or food delivery services. Likewise, if you are prone to spending a lot of cash on a night out, perhaps suggest having a gathering at home where you can buy more affordable food and drinks to save money.
Of course you do not need to always avoid purchases, but finding a balance and undertaking activities where you won’t always be tempted to get your purse or wallet out will certainly help.
Carrying out these small changes in your day-to-day life can certainly help to save you significant amounts of cash. Cutting back on your spending does not need to impact your quality of life if you are savvy and can help you to put aside some extra money.
Justine is a full-time writer with lots of expertise and a wealth of experience in the financial world. In particular, she specializes in household income and consumer finance across the United States. Follow her articles for useful advice and top tips, guides on how to save money and lots more.