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paper money on a scale




"Getting money is like digging with a needle;
spending it is like water soaking into sand."

Japanese Proverb






Easy Ways to Cut Expenses from Your Budget

  • There is a saying in backpacking that if you watch the ounces, the pounds will take care of themselves. In the world's most competitive backpacking and survival event, The Eco-Challege, I noticed one year that the losing team packed luxury items like a cheese board, while the winning team removed every single possible extra ounce of weight they had to carry. The winners went so far as to cut washing instruction tags out of their clothes.

    This same logic of saving weight can apply to saving money on food and grocery purchases. If you want to save money you have to watch the even the most minor purchases, i.e. the food expense equivalent to trekkers
    cutting out clothing tags. For spenders, that means cutting out lattes, magazines at the grocery store, lunches out every day, etc.

    Beware of little expenses;
    a small leak will sink a great ship.
    Benjamin Franklin

  • Buying a latte each day at work may not seem like a big expense, but it may add up to more than you realize. If you spend $3.00 each week day, then over a year's time, this cost adds up to $780 (52 weeks X 5 days a week X $3.00). If you have an annual income of $50,000, that morning latte each day would account for 1.56 percent of your annual income. In ten years the cost would be $7,800, not including any dividends and interest you might have made had you invested the money instead of spending it on coffee.

  • The logic from the latte example also applies to eating out lunch everyday. If you spend $7.00 for a deli or fast food lunch each week day, over a year that will cost you $1,820. Alternatively, a chicken, lettuce and tomato sandwich made from home, an apple, a slice of cheese and tap water would probably cost you less than $1.50 a day for lunch, or $375 a year. Over a year's time this would save you $1,445.

  • One of the best cost cutting moves you can make is to eliminate anything with recurring monthly charges for products or services you no longer need or use. One of my friends belongs to Netflix and has had the same movie out for 6 months! Clearly she could have just bought the few movies she watches a year for less money than the monthly Netflix fees. My kids once did the same thing with an xBox game service. After I noticed they had the same game out for several months, I returned the game and canceled the membership.

    Don't let inertia stand in your way of saving money. Go through your checking statements and charge bills closely and cancel any out of date memberships or recurring fees that are not essential. To save even more money, have the monthly fees you end up saving transferred to a money market account instead, so you end up paying yourself each month instead of sen
    ding your money off to some corporation.




Articles In This Section:

Trimming Expenses

Living on one income

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