Ways to Cut Expenses from Your Budget
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.
of little expenses;
a small leak will sink a great ship.
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.
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and cancel any out of date memberships or recurring fees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 sending
your money off to some corporation.