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In an ideal world, we would be able to live without money and all the subsequent problems it causes. Unfortunately, this isn’t The Sims, and there are no cheat codes for unlimited bank account funds. At least, not that we know of.
On the bright side, there are some easy and effective ways to cut your everyday expenses and end each month with a little more to spare for the finer things in life. Here are some tried-and-tested budgeting tips that you can use today.
Use Public Transport
Let’s put aside the immense cost of financing a car and consider solely what it costs to run. According to the AAA, you can expect to pay an average of $8,469 per year to add 15,000 miles to your trusty steed’s odometer. Public transport is a great way to save on those hefty parking charges, maintenance and gas expenses. Plus, you can read a book or catch up on emails while you travel.
Save on Your Car
That said, public transport, walking and cycling are sometimes not an option. So if you do have to drive, it’s worth looking into some ways to save on car ownership and maintenance expenses. For instance, performing a tune-up can reduce your fuel consumption by 25 to 33 per cent. Check your oil frequently and replace your air filter monthly.
Use steel-belted radial tires, have them balanced and check their pressure regularly, as every pound of under-inflation results in a 6 per cent decrease in gas mileage. Seek out a more affordable insurance provider and consider dropping comprehensive coverage if your car is older.
Make Use of Online Freebies
Let’s face it – it’s hard not to like free stuff. Taking advantage of the countless freebies available online is a great, no-fuss way to get your hands on anything from a new makeup kit to a free shirt to a bottle of moisturizer to a handy voucher for your favourite store. Who said nothing in life is free?
Make Your Own Coffee
If you’re used to hitting up your local brewery on the way to work, switching to making your own coffee can save you anything from a few dozen to a few hundred dollars per month. Simply invest in a flask to get cheap and easy access to coffee on-the-go.
Use Timers and Power Strips
Cut down on your energy bill by utilizing timers that automatically turn your electronics on and off. A power strip prevents the loss of electricity to phantom charge. Save more electricity by installing a programmable thermostat, switching to LED bulbs and lowering the temperature on your geyser.
Negotiate on Monthly Bills
More often than not, all it takes is a simple phone call to get your phone or internet bill down by a few dollars. Alternatively, you can use a website like BillBargain. They’ll negotiate your home alarm, cable, internet and phone bills for you.
Cut Down on Subscriptions
Speaking of monthly bills, chances are that you’re paying for a few subscriptions that you’re no longer using. Perhaps you forgot to cancel your Amazon Prime Video membership after switching to Netflix. There might still be a TIDAL bill coming in each month, even though you now use Spotify. You won’t know until you find out.
Get into Meal Prepping
It’s easy to underestimate the amount of money you can save by cooking your own meals at home more often. That said, it’s not something we all have time for. Consider meal prepping instead. This involves taking a day to make your meals, usually lunch for work, for the week ahead.
These are just some of the countless ways you can save on daily expenses. Take a moment to run through your bank statement to identify exactly where your money is going. This will help you determine where to cut costs.