Living expenses can grow massively over the years, causing your monthly budget to become unmanageable and impossible to live with. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck or even run out of cash before the end of the month, then something needs to change right away. The biggest expenses in your budget, like groceries and housing, are far from unnecessary, but there’s also no need for them to be quite so large. With that in mind, here are five large expenses that could be destroying your budget and things that you can do to reduce them.
Your rent or mortgage will understandably take up a large portion of your budget, often as much as 30% of your monthly income. If your housing costs are even larger than that, then you may want to consider moving to a smaller property or cheaper area. Just make sure that you take the moving costs and any other additional expenses into consideration. Of course, this may not be something that you can or want to do, in which case, you could speak to your landlord or lender.
With the cold weather drawing in and winter just around the corner, homes all over the country are sure to see a rise in their energy bills. To limit this and keep costs low, you should find ways to stay warm without cranking up the heat. For example, you could invest in roof insulation and block up any draughts around your home. You could also wear extra layers. To keep electricity costs down, you need to eliminate phantom energy by turning things off when they’re not in use.
Getting rid of your television altogether is a brilliant way to reduce energy and entertainment costs. That being said, it’s far from a realistic solution. Instead of taking away your TV altogether, you could cancel your cable and use streaming services instead. This way, you can still watch anime, television shows, films, and more, but for a much smaller cost. You could also look for free things to do in your local area instead of spending every time you want to have some fun.
No one realizes just how expensive cars are until they have one of their own. Most only really consider the cost of gas, but there is also insurance, tax, parking, maintenance, and much more to take care of. To cut this expense drastically, you could trade in your car for a cheaper one or even ditch driving completely. After all, public transportation is often a lot cheaper. You could also try walking or cycling to work, as this is free and allows you to get a workout in too.
Food can get incredibly expensive if you’re not careful, but, with some thought and planning, it is possible to eat healthily without breaking the bank. You should start by writing meal plans and shopping lists and actually stick to them. You should also try swapping to cheaper or generic brands and only eat fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. Limiting meals out will also reduce costs, but there are deals you can find when you do head to a restaurant.
There’s no way to escape many of the large expenses in your budget, but, hopefully, with the advice above, you’ll be able to reduce them and make your money go further.