Another paycheck has come and gone. After you paid all your major expenses (rent, utilities, car payment, insurance, etc.), where did the rest of your money go? Have you asked this question of yourself? I have, and I realized my spending habits were to blame.
Overspending is plaguing Americans. A report discovered that people spend $143 a week more than what is budgeted. Over the course of a year, that amounts to roughly $7,400 overspent [source].
When I examined my spending habits, I discovered I didn’t spend frivolously. However, I spent far more than I should have in several different areas because I hadn’t taken the time to shop around for better rates.
What about you? Is overspending a habit you can and should break? Whether you need to or not, here are 6 quick and easy ways to drastically reduce your spending so you can keep more of your hard-earned money.
1. Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions
Did you know the average U.S. household spends $47 a month on streaming service subscriptions [source]? This adds up to $564 a year. And that’s not counting any other subscriptions you might have, such as gym memberships, food subscription boxes, or magazines. While each subscription seems inexpensive, when you add them together, it quickly becomes expensive.
Let’s get real. Do you actually need subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and HBO Max all at the same time? Rotate them and binge-watch your shows. Do you use the gym membership enough to justify it? If you look through your monthly subscription charges, you will likely find money you are wasting. If you don’t, well there’s an app for that.
Say Goodbye Easily to Unwanted and Forgotten Subscriptions with Trim
The app is Trim, and it analyzes your spending habits and finds ways to save you money, including canceling old or unused subscriptions. Trim will identify recurring payments and ask if you want to keep the service or cancel it. It’s that easy.
Trim also has a team of professional negotiators. They are eager to talk down your cable, internet, medical bills, and more.
Please note that Trim takes their payment immediately. For example, if Trim saves you $10/month, they will request their 15% fee ($18) right away. But you keep 100% of the savings after that.
2. Spend Less Money on Food
Do you know how much families spend on food each year? $7,200+!. This breaks down to $4,049 on food at home and $3,154 on food away from home [source].
We treat eating out like it isn’t as costly as it is, but each coffee shop stop, fast food lunch, and restaurant meal adds up. When you choose to stop buying prepared food, you will drastically reduce your monthly spending.
Save Cash and Time by Preparing Your Own Meals
When we eat out, we pay for more than the meal: We pay for the servers, cooks, managers, and costs to operate the restaurant, too. We can eat just as well for less, and we can prepare those meals quickly when we follow the simple steps offered in the $5 Meal Plan.
With the $5 Meal Plan, you will receive fresh ideas for fresh meals each week. Your meals will average about $2 per person, but often it is less. These recipes are easy to follow with step-by-step instructions, and you will even get a shopping list.
$5 Meal Plan will make cooking and shopping stress-free. Cook better meals for less and save money.
Save Money on Groceries with Ibotta
You have to buy groceries, so you might as well earn some money doing so. With Ibotta, you can shop for your groceries at several popular retailers to earn free money and receive cashback offers for certain products (including essentials).
Ibotta gives you cash back on grocery store purchases by paying through the app, using the browser extension, or snapping a pic of the receipt.
If you don’t want to travel to the store, Ibotta also works for grocery delivery services and pickup orders.
Want to hear even more ways Ibotta can save you money? Check out our Ibotta explainer video, here!
3. Shop Around for Insurance Rates
Americans spend thousands of dollars on insurance every year. However, most aren’t shopping around for insurance to find the best rates. People tend to get an insurance policy and just stick with it – even if there is a cheaper one available. This means they are probably paying more for insurance than they should.
Did you know, those who shop around and compare insurance rates wind up saving a few hundred dollars a year. If you call around to insurance companies trying to get a quote, it will take a lot of time. But, thanks to the internet, there are easier ways to get a lot of quotes in a hurry.
Let Insurify Do the Comparison Shopping for You
Insurify is an online insurance broker that does the rate comparison shopping for you. When you sign up with Insurify, the service goes to work finding home insurance quotes and auto insurance quotes comparable to the coverage you have currently. Choose the policy with the better rates, and you can buy it directly through Insurify. Plus, Insurify will even cancel your old policy for you. Now, that’s service!
Insurify helps customers save an average of $489 in a matter of minutes. Even better – it’s free!
4. Find Ways to Drive Less
Driving a car is costly. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reports people who live in large cities would save over $10,000 a year using public transit instead [source].
What if you don’t have public transportation in your town? Well, there are other ways to drive less and save money, such as joining an office carpool.
You can avoid cars altogether if you choose to bike or walk. With more and more cities becoming bike-friendly, it is safer than ever before to use your bike as a means of transportation. Plus, it’s healthier for you and the environment!
Free Workshop – Join our free Simplify Money Workshop
The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.
We want to help you do both.
Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt.
What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:
- Hacks to lower your monthly bills
- Hacks to spend less on debt
- Hacks to start investing
- Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)
This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.
Join our free 5-day Simplify Money Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.
- Related: 9 Lazy Cleaning Hacks for Your Car
5. Get Rid of Interest
Credit cards have great cash-back rewards. But, if you do not pay off your balance each month, you will have to pay fees and interest. Credit card fees and interest are insanely expensive.
Some credit cards charge interest rates of 20 to 24% (with some higher), and the interest has a snowball effect that can take you years to pay off.
If you have credit card debt, you’ve got to lower your interest rate. When you lower your interest rate, you will get out of debt faster and spend less money in the process.
How do you lower your credit card interest rate? With a Balance Transfer Credit Card
Take Advantage of Credit Land Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Fortunately, Credit Land makes it easy to compare different balance transfer credit cards. If your current credit card has a high interest rate, you can use Credit Land to find balance transfer credit cards that offer a 0% APR for 12 months (your rate will depend on your credit score).
6. Ramp Up Rewards on Regular Purchases
As you pay attention to your spending habits, keep an eye out for rewards. I don’t mean to shop for the sake of gaining rewards (this is a mistake). But, if you shop purposefully, then you would be smart to look for opportunities where you can earn money while you shop.
For example, use your rewards credit card to make purchases you know you can pay off, and earn 1% or 2% back. People have purchased used cars and paid college tuitions with cash-back rewards cards.
Rewards are essentially free money, so take advantage of these programs when possible..
Earn Cash Back When You Shop with Dosh
One rewards program I love is Dosh. It is a cash-back app that allows you to earn free money in a simple way. Once you download the Dosh app and connect your credit card, you earn free money every time you make a purchase at a Dosh-participating business (100,000+ places).
There’s nothing else you have to do. Dosh handles all the heavy lifting for you. Your free money appears in your Dosh Wallet, which you can transfer to your bank, PayPal, or Venmo. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of getting a notification on your phone that you have money to deposit into your Dosh Wallet.
Need help saving money? Read these next…
- Follow These 7 Habits of Women Who Always Have Money
- Stop Buying These 9 Things So You Can Save Money
- When You Destroy Debt, You Get to Keep More of Your Money
Save at your favorite stores:
- Learn These 7 Hacks Before You Shop at Trader Joe’s
- These are the 9 Target Hacks You Wished You Knew Sooner
- Here are 6 Ways to Save Even More at Walmart
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Michelle Salater is a freelance finance writer with a passion for personal finance education. When she’s not in front of her computer, she’s reading biographies and exploring remote areas of the world. She also freelances for Wooster Media Group LLC.