Published on January 21st, 2021
Most of us associate cost-cutting with unsightly images like bitterly sipping instant coffee and drying our homes out of anything but the barest of essentials.
However, limiting our living expenses doesn’t necessarily mean proportionately reducing our quality of life.
Sometimes it’s all about spending extravagantly on things you love and cutting costs mercilessly on things you don’t.
In fact, we submit that revisiting your priorities and limiting unnecessary expenses can actually improve your quality of life rather than diminishing it.
Here are our 6 best tips on how to limit your living expenses without cutting into your lifestyle all too much:
1. Budget Money For Wants
We are always told to differentiate between things we need and things we want, and we assume we are being told to only spend on the former.
But the better strategy would be to have a hard limit on wants-spending. After all, the only thing you have to ensure is that you have enough funding for all essential things.
Budgeting for wants also means finding great deals and saving money even on things like shopping for clothes online. This way, you can still ‘splurge’ on things you want for yourself without breaking the bank.
2. Prepare A List Before Grocery Shopping
How many times have you deep-cleaned your fridge and pantry only to find unconsumed goods that have run past their best-before dates? Also, how many times have you gone over-budget when grocery shopping, only to find out that you bought some stuff you already have at home?
You can avoid these problems altogether by simply preparing a detailed grocery list before actually going. Make your grocery list at home, so you can check whether you actually need a certain item or if you have dozens of the same thing lying around.
If you don’t do this, your tendency would be to forget if you still have laundry detergent at home. Once you’re at the supermarket, you’d end up getting one ‘just to be sure.’
Preparing a list will keep you on track not just in terms of budget — but in the time spent rummaging through shelves trying to think hard if you need a certain grocery item or not.
3. Buy Staples In Bulk
Speaking of grocery runs, you’d find that most, if not all goods, are cheaper when bought in bulk. Even though smaller portions or even retail packs appear to be more affordable, you actually get less volume for what you pay for.
To make your budget last longer, make sure to always buy non-perishable staples with long shelf lives in bulk or in higher portions.
4. Look For Better Service/Utility Providers
There is no reason to keep your subscription with utility providers that do not give you proportionate value for your money.
Luckily, a lot of local and regional markets have decentralized their utilities, which means you have full freedom to choose which providers to subscribe to.
For example, if you live in Connecticut, you have at least three options for your electricity provider. All you have to do is compare electric rates to find out which one would give you the best worth for your money.
Unless you have a lock-in period with your current provider that has yet to expire, the process of unsubscribing and signing up with a new provider should be fairly easy.
5. Sign Up For Worthy Rewards Programs
Rewards programs are an underrated way to get discounts on all your favorite brands. There is an initial investment, for sure, but as long as you’re sure that you will keep on coming back to that one store or that one boutique, you should be able to recoup your investment — and a little more — when you sign up for rewards programs. Some providers even offer cashback rewards for those who are enrolled in their loyalty programs!
6. Cancel Subscriptions You Don’t Use
Many people forget to cancel their free software trials and just let themselves be charged in perpetuity just because they’re too lazy to log on and cancel that subscription.
If you are one of those people, then you might not even notice how much of your credit card arrears are due to those subscriptions that have outgrown their relevance, but not their footprint on your spending.
Even if you forget to cancel the trial on the first month you were charged, make sure to go on and cancel it once and for all so you will no longer incur charges in the future.
These are minor lifestyle changes that will barely make a dent in the quality of your life but will leave a sizable impact in reducing your monthly spending. After all, who says cost-cutting can’t be chic?