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30 Ways To Cut Your Monthly Expenses

30 Ways To Cut Your Monthly Expenses

A while ago, for one month, myself and a then work colleague lived money-free—I cut expenses by 100%, pretty much! The job I was in at the time paid for my accommodation and transport, so all I had to worry about was food. On the second day of the experiment, however, we met a ‘freegan’ who regularly collected food thrown out by all the supermarkets in town. So, following her lead, we went along, filled up her truck with perfectly packaged food, including toothpaste and other essentials, and lived money-free for the month.

Now, I’m not suggesting you go and rummage around in supermarket bins for a month to cut expenses, because, for one, I think it’s illegal in many parts of the world! Still, there are many other ways you can cut your expenses and have lots of your monthly income left to spend, save and enjoy.

1. Write down all of your expenses

How many times do you hand over $1 or £1 for something and think, “Oh, it’s only a dollar,” and then repeat the same process every day for a month? Be mindful of where you’re spending your pennies and write down everything you spend for a month—you can then see where to cut costs in the future. Trust me, this one really does work.

2. Cut out the takeaway coffees

Get yourself a nice flask and make your own coffee. If you’re serious about cutting your expenses and you still buy a takeaway coffee every morning, buying a flask will save you at least $80 a month.

3. Cycle or walk to work

I know many of you probably have long train or car commutes, but 10km is still do-able on a bike, right? And if you’re a little on the lazy side, invest in an electric bike to help you up those hills in the morning. Ditching the train or car for a bike is a serious money saver; plus, you’re getting fitter at the same time!

4. Shop in thrift stores (at least some of the time)

You can get designer items for pennies; you can find cheap tat and upcycle it for next to nothing, and find one-off clothes you’d never find on the high street. So, if you’re looking to update your wardrobe or buy new stuff for your home, check out the cheaper alternatives first.

5. Buy the unbranded products in the supermarket

You may only be saving pennies per item, but there really isn’t much difference in the taste—do not be seduced by pretty branding! The only difference, for example with unbranded tinned tomatoes and branded ones, is the lack of salt and sugar and you can add that yourself. Why pay loads extra for it?

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6. Take your own lunch to work

Yes, it’ll take up a few extra minutes of your evening, but wouldn’t you prefer to have an extra $100 at the end of each month instead? Over the course of a year, that’s a saving of over $1,000.

7. Bulk cook your meals

Set aside a few hours on Sunday and make a load of different dishes to prepare you for the whole week. Pop them in the freezer and you won’t be tempted with takeaways or packaged meals midweek.

8. Compare gas and electricity prices

Are you really getting the best deal with your gas and electricity? It only takes a few minutes to compare deals on an online comparison site.

9. Cut out the pricey drinks

Perhaps you don’t drink much, but for a lot of people, spending a good proportion of their monthly salary on expensive boozy nights out is part of their monthly regime. If this rings true, try cutting back or going alcohol-free for a month to see how much you save.

10. Keep a penny/cent collection

Throw your loose change into a jar, then count it up at the end of each month and see how much you’ve saved—over time, you’ll be surprised by how much money you’ll make.

11. Use Freecycle

In the UK there’s a scheme called Freecycle, where you can give away your unwanted furniture, or anything else you no longer need, for free. Obviously, in return, if you need any household essentials—kitchen table, bicycle, bookshelf … you can just log on to the site and see what’s available.

12. Ditch the large overdrafts

If you’ve got an overdraft of $1,000, chances are you’ll spend it each month if you’re not careful with your money. If you’re scared to lose the overdraft completely, halve it and see if it makes you any more cautious with your money.

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13. Clear out your unwanted stuff

Have a car boot sale, sell your unwanted things on eBay … if you’ve been living in the same house for over a year, chances are that unless you’re super-organized, you’ll have at least a few things that are worth selling to make some extra money.

14. Share car journeys

If you drive to work alone every day, see if there are any other people who live near you so you can share journeys and cut your costs on petrol. It’ll pay off in the long run.

15. Re-evaluate your insurance

Whether it’s life, health, or travel insurance, shop around, compare prices and make sure you’re getting the best deal for the least amount of money. Remember though, that cheapest does not always equal the best.

16. Change your phone deal

Do you really need all those minutes and extras? Is there a cheaper phone deal that will save you money in the long run? Shop around and see what other phone deals are out there.

17. Do not take out any pay day loans

The adverts may be appealing, but the interest rates on pay day loans make these companies no better than con artists!

18. Dry clean at home

If you’re a regular at your dry cleaners, cut costs by buying a home dry cleaning kit and a spot remover pen.

19. Take another look at your internet bills

Can you get a better deal elsewhere? Do you live in an apartment block? If so, perhaps you can share an internet connection with those around you—providing you trust them.

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20. Make more gifts for people

Now that we’re coming up to the festive season, rather than splashing out on expensive gifts for people, cut expenses and make your own cards and presents—at least for some people. The gesture won’t be forgotten. Plus, everyone knows the gift of time far outweighs the gift of money.

21. Cut back on expensive cleaning products

There are loads of ways you can make your own cleaning products; for example, vinegar and baking soda work wonders for cleaning your drains; spray lemon juice on surfaces to get rid of stains and streaky grease marks; and use vinegar to scrub up wooden flooring.

22. Simplify your beauty regime

We can all be seduced by fancy creams claiming to minimize pores, get rid of wrinkles and leave our skin looking healthy and plump; but, in reality, all your skin needs is a good diet, plenty of water and hydration. Try ditching expensive creams for almond or coconut oil. It’s really cheap and will leave your skin looking incredible.

23. Cancel your gym membership

Get on your bike, jog round the park, and lift weights at home. You could even organize regular work out sessions for free with others who want to ditch the gym. You don’t need to pay to be fit!

24. Turn your lights off

When you leave a room, flick the switch and cut expenses on your electricity bills. If you live with forgetful people, place little stickers by the switch to give people helpful reminders.

25. Replace bulbs with energy saving ones

Cut expenses and save the environment at the same time. It’s a no-brainer!

26. Pay for things with cash only

Allow yourself a certain amount of money each week and spend only that amount. Unless you’re constantly checking your finances, there’s no way you can keep up-to-date with what you’ve really spent if you keep paying for things with your credit or debit cards.

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27. Tell your friends and family that you want to cut expenses

If you’re ever tempted to spend more than you intended, tell everyone you spend time with what you’re doing. Or even better, arrange for a group of you to all cut expenses at the same time.

28. Get savvy with deals

Sign up to Groupon, or get Amazon deals sent straight to your inbox, and save heaps of money on theater tickets, holidays, restaurant meals, and much more.

29. Take care of your teeth

Brush your teeth twice a day and don’t forget to floss. If you don’t take care of your teeth now, you’ll pay the price in expensive dental bills years down the line.

30. Be grateful for the money you have

Change your attitude towards money and be grateful for what you have rather than complaining about not earning enough or having enough of it. You’ll be surprised by how much a simple change of attitude can help you to manifest more money and help you cut expenses.

If you think there are any useful tips missing from this list, please leave a comment below.

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Published on October 28, 2020

13 Books on Money to Transform Your Finance Management

13 Books on Money to Transform Your Finance Management

One of the most obvious measures of our success is our wealth. That said, that statement alone can be taken in various directions. Some people think it’s a matter of how much wealth you have. We, on the other hand, believe that it’s more of how much you’re able to retain and manage from month to month and year to year.

Below is a list of books on money that we believe will transform your way of thinking about money management in several ways. From sparking interesting conversations about it to making plans for your financial future, this list covers many aspects of finance management.

How to Choose a Good Book on Money

To help you find the best books on money to reach your personal finance goals, we’ve done the research for you and have formed this list of criteria.

  • Relevant – Even though money has been around for a long time, the economy has changed a lot over the years. We want to ensure you the books recommended are offering relevant advice that would be ideal in any financial environment.
  • Offers a system – Financial advice is great, but it doesn’t always stick. Each book should overall provide tips and habits that will allow you to build a system to help you manage your money.
  • Sparks conversations – Reading about money is one thing, but these books should also encourage you to talk more about money with those around you to some extent. Even though we all have our own ways of managing money, discussing money can have merits in some circumstances.
  • Practical – While these books provide general financial advice, they should remain practical in that the advice should be obtainable for people to achieve. Most people don’t have the funds necessary to start a real estate business, but they can put away a few hundred dollars into a savings or investment account every month. Practical books will help you achieve your goals.

1. I Will Teach You to Be Rich

    As the title of the book suggests, this book delivers on a plan to be rich. The author, Ramit Sethi, has a background in personal finance and provides a detailed six-week plan for living out a “rich life.”

    This book on money covers a wide variety of aspects like using credit cards and maximizing rewards from them, opening a high-yield savings account, and automating accounts where you can save money with no effort from you at all. This book is filled with nothing but pure actions that are outlined and sectioned off in a good way.

    Buy “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” here.

    2. The Automatic Millionaire

      Another one of the great books on money that will help you build a system is The Automatic Millionaire. Written by David Bach, a financial writer, this book focuses on our ability to automate our finances and builds a system based on that.

      The idea with this book is to give you the knowledge and information to put together a system in an afternoon that will make a large impact on your financial future for the better.

      Buy “The Automatic Millionaire” here.

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      3. The Simple Path to Wealth

        The principles from this book on money were first presented by the author to his daughter through a series of letters. As such, you’d expect there to be plenty of actionable advice when it comes to investing and overall saving. Considering the direction of the book further, this book is light and has a casual tone to it. That said, it won’t shy away from complicated explanations. It’s one of the highest-rated personal finance books around and it’s clear why it is.

        Buy “The Simple Path to Wealth” here.

        4. Retire Before Mom and Dad

          This is a book for those who are looking to be involved in the FIRE movement. FIRE stands for Financially Independent, Retire Early, and it’s clear why many people are striving for this or considering it.

          This book delves into the principles and acts as a primer for this movement and going down this path. That said, it also considers other principles that make FIRE more attainable or easier to achieve, even if you’re not planning on retirement in the next few years.

          Buy “Retire Before Mom and Dad” here.

          5. When She Makes More

            Money is a topic that most people shy away from, and it makes sense. Money is a status thing and seeing someone making more can cause unease or resentment. Money can also strain relationships and overall cause harm. People fear talking about money and it’s those emotions that cause problems in the first place.

            This book on money is powerful as it provides opportunities for women to be talking to their partner about money. After all, stereotypically speaking, men are meant to be making more money than women and it’s a sore spot when it’s the reverse. This book is fantastic because the author, Farnoosh Torabi, lives a life where she is the one making more than her partner.

            Getting into details, this book looks at the realities and the various rules she’s set up with her partner. She also discusses ways to maximize earnings while minimizing conflict.

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            Buy “When She Makes More” here.

            6. Women & Money

              Suze Orman is a financial advisor who most notably ran a show called The Suze Orman Show from 2002 to 2015. In the show, she received calls from viewers who asked for financial advice and whether or not it’s a good idea to buy various items.

              Orman has years of experience working in this field and pools a lot of her knowledge into the various books she’s published. Women & Money is one of the more recent ones. This book in particular talks about how women earn, invest, and save while also giving practical advice on retirement, marriage, and other topics.

              Whether you are 20 years old or 60, this is a good choice if you’re looking to learn more.

              Buy “Women & Money” here.

              7. Think and Grow Rich

                This famous book has been around for almost 90 years and still holds some relevant information. While this book on money won’t tell you about 401Ks and building a portfolio, it takes a turn to the mindset of building wealth.

                Through this book, you’ll learn more about desire and persistence as opposed to strategy or money management. While this is an odd book on our list, we believe it’s still important as the stories and the lessons are still relevant to your money attitude today.

                Buy “Think and Grow Rich” here.

                8. You Are a Badass at Making Money

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                  As you can guess from this title, this book takes a lighthearted angle to personal finance. Similar to “Think and Grow Rich,” this book also focuses on the mindset of earning and keeping money.

                  While this book lacks any sort of actionable financial advice, it’s compensated by the fact it’s inspiring. It’s an ideal book if you’re looking for a new perspective to making money and could spark conversation with friends, family, or your partner. On top of that, it’s a nice motivational booster.

                  Buy “You Are a Badass at Making Money” here.

                  9. The Millionaire Next Door

                    Another inspirational focused book that you’ll want to pick up is “The Millionaire Next Door.” Many years ago, Thomas J Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D. did extensive research into the millionaires of America. From the various interviews they’ve conducted, they created a profile of America’s wealthiest citizens and discovered common connections amongst them all.

                    Stanley wrote it all in this book that has garnered over 1,700 five-star reviews and provides tremendous insight into what it’s like to be a millionaire. This is all explained through seven habits that all of these individuals have in common.

                    Again, there’s not so much practical advice here, but it prompts you to take a closer look at their overall lives and what you can do to change yours to be like theirs. Even if you’re not planning to be a millionaire, the lessons in there are all practical such as living below your means and rejecting traditional consumerism.

                    Buy “The Millionaire Next Door” here.

                    10. Spend Well, Live Rich

                      For those looking for a good book for budgeting and personal finance for beginners, this is a good pick. Author Michelle Singletary reflects on her life with her grandmother who raised five children on a modest salary.

                      By watching her grandmother, Singletary devised principles that her grandmother used to support that kind of lifestyle with what money she had. Through those principles, you can find inspiration in her story while learning about how to stretch the money that you already have.

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                      Buy “Spend Well, Live Rich” here.

                      11. Your Money or Your Life

                        The core of this book is financial independence and lays out a plan to reach that goal. While this book is the longest in this list, it does provide advice on pretty much every aspect of financial independence you can think of. It covers things like mindset requirements as well as investment moves that you should be making. Even if your plan isn’t to retire early, there is plenty of advice in this book you can use.

                        Buy “Your Money or Your Life” here.

                        12. Broke Millennial

                          Amongst millennials, this book on money is a favorite for its simple and relatable language. It touches on a lot of the struggles and issues that millennials are faced off with today—things like living with your parents in your 20s, dealing with student debt, and even dealing with friendships and your finances.

                          Between all of this, the book does offer plenty of practical advice and things to consider for those within this age group. It covers a broad overview of checking your credit score to even buying your first home. Even if you’re not there, chances are likely that the information mentioned in this book will be relevant for quite some time.

                          Buy “Broke Millennial” here.

                          13. Get a Financial Life

                            Another millennial-focused book is “Get a Financial Life,” which covers a lot of the basics for personal finance. This book is more direct with its advice since it covers things like doing your own taxes and paying off debt. The goal of this book is to provide a foundation for you to establish a financial life and it does so in a good and clear manner.

                            Buy “Get a Financial Life” here.

                            Final Thoughts

                            What a lot of these books teach us about money is that success doesn’t come overnight. It’s something that takes a while to build up. But it also shows just how changing your way of thinking or taking a few small steps can mean changing your financial path for the better. There are many great books on money, and these are only the start.

                            More Books on Money and Finance

                            Featured photo credit: Jonathan Borba via unsplash.com

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