The average American household makes $74,000 a year and spends about $57,000. Nearly 33% of that total spending goes to housing while almost 16% goes to transportation.
We spend on average $1,803 a year on apparel and $7,203 a year on food.
Want to learn how to cut costs and start saving? You can–by making smart financial decisions.
Interested in learning more? Here are 15 things you can do right now to cut costs and spend less.
1. Stop Eating Out
Take a look at your bank statement in the past 30 days and see how much you spent on eating out.
Ten dollars here for lunch. Five dollars there for a smoothie. You can be wasting hundreds of dollars a month on takeout–especially if you have a large family.
Instead of eating out, cook several large meals on your day off. That way, there will be dinner at home all throughout the week. You should also pack and take your lunch to work.
2. Make Coffee At Home
Another way to cut costs is to brew your own coffee and take it to go. Wake up ten minutes earlier in the morning to make coffee for your daily commute.
If you have a coffeemaker with a programmable feature, you can program your coffee to brew when you wake up. That way, you’ll wake up to the smell of coffee.
3. Cancel Your Gym Membership
How often are you using that gym membership? Once a week? Once a month?
Save on that monthly bill and work out for free instead. You can start jogging outside. There are also plenty of home workout videos for free on YouTube.
4. Cut Your Cable
Are you paying $100 or more every month for cable? Most of the time, you’re only watching a few channels. Cut your cable and subscribe for to a streaming service instead.
5. Create a Budget
The best way to save money is to know your limits. If you know you can only spend $70 on groceries this week, you can control your spending better. It’ll be easier not to splurge on things you don’t need.
You should set a budget for all your expenses and leave a little left over for emergencies and miscellaneous costs.
6. Use Coupons
You don’t have to be obsessive over coupons. You should, however, use coupons to your advantage. When you get the weekly ads in the mail, take a couple of minutes to look through them and see if there are any coupons that you can use.
You should also take advantage of grocery store specials and sales. However, make sure what you buy with a coupon and on sale are things that you actually need.
7. Save on Prescription Drugs
You can save on prescription drug costs by buying generic. In fact, many generic drugs are manufactured in the same plants as their brand-name counterparts.
Another tip is to shop for your prescription drugs online. Whether you’re trying to save on your Xarelto price or asthma medication price, you can cut costs by shopping through online pharmacies.
Just make sure the online pharmacy you shop at is legit and requires a prescription. They also have to work with a licensed pharmacy and have licensed pharmacists that fill your prescriptions.
8. Plan Your Meals For the Week
You can save on your grocery bills cost by planning your weekly meals and snacks. That way, you will know exactly what you need to buy during each grocery trip. Make a list of what you need and stick to the list.
9. Take Public Transportation
You can save on gas and car maintenance by taking public transportation or ride your bike. It’s also better for the environment. If you live in an area that has convenient and easy public transportation, you can consider selling your car to save on insurance and vehicle costs.
You can also save on gas by carpooling. You can set up a carpool rotation for work or your child’s school with a friend.
10. Plant Food In Your Backyard
Do you have a green thumb? You can start a garden in your backyard. If you plant fruits and veggies, you can save on your monthly grocery bill. You can also plant herbs such as mint, thyme and basil.
11. Find Free Entertainment
Instead of dinner and a movie, cook a romantic meal at home and rent a movie. Find free festivals and events that you can attend.
If you have children, go to free library storytimes. See if your local museums have free museum days.
Instead of buying new books and movies, check them out at the library. You can check out books, magazines, e-books, movies, and other media all for free at your local library.
12. Vacation Local
Another way to cut costs is to vacation local. You can save hundreds of dollars on airfare costs by vacationing somewhere within driving distance. You don’t need to go far to have a memorable vacation.
13. Save on Energy Costs
Look at your monthly energy costs and see how you can save. When you leave the house, turn off electronics and unplug electronics. Program your heater one or two degrees lower as long as its comfortable.
Although these are small changes, the cost in savings can add up throughout the year. You should also invest in energy efficient light bulbs and appliances that can save you money in the long run.
14. Take a Look at Your Monthly Spending
Sometimes we don’t even know where all our money goes. This can be especially true if you make impulsive purchasing decisions throughout the month.
Look at your monthly credit card statements and bank statements and see where your money is going. You may have subscriptions that you don’t use that you can cancel.
By knowing what you spend, you can also be conscious of what areas to spend less on. For example, if you spend hundreds of dollars a month on clothing and accessories, you can stop going to the mall and “window shopping.”
Final Advice to Cut Costs
With the above advice, you can take the steps to cut costs.
Want to learn more money tips? Check out more articles in our business & finance section.