A budget can be a complex thing. On the one hand, you know you need to manage your spending and look for ways to keep costs low so you can save for your long-term goals and live within your means. On the other hand, we all have things we enjoy doing, and budgeting can make it feel like we’re constantly saying no to the things we want. If you struggle with restricting your own purchasing habits (as many people do), you might avoid budgeting entirely, because you feel like it places too many limitations on your spending.
However, if this is the case for you, then you could also be missing out on an opportunity to become more financially aware, and independent. It is one of the most common money myths that using a budget will hold you back, when in fact, it is what can propel you forward. Fortunately, there are some quick ways to reduce your monthly costs instantly without compromising on the things you like.
Compare Utility Providers
First, you could be spending a fortune on higher bills than you need to pay, simply because you’re remaining loyal to the same utility providers you’ve been using for years. It used to be that staying with a specific gas, broadband, or electricity provider would lead to better deals. Now, most vendors reserve their best deals to attract new customers. If you haven’t changed provider in a while, now could be the perfect time to use a comparison website or go shopping online for alternative options. Simply switching to a different vendor for the same service can save you hundreds every year.
Reduce Loan Costs
No one loves paying back loans, but often, they’re a common part of our financial lives. Most of us need to take out a loan at some point, whether it’s for school, a new car, or a house. However, you don’t necessarily need to stick with the same loan forever if it’s costing you a fortune in interest rates. You can sometimes refinance your loans into a new lending opportunity, to pay a lot less. For instance, if you have a student loan, you’re paying off with a high interest rate, you can search for a refinancing solution to search for a better deal now you’ve built up a better credit score. The extra cash you were paying towards interest can now go towards things you’ll actually enjoy.
Ditch Subscriptions you’re Not Using
Subscriptions are a common part of most people’s day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, they’re also extremely easy to forget about if you’re not careful, thanks to automated, recurring billing. If you’re not sure how to cut down on costs one month, take a look at your monthly statement, and ask yourself if you’re really still using all the subscriptions you pay for. You might be able to cut down to one streaming service for movies and tv shows, instead of several, or get rid of your gym subscription and start working out at home instead. Every so often, take another look at your monthly bills and remove anything you forgot you were paying for. This is a great way to stop your expenses from adding up.