How to Cut Your Budget
Would you like to know how to cut your budget drastically to save money?
Learn 5 simple ideas for how to cut budget expenses in order to pay off debt or start to save! With these 5 easy tips, you can save $500 to $1,000 or more every month!
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5 Simple Steps to Cut Budget Expenses
If you are looking for ways to cut your budget, then this article is for you!
There are many, many things you can do to cut budget costs each month, but these are 5 of the easiest and best ways for a family or individual to save more money. Follow these simple tips to easily save $500 or more each month!
1. Cut your food budget.
One of the very best tips for how to save money from your budget is to reduce the amount you spend each month on groceries and eating out.
The average American family spends close to $800 a month on food. But you really can spend significantly less than that, especially if you nix eating out so much.
If you will cut $100 to $200 from your grocery budget for the month and $100 from your restaurant budget, you will have $200 to $300 (or more!) to go toward reaching your awesome financial goals!
Here are my two best money-saving hacks to help you get the most bang for your grocery-spending buck:
- First, make a plan. As with anything, you are more likely to succeed at saving money on your groceries when you start with a great plan! Get this awesome free weekly meal planning worksheet to get organized and plan your week’s worth of meals to help you save a ton of money on your groceries! As part of the meal planner worksheets you’ll get helpful meal planning tips and a place for writing alternative meal options for when things don’t go according to your original plan (because life happens!).
- Second, shop with a grocery list and use a grocery price comparison sheet. Make a list, check it twice, and then don’t deviate from it! 😊
Use this awesome, super handy grocery list and price comparison cheat sheet to help you spot great deals and pass over items that are overpriced.
And here are some of my other favorite ways to save money on groceries:
- Use the food you already have. Clear out your fridge, cupboards, freezer, and pantry. There’s a good chance you have a week’s worth or more of food in your home, and using it up periodically is a good idea to make sure nothing goes bad. (But if you find things that have expired, don’t automatically toss them out. The dates are just guidelines, and you can eat most things months past the best by date.)
- Shop at discount grocery stores if you have them in your area. We regularly shop at one in our area, and the savings can be amazing. Read this article about discount grocery stores to learn more.
- Cut down on the sweets, snacks, juice, beer, and so on. You can save a ton of money by just sticking to the main food groups. Leave the rest of the junk (food) on the grocery store shelf.
- Plan to have a few meatless meals each week. Meat is one of the most expensive food items, so by omitting meat from your meals you can save a ton of money. Consider going meatless for a few dinner meals a week, or even plan a whole week or two week’s worth of meatless meals if you want to save even more money.
- Buy only items that are in season. Blueberries may sound divine in January, but pass them up for fruits, vegetables, and other items that are in season.
- Buy what’s on sale. Check the week’s grocery ads, and then plan that week’s meals around that.
- Be OK with unconventional dinner and other meals sometimes. If you really want to save more money, give yourself permission to plan super simple meals sometimes like cereal with milk, egg omelets, waffles, fried eggs with toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fried eggs with rice, chicken with rice, spaghetti, and so on.
Want more ideas for how to save on your grocery shopping? Read this article for more than 70 suggestions for how to slash your grocery bill without needing to use coupons!
By using many of the tips included in the article linked to just above, we are able to keep our grocery budget to $300 or less a month for our family of five.
And don’t forget to save money on eating out! The best way to save money on eating out is to eat out less! 🙂 But there are lots of other ways that you can save money, as well. Find 19 ideas to save money when eating out here.
Savings = $200-$300+
Check out these related articles:
- 31 Cheap Groceries to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck!
- 40+ Dirt Cheap Meals to Eat on a Tight Budget!
- 31 Budget-Friendly Easy and Cheap Dinner Recipes for under $
- 42 Cheap and Easy Budget-Friendly Meals for under $5
- 65 Must-Know Tips to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half!
- 19 Ways to Save Big When Eating Out!
- 151 Easy Ways to Save Money: Your Ultimate Guide to Saving Money!
2. Spend less on entertainment to cut budget expenses and save more money.
Saving money on entertainment is another great way to cut your budget.
The average family in the U.S. spends close to $300 a month on entertainment. So here, too, you can save a ton of money and cut your monthly budget substantially if you will reduce your monthly entertainment spending.
My favorite money-saving hack to spend less on entertainment (and the area where we save the most money) is to save on vacations and traveling! For that, I love to travel with Airbnb. If you have not tried them yet, you need to!
We saved about half the price of a hotel just on our last vacation alone by using Airbnb for our accommodations. And we stayed in a three-bedroom home in a beautiful gated community with a pool and hot tub (which we had to ourselves most of the time), a playground, and more!
To save even more money on entertainment, also try spending less money on the following things (or even give some of them up completely, if you really want to save money!):
- Paying for cable or satellite. You could easily save $60 to $100 a month (or more!) by doing that alone
- Paying for expensive smartphone data plans; learn about awesome, inexpensive smartphone data plan options here (including the plan we use; we spend $18 per month total for smartphones for me and my husband!).
- Going to the movies.
- Going to music concerts.
- Going to sports events.
- Video gaming.
- Purchasing gadgets (electronic devices).
- Paying for subscriptions to magazines and other paid TV services (Netflix, Sling, and so on—videos from the library are free!)
- Paying for memberships to the gym, rec center, museums or zoos, and the like.
- Participating in recreational activities like skiing, bowling, miniature golf, playing arcades, and so on.
- Going on vacation. In addition to saving money with Airbnb, you can save a ton of money by doing staycations.
- Christmas shopping.
- Your personal monthly spending money (some people call it fun money or blow money).
And just because you decide to spend less money on or even give up some paid activities completely, that doesn’t mean you have to give up fun! Check out this article with 90+ ideas for fun, free activities you can do with the kids!
Savings = $200+
Check out these related articles:
12 Best Tips to Save Money on Entertainment
151 Easy Ways to Save Money: Your Ultimate Guide to Saving Money!
5 Super Simple Steps to Save $1,000 for a Debt-Free Christmas
11 Ways to Save Big on Your Christmas Shopping
4 Powerful Principles of Gratitude to Change Your Financial Life
Contentment: 9 Powerful Principles That Will Help You Save More Money and Reach Financial Success
3. Trim your transportation costs to cut your budget.
Another great tip for how to cut your budget is to reduce your transportation expenses. Especially since you’ll be cutting back on (paid) entertainment and shopping (you will, right? :)), you can find ways to save money on transportation as well.
My favorite hack for saving money on transportation is to own a cheaper, paid-for car.
If you have car loans (and statistically, you do ☹), consider selling the car and buying a less expensive car for cash. The average car payment in America is over $400 a month, so if you will get rid of your car payments, you will be well on your way to saving $500 or more per monthjust by doing that alone!
You can literally become a millionaire simply by deciding to live your life without car payments! (So please give it a try—the financial benefits are amazing! 😊 Learn how to buy a car for cash.)
Here are some awesome additional ideas for ways to reduce your transportation costs (they really will save you tons of money if you will put them into practice, especially the first one!):
- Enjoy staying home rather than spending money going places for entertainment. Pick up reading, playing family games, doing crafts, watching (free) movies, and doing other activities at home to save money on transportation costs.
- If weather allows, ride a bike or walk to your destinations when possible.
- Drive less. Combine errands and find other ways to drive less.
- Carpool to work and school, or take the bus.
- Drive the speed limit. 😊
- Use apps like GasBuddy to save money when purchasing fuel.
- Look around for a cheaper mechanic. Shop around when you need car repairs so that you know you are getting the best deal for the work needed.
- Save money on auto parts by shopping at places like RockAuto (which truly has amazing prices!). If you possibly can, buy the car part yourself, even if you have a friend, family member, or trusted mechanic do the actual labor. You will save a ton of money that way! In my experience (and I have looked into this in virtually all of the auto mechanic shops in my area), the markup on car parts, even by reputable auto mechanic shops (unfortunately), is huge!
Looking for more inspiration for ways to save money on transportation costs? You can find here more than 30 ideas for how to save on transportation costs.
Savings = $50-$200+
Pro tip: If you would like to earn a better rate on your savings, check out CIT Bank. I love our CIT Bank savings account, which offers the highest savings rate that I know of. With the CIT Bank Savings Builder, you can earn up to 1.75% on your savings account (which is really good in today’s market)! Click here to learn more and open your savings account.
4. Spend less on housing and related expenses (like utilities) to cut budget costs.
Another idea for how to cut a budget is to reduce your housing expenses.
For most families, housing is their largest expense. Fortunately, there are a lot of things that you can do to save money on housing, even if you own your home and so your mortgage is fixed.
My favorite hack for saving money on housing is to rent out your spare bedrooms on sites like Airbnb and Booking.com. If you are able to do this, you could earn well over the cost of your monthly mortgage or rent payment. And you can meet some amazing people in the process.
Pro tip: If you haven’t used Airbnb yet to save money when you travel, you should! They are a great way to save money on your accommodations away from home! Sign up for a free Airbnb account today, and get up to $55 off your first stay!
To save even more money on housing expenses, look at these options:
- Rent a cheaper place.
- Consider moving in with family or friends.
- Sell your home and purchase a smaller, less expensive home if your mortgage payments really pinch your budget or if you no longer need as much space as you once did.
- Consider refinancing your home if interest rates have dropped significantly. (But don’t lengthen the term of your loan! Keep it the same or, even better, shorten it! :))
- Work to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible so that you can invest the money in your own wealth instead of the bank’s.
- Save a larger down payment before you purchase a home so that your mortgage payment is smaller. (Consider the 100% down plan!)
- Simplify your landscaping (this saves money spent on watering it, too!).
- Get a roommate (or roommates).
- Talk to your insurance agent and find ways to lower your homeowners or renters insurance.
- Save money on your utilities and specifically on your winter utilities bill and summer utilities bill.
For even more ideas on how to save money on housing, read this article with 30+ simple ways to save money on housing and related expenses.
Savings = $50-200+
5. Spend less money on clothing to cut budget expenses.
And one additional tip for how to save money by cutting your budget is to not spend so much on clothing and shoes.
The average American family spends over $100 a month on clothes, so if you will spend say half of that, then you can add that amount to the money that you save from cutting your budget each month!
My favorite hack for saving money on clothing is to set up a clothing co-op of sorts. If you have children, see if you can swap children’s clothes with your nieces and nephews or with children from your neighborhood or church.
My sisters and I share clothes for our kiddos, and it is an awesome way to save money (and help out the environment just a little)! Plus, I just love seeing my nieces and nephews in clothes that my kiddos wore! It brings back such fun memories!
You can also save money on clothes by buying from second-hand stores, buying from sites like eBay and Craigslist, and shopping discount clothing stores.
Check out this article with 13 must-know ideas to help you save money on your clothes buying.
Savings = $50+
For even more ideas for cut your budget, check out this article with 21 must-know tips to spend less money!
There are really tons of things that you can spend less money on in order to cut the budget. The possibilities are endless! But these 5 simple ways to cut your budget are a great place to start and can help you easily save $500 to $1,000 or more per month!
And while you’re at it, in order to put yourself and your family on wonderfully solid financial ground, check out these cool things to save up money for to run your financial house smoothly.
How do you save money by cutting your budget? Or what do you intend to do this year to save money from your budget? Leave a comment below and let me know—I would love to hear your ideas!
Invitation to Share
Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help a family member or friend or people in general? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being with others. Thank you!
Join our closed Families for Financial Freedom Facebook group to get support and share ideas for how we can all improve our financial well-being by earning more, spending less, saving more, and investing more and reach our financial goals. You can do this! And we are here to help.