Looking for some budget tips that will actually save you some cash each month? You’re not alone.
Meet Jane, a retiree who’s always been good with her finances. But over the last 12 months, she noticed her monthly expenses slowly increasing each month. Before she knew it, her budget was out of bounds! After spending some time investigating to find the source of the monthly increases in her budget, Jane discovered the problem was the little leaks in her budget that were hardly noticeable on their own. In her case, most of them were subscriptions she didn’t even realize she was paying for.
This is a classic example of how easy it is for small increases to add up to big numbers. But, no need to worry if you find yourself in a similar situation! With a few simple changes, you can start saving money every month, just like Jane did.
Here are 5 budget tips that will save you money every month:
1. Review and Reduce Your Monthly Subscriptions
Just like Jane, many of us have monthly subscriptions that we may not even use or need. Take the time to review all of your monthly subscriptions, and cancel any that you no longer use or need. This could include streaming services, magazine subscriptions, and even gym memberships. These days, this might be one of the best budget tips you’ll find and you’ll likely be surprised by how much you can save just by cutting out these unnecessary expenses.
Discovering monthly subscriptions you’re paying for but not using can be a bit of a treasure hunt, but don’t worry, it’s easier than you might think! Here’s how to do it:
- Gather your recent billing statements: This could be a stack of paper bills or electronic statements you receive in your email. Either way, make sure you have access to the most recent 3-6 months of bills.
- Look for recurring charges: Go through each bill and look for charges that appear every month. These could be listed as “monthly subscription” or “recurring charge.” Make a list of these charges.
- Research the charges: Once you’ve made a list of the recurring charges, do some research to determine what each charge is for. Look for the name of the company or service, or check the website or customer service number listed on the bill.
- Determine if the charge is necessary: Once you know what the charge is for, decide if it’s something you need or use. If not, it’s time to cancel the subscription.
- Cancel the subscription: Cancelling a subscription is usually as simple as making a phone call or sending an email to the company. If you’re not comfortable doing this, ask a trusted friend or family member for help.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to identify and cancel any monthly subscriptions you’re paying for but not using. It may take a little bit of time, but the money you save will be well worth it!
2. Switch to Generic Brands
When it comes to grocery shopping, generic brands can be just as good as the more expensive name-brand options, but at a fraction of the cost. Use this budget tip and switch to generic brands for items such as over-the-counter medications, cleaning supplies, and even some food items. Your wallet will thank you.
Switching to generic brands is a simple and effective way to save money on your monthly expenses. But what exactly are generic brands, and how do they work?
Generic brands, also known as store brands or private label brands, are products sold under the name of the store or retailer instead of a well-known brand. These products are often made by the same manufacturers as the name-brand products and are usually of the same quality, but they cost less because they don’t have the same advertising and marketing costs.
For example, instead of buying a name-brand cereal, you could purchase the store brand cereal that is made by the same manufacturer and tastes just as good. Instead of buying name-brand paper towels, try the store brand paper towels that are just as absorbent. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save just by switching to these generic brands.
So, how can you find these generic brands to purchase? Here are a few tips:
- Look for store brands at your local grocery store: Most grocery stores have their own generic brands, so take a look at the products available and compare prices with the name-brand products.
- Check discount and warehouse stores: Stores like Aldi, Costco, and Sam’s Club are known for their low prices, and they often have their own generic brands that are just as good as the name-brand products.
- Ask your friends and family: Word of mouth is a powerful tool, so ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations for generic brands they use and love.
By implementing this budget tip and switching to generic brands, you can save a significant amount of money each month without sacrificing quality. Give it a try and see the difference it can make in your budget!
3. Take Advantage of Senior Discounts
Many businesses offer discounts to seniors. Take advantage of these discounts when dining out, shopping, and even traveling. All you have to do is ask! Don’t be shy, your savings will more than make up for any embarrassment.
Here’s are some senior discounts from popular establishments that are available to seniors over 55 in the United States:
|Business Name||Qualifying Age||Discount Amount|
|Home Depot||55+||10% off|
|Waffle House||55+||10% off|
|Olive Garden||55+||10% off|
|Outback Steakhouse||55+||10% off|
|TGI Fridays||60+||10% off|
|Cracker Barrel||55+||10% off|
|Jack in the Box||55+||20% off|
Please note that the discounts may vary by location and are subject to change. Some of the discounts may also require a senior discount card, which can be obtained through the business’s website or in-store. So it’s always best to check with the business for the most up-to-date information.
4. Cut Back on Energy Usage
Cutting back on energy use can be a great way to save some money on your monthly bills. We pay for energy in our utility bills every single month, like electricity and gas. So if we use a bit less energy, we can reduce the amount we pay for these bills.
For example, why not try turning off the lights when you leave a room? Or, try unplugging electronics when you’re not using them. You can also switch out your lightbulbs for energy-efficient ones, and adjust your thermostat to a lower temperature.
Oh, and don’t forget to turn the water off while you brush your teeth, and wash your clothes in cold water. By following these tips, you can really start to see some savings on those monthly bills. They may seem insignificant on their own but they add up. Give this budget tip a try and see what happens!
5. Utilize Public Transportation
Using public transportation can be a great way to save money! When you drive your own car, you are paying for fuel, insurance, maintenance, registration fees and more. These costs can add up quickly and take a big chunk out of your monthly budget. With public transportation, such as buses and trains, you only have to pay the fare for the ride. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
For seniors living in rural areas, public transportation may not be as easily accessible. However, some areas have rideshare services (many free to seniors) that can help you get around. Some of these services like Uber for example, may cost a little more than public transportation, but you can still save money by not having to pay for fuel and other car-related expenses.
Overall, public transportation is an excellent way to save money on transportation costs. It’s worth considering if you’re looking for ways to make your budget stretch further each month.
Use these budget tips to make a few small changes to your monthly expenses that can add up to big savings. From reducing subscriptions to taking advantage of senior discounts, there are plenty of ways to live a comfortable and stress-free retirement. So, give these 5 budget tips a try, and start saving big today!