People are always looking to scrimp and save no matter the season, and the holidays place even more financial pressure on people already in need of some quick and easy ways to cut down on unnecessary expenses.
It may be hard to take an objective look at many, if not all of the items on your expenses list after all, you chose to take on each one of them for a reason. Even entertainment items may seem like necessities.
If you’re working hard day in and day out to pay the bills on time and make ends meet, frivolous expenses that help you to relax can seem indispensable. Eliminating these wherever you possibly can, however, take off some of that stress that is pushing you to engage in more recreational activities.
Some expenses can sneak in and catch you unaware, the challenge with eliminating these is just the difficulty in sniffing them out and once you do, cutting them out of your budget is a snap. Here are six items common unnecessary expenses that can probably stand to be cut if you’re struggling to make your money last.
1.) Cable and Satellite
The extreme abundance of available channels that people get with even some of the most basic cable and satellite entertainment packages is astronomical and it has been for years. Cable and satellite TV companies won’t sell packages with just one or two of your favorite channels. They don’t believe they can make money that way. So, if you pay for these services, you’re paying for a whole slew of things that you don’t want. Just say ‘no,’ and cut it out of your budget.
2.) Sans TV is the New Black
Now that we’ve got your cable and satellite on the chopping block, you probably realize that the only channels left to you will be the major networks and maybe a local station or two. Even if you like some of the programs they show, you more than likely don’t watch them all and who in the information age wants to wait around for scheduled programming? There are plenty of alternatives available for free on the Internet that can more than compensate you, especially if it’s just network news you fear missing.
3.) Home Phone and Internet
Few people these days don’t have at least a mobile phone if not a smartphone. If you’re still paying to have a LAN line phone piped into your home, guess what, you’re wasting money. As far as home Internet goes, consider whether or not you really need it. If you work from home, conduct a lot of business remotely, or via email and social networks, well, we’re sorry to have mentioned it. But, if you don’t use the Internet for your regular source of income, it may well be something you should do without. Consider using coffee shops and other free Wi-Fi. It just might be a good way to get you out of the house more often.
4.) Car Payments
Like the Internet, a lot of people are paying for a lot more car than they really need to. Unless you commute a large distance for work, you may not need to be paying so much for your vehicle. If you live in a downtown city area, you really probably don’t need a car at all. Those payments and repairs can suck the life out of your budget. Trade it in for something cheaper, or get rid of it altogether.
5.) Expensive Coffee
A lot of people don’t realize that the most expensive coffees are not better than some of the less expensive brands. OK, we’re not asking you to drink Sanka but you certainly don’t need to be going to Starbucks every day when you can grind beans at home and carry a thermos. If you’re spending five dollars a day now, that adds up to about $100 to $150 a month! Just stop.
6.) Eating Out
If you have expensive tastes in food and eat out a lot, there’s good news. The more cooking you do for yourself the cheaper and healthier it will be. Learning some recipes for your favorite foods will cut your food budget in half, and you’ll learn some valuable culinary skills!
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