How do you cut expenses when money is tight?

28 replies
You still have to live. You still have to eat and pay bills, so you look for ways to cut back. I know that a lot of experts recommend canceling cable (if you have it) and eating out less often, which I agree with. So I looked for less obvious ways to save when money is tight, tried them out, found out that they worked and listed them below:

- Placed a pan in the sink and used rinse water from washing dishes, etc. as flush water. Saved a LOT of money doing this, by the way.

- Keep the computer and tv unplugged when they are not being used.

- Walk short distances instead of driving when possible.

- Buy fresh produce in season instead of canned veggies and fruits.

- Buy items as toilet paper, soda, cookies, garbage bags, soap, bread, dental floss at the Dollar Tree store instead of the supermarket

- Use Netflix.

- Check out contractors at the BBB website carefully before hiring them.

- Use the microwave more often. I bought and borrowed books on microwave cooking and tried some of the easier recipes.

- In hot weather, turn off air conditioning right before bed time and leave it off the following morning or early afternoon.

The items above have worked for me, but I know that there are more. Please share your personal favorite ways of saving more money when money is tight.
#cut #expenses #money #tight
  • Profile picture of the author wbeil48
    You have to reason with yourself about just how much money do you think you need to be pay the mortgage/rent, food for the month plus all utilities and other misc. bills like credit cards. What's left over is what you have to work with.

    I used to not be able to save a dime and was always broke long before my next paycheck was due to arrive. After much self-induced financial hardship I was forced to sit myself down and establish a budget I could live with.

    What's been working for me:

    1. Stay home as much as possible, avoid spending money needlessly or purely for recreation (movies, drinks at a bar, etc.) *Savings per month=$150
    2. Got rid of my land line telephone bill by switching over to VOIP. *Savings per month=$63
    3. Don't buy things on least sleep on it before making a decision on a frivolous purchase. *Savings per month=$400 minimum

    By following the strategies above, I was able to retire at age 62 and live very comfortably on social security and my Army pension. I occasionally work part time filling in for various trucking companies around here (through a temp agency) as a semi truck driver because I enjoy driving Big Rigs...just want to be able to come home every night instead of living out of one for weeks on end like I used to have to do!

    Hope this helps others like it helped me!

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  • Profile picture of the author barbarajean
    I just recently dropped my cable plan down to basic @ $50 a month savings! I watch a few shows that I cannot access anymore on the internet for free on
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    • Profile picture of the author wbeil48
      I noticed you just became a member of WF today, Barbarajean. Let me be the first to welcome you! You'll learn a lot here in the many areas of the forum and make some awesome friends to boot!

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      • Profile picture of the author barbarajean
        Originally Posted by wbeil48 View Post

        I noticed you just became a member of WF today, Barbarajean. Let me be the first to welcome you! You'll learn a lot here in the many areas of the forum and make some awesome friends to boot!

        Thanks Bill! Until your post, I felt completely anonymous here!

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  • Profile picture of the author Kenster
    I would imagine cutting food and entertainment would be the best way to reduce spending.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mack
    A few people I work with spend at least $10 a day at Subway, it sure adds up.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Field
      List down all basic needs buy only what is really important and save more on electricity and your monthly expenses/bills.

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      • Profile picture of the author ColdFire123
        Originally Posted by Jason Field View Post

        List down all basic needs buy only what is really important and save more on electricity and your monthly expenses/bills.

        Yeah. I agree on that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    Getting rid of things is great, and I have done it, and continue to do it on occasion to keep life efficient, but...

    Instead of brainstorming ideas to cut back, taking more time to walk, carrying dishwater, etc... Why not sit down and write articles on Textbroker, ConstantContent, through an ad on the Warrior Forum, or find another way to make a few extra dollars.

    The same amount of time used to cut back could be paying for those same items and starting you on the path to further growth. Promoting a Zip Submit, Email Submit CPA offer could be done quickly and effectively to make extra cash.

    The main thing to cut back in my book, for me... Cut back on wasted time, and invest it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johstin
    Great tips. I've had to cut back on some things in order to manage. I had to think about what was most important...Food, shelter, water, electricity, and gas. Those are some of the first things that get paid. But in the end, you definitely save money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Osahon Urubusi
    -determine how much you earn after tax
    -multiply that by .8 (80%)
    -sock away.1, keep .05 for personal development, give .05 away (more if u can)
    -make all bills and expenses fit into 80%, if an expense extends you drop it
    -budget everything, if it's not life threatening, let it wait for next month budget
    -give something away (helps develop s sense of abundance)

    Sounds tough, but I've done it and I'm not broke anymore so....

    Also agree with kansasdragon, the outsourcing sites can offer a useful additonla income source!!
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    • Profile picture of the author webwriter
      Giving something away is a great idea!

      To date, I've donated money to two animal charities and am making arrangements to donate my home to one of them. I've loved animals, especially cats, all my life and want to help them in whatever way I can.
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  • Profile picture of the author PeterDunin
    Try going out socialising once a fortnight instead of every week,I found I was saving in excess of £100 pounds a month.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Jones
    I cook all my own food and make enough at night to bring the same as my lunch to work the next day. That way I'm not out eating crappy food at lunchtime as well. Savings - $200 a month.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Thai
    Give! this might sound silly but its true if you give (donation, sponsoring kids etc) you will end up receiving more!
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  • "- Use the microwave more often. I bought and borrowed books on microwave cooking and tried some of the easier recipes."
    I do not know how it is in Your country, but in mine electricity is much more expensive than gas. So It is cheaper to use gas for cooking and boiling water. Electric tea kettle(maybe it's not called like that..) use 2000W and microwave about 850W... Electricity saves time, but spend more money.
    I would say really important is to write down every day expenses, after a week or too, You will see what is necessary and what's not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alchemium
    1.Draw a weekly amount of cash and stick to it.
    2. Don't use your credit or debit cards.
    3. Cut back in purchasing the "latest bestest" software or blueprint and create good content.

    This simple rules helped us quite a bit.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelRay
    Cook your own food and bring some to work. You will be surprised how much you gonna save on your lunch money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sue McDonald
    Work out the difference between needs and wants. Make a list and you should start by cutting out what comes up on your wants lists.

    We know for sure on your 'needs' list will have things like mortgage, insurances, utilities, gas, credit card payments ( if you have one), etc. Now on the want lists if there are things like restauants, alcohol , sodas and candies, magazines, movies etc. Look careful at what you can go with out. And you may still want a special treat of dining out once a month but look at the "Cheep and Cheerful" type venues.

    If you do have a credit try and pay it off and do not use it. When you go to work always take your lunch with you. Don't buy fast food - cook at home.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    I could probably write a course on this, lol! When I was in college and also starting out in IM, things were so tight that I had barely enough money to cover expenses. Here are some of the key things I learned that maximized my savings -

    1) never eat outside at restaurants.
    2) only buy food items that are on sale at the grocery store or supermarket, and cook at home for every single meal.
    3) don't use airconditioning or heating unless it's over 100 F or under 32 F (when I was in college I used to practically live in the library to cut down on bills).
    4) walk everywhere, cut down on driving to a bare minimum (I got so good at this I often went 2-3 weeks without driving).
    5) don't go to the cinema, cut down on going out - because that usually means you end up spending money on something.
    6) don't carry cash around with you, only use a debit card (not credit card!) You'd be surprised at how many chances to spend money are eliminated just by implementing this little step!
    7) I used to take advantage of free meals on campus whenever and wherever they were offered.

    There are lots of creative ways to save. When I was starting out in IM, I saved as much as I could and invested the majority of it in my IM education, software and resources. This went on for several months until things took off, and I'm really glad I did it; I have no regrets at all.

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  • Profile picture of the author sandra98
    - for entertainment, try renting DVDs from rental kiosks like Red Box, or the library
    - as much as possible, borrow books from the library rather than buy them
    - hiking in the outdoors for some rest and relaxation
    - shop from a list when grocery shopping, less impulse purchases, and it gets you thinking about eat for the week and prevents extra expenditures from eating out
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Pretend as if you didn't see that new product. Avoid panic buying or buying by impulse.
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  • Profile picture of the author ComputerGirl
    In cases like that I choose to buy just the most necessary products/things. As I have used not to spend money on things that I really do not need, then in case when with money is not too good I evaluate each my purchase much closer. Also I try to choose cheaper products if that is possible.
    If I do any other ways how I could save money then I do it, it also includes in house, I do not let light on if I am not in some room and so on, and so on ...
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  • Profile picture of the author iobeek
    The best thing I ever did was to start my own garden. Ok, I do have lots of backyard space and maybe garden is not suitable for everyone but if you at least have couple of square meters or even a meter of sunny spot (balcony??) you can grow something.

    Another thing to think about as far as food is concerned is sprouts. Seeds are dirt cheap and you can sprout almost anything. Almost free vegetables during the winter and healthy too.

    I started my garden along with sprouting seeds not because of money issues but because I wanted to eat healthy food. At the end I found out that my wallet is better off also.

    Just my 2c....
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  • Profile picture of the author rockstaradi
    Live your life on internet. Don't be Epicurean, save money
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  • Profile picture of the author fayehines
    Just cut back and spend money on things that you really need. Anything you need for business like a domain name and web hosting is very cheap so there shouldn't be a problem there. But the good news is that an increase income can always be a true reality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Phobos
    Work more to earn more. Use the lack of money as motivation. Cutting expenses is a good way to make it trough difficult periods but don't make it a habit to get by on little money.
    Weed news
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  • Profile picture of the author andy rodick
    the best way to reduce spending...buying a piggy bank..
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