Saving on monthly expenses is one of the biggest impacts you can have on your monthly budget. We have been there (recently), where we had to count every single penny entering our bank account and leaving our bank account.
I quit my corporate world job last year to stay home with my family and start a business. When that happened, we had to adjust from spending without thought to finding as many ways as possible to save on monthly expenses.
We also are adapters of minimalism, which has had great impacts on our family. Living a simple life isn’t always glamorous, but it does make your bank account happy!
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Here are some of my favorite ways to save on monthly expenses:
Cut out Starbucks or other coffee
Buy good coffee, tea, creamer, or whatever gets you going in the morning.
I used to buy crappy, cheap coffee. I didn’t drink it. 🤷🏻♀️ When I realized my husband preferred to stop at Starbucks on the way to work, I started to buy Starbucks coffee at the grocery store.
I also started to buy myself really good quality loose leaf tea. Now I don’t crave it while out.
If you like $6 lattes, you would be better off buying a coffee maker that makes them if you can’t cut them out.
Cut out manicures and pedicures
Manicures and pedicures are super relaxing and make your hands and feet look pretty. However, it is certainly a luxury and not one needed if you are trying to save on
If you get fake nails every month, your real nails will be way healthier after stopping.
Cut out car wash memberships
I live where it snows. I get it. Unlimited car washes is another luxury. Cut out this type of membership and save big bucks.
Wash your car yourself on warmer days. Only pay for a car wash when it’s too cold to do at home and when your car NEEDS it.
Stop buying drinks while out
Invest in a quality water bottle and stop buying drinks when out. If you have a good water bottle, you can fill up at water fountains or gas stations for free.
I prefer our yummy well water, so I’ll often carry a gallon jug (or stainless steel growler) with me in the car and will refill from it when out for a long day.
Try reusable napkins
I LOVE my dryer balls. They took some getting used to and my lab likes to retrieve them from the dryer while I’m not looking, but they’ve easily saved us a few bucks over the years.
Pack snacks in your purse and
Don’t get caught unprepared and hungry. Keep healthy snacks in your purse and car so you can tie yourself over when out and about. Eating out or buying convenience snacks can add up fast.
Pack a picnic
Keep a picnic blanket in the back of your car and pack a lunch when you are spending the day out. My kids have way more fun playing at the park than sitting in a restaurant.
We bought these amazing, adult-sized food thermoses. They have paid for themselves time and time again by taking a hot lunch with us. We got kid-sized food thermoses for our children. Our favorite thing to do is make spaghetti and take it with us on our ski days.
Combine your errands
Save on gas money and time by combining your errands.
Cut out luxury home services
Cut out luxury home services to save money on monthly expenses.
A house cleaner is super nice. Is it a necessity?
Having a laundry service is nice. If you are trying to save money, could you do your own laundry? (Yes, people pay for this! Blows my mind, but still.)
Eat out only once per week
Eating out is fun. It gives you time to relax and saves you from having to cook and clean-up. Make it a treat and only eat out once a week to save on
Spend more time sitting around the table with your family and take the time to teach your kids to cook.
Need help meal planning? Use my absolute favorite meal planning service, eMeals! I’ve been using them for nearly ten years now. I can’t say enough good things about them.
A lot of people are surviving as cord cutters. It doesn’t mean you have to go without tv.
Cut the $100 cable bill and get Hulu, Netflix, or Sling instead.
We pay $16/month for tv and have more than enough options. Our kids also watch tv ad-free, which is an added bonus.
It’s so easy to call someone out to fix something broken in your home.
If you have a busted pipe, go ahead and call the plumber! However, for those small repairs, do a YouTube video tutorial search and fix it yourself. You will be so proud!
Trade your car payment for a cash vehicle
This one may be the craziest for some. However, if you are serious about saving more money every month, trade in your car payment for a car you can pay for in cash with the equity you have already earned. It may not be as nice as a car, but it will be YOUR car.
My husband and started doing this over ten years ago. We have been teased for our cars for so long it doesn’t bother us anymore. However, with every trade in, we build a little more equity, and our cars keep getting nicer and nicer.
I love not having a car payment. If something breaks, we just use the money we would be putting into a car payment to afford the repairs. Repairs have never, in ten years, been more than the cumulative amount of monthly car payments.
Cut out subscriptions
Cut out any and all subscriptions:
- Books (Hard copy delivery or digital. The library is free!)
- Mail order anything (coffee, subscription boxes, etc.)
- Recurring monthly or year services (gaming subscriptions, massage memberships, clothing delivery memberships, etc.)
Wash your hair less
This one cracks me up. My husband would never, ever in a million years go for it. I only wash my hair once or twice a week. I have super thick, curly hair that I straighten.
Ever since I stopped washing my hair daily, I’ve saved a bundle in crazy expensive shampoos and conditioners that work on my frizzy hair!
thermostat in your home
Adjust the thermostat in your home so you “feel the seasons,” as a good friend of mine likes to say.
We keep our winter thermostat between 62-64 degrees at night. We keep it on 78 in the summer. (Well we did when we had air conditioning! Did you know mountain homes have no A/C? We were shocked when we moved in!)
Pack your lunch
Packing your lunch is so not cool when you work in an office. I get it. I fell victim to the pull to get out of the office every day too. However, if you want to save a butt load of money on your monthly expenses, this is the way to go.
Embrace your leftovers. Make a sandwich. Do what you have to do to save on monthly expenses.
Download a budgeting app
Finally, download the YNAB app, also known as You Need a Budget.
You get a free 34-day trial (one month of expense tracking and enough time for a budget review meeting). After that, it’s $83.99/year or $6.99/month. (Hear me out on the yearly cost. I actually support this cost.)
The YNAB yearly fee nearly paid for itself in the first week we had it when it alerted me to a recurring $60/year Microsoft Live subscription my husband had.
Want to know the kicker? He hadn’t used that service in over 2.5 years!!!! It nearly paid for itself with only one expense caught. Since then, we have found many other items, like when our card was stolen and we didn’t even know it.
I’ve always thought myself to be good with our budget, but apparently, I wasn’t paying that close of attention. The app has a bit of a learning curve, but it outperforms its competition tenfold.
They also have tons of support classes to help you learn how to best use the platform for your personal situation.
I cringe at the money we failed to save over the years because we were not using this service. It catches so many things I never would catch.
Save on your monthly expenses
If you want more ways to save, check out my friend’s blog, Budgets Made Easy with 100 little ways to save money every day.
Monthly expenses can add up quickly, especially if you aren’t paying attention to them. Minimalism and a simpler way of living helped me see that I don’t need all that fluff every month. As a result, we are able to save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every single month.