Last updated Aug. 3, 2022 by Jessica Green
There are cheap ways for you to cut your living expenses without having to starve or miss out on the good things of life. So don’t go about piling up debts when you can easily live a decent life by doing the bare minimum.
To assist you in your goal of living a better life on low budgets, this article looks at 21 of the cheapest ways you can lower your cost of living. Take a look at them below!
Get A Prepaid Card
Getting a prepaid card is undoubtedly one of the best ways to stay away from debts and unnecessary spending.
With a prepaid card, you can budget the exact amount of money you want to spend in a month, and have a full report of your spending anytime you want to avoid spending irregularities.
And just so you know, a prepaid card is a card that enables you to spend the exact amount of money you load into it hence restricting your spending. A prepaid card doesn’t allow you to spend beyond your fund or create debts.
Another benefit of a prepaid card is its lower fee charge for each transaction, unlike banks or credit cards.
Owning a private car may not be the best decision to make when thinking of cutting your living expenses because the costs of fuel, maintenance, and parking are enough to cover other important living expenses.
So to cut down on your cost of transportation, it’s best that you consider taking public transport.
Aside from being inexpensive and reliable, public transport also offers you a way to cut down your budgets to the lowest through its discount pass, season deals, and free bus service deals.
You can also save on your transportation expenses by sharing rides with neighbors or friends.
Create a Food Budget
The truth is, healthy eating isn’t expensive. You just don’t know how to plan your food budget. If you have a good food budget, you can eat and save healthily.
Having a good food budget doesn’t only help you erase unwanted expenses; it also helps you create extra cash that can be saved.
Here are some tips to help you create a good food budget:-
- Find out the prices of food items before going to stores.
- Make a list of things to buy and adhere strictly to it.
- Check out for coupons
- Know the store layout and avoid going to sections that can encourage you to spend.
- Buy items in season
Buy the Right Things in Bulk
You must have heard that buying foods and household products in bulk can help you cut down your expenses; well it’s true if you buy the right things in bulk.
Bulk buying is no doubt a way to save extra money because things bought in bulk are cheaper. But it can come with a few challenges if not done properly.
Here are some bulk buying tips to help you save some cash while cutting down your living expenses:-
- Buy the right things in bulk and avoid buying perishable items in bulk.
- If possible, split the cost of a bulk item with friends.
- Don’t overstock an item. It may end up getting spoilt.
- Items like toiletries, beverages, and rice can be bought in bulk.
- Avoid bulk buying items snacks, fresh produce, and egg.
Unnecessary trips to stores can cause impulse buying, hence the reason you should buy things in stocks and prevent the need to go shopping.
Use Cash during Payment
Paying money in cash may seem inconvenient, but it’s a smart way to have a handle on your expenses.
If you’re curious about how cash payment can help you keep your expenses in check, then read the below facts.
- When you make payments for things in cash, you become conscious of your financial status and then you become less prone to impulse spending. This is because the process of watching your money being taken and exchanged for something will set you into reality.
- Paying for things in cash helps you keep good track of spending. It enables you to be aware of how much you’ve spent, and how you should have spent.
So to begin your journey of cash payment, simply redraw a budgeted amount of money, and stick to spending only that amount for a week or month period.
Rent the Right Apartment
The apartment you choose to rent has a great impact on your living expenses, so when choosing a place to rent, it’s best that you consider certain factors as mentioned below.
- Location:- to avoid unnecessary living expenses, you need to rent an apartment that makes it easy for you to save. In other words, the place you stay has to be close to your working area and grocery store to enable you to cut down transport costs.
- The Cost of Rent:- if your monthly rent eats up a good amount of your salary, it’s time you consider changing where you stay.
- How Often the Rent will Increase and by How Much?:- When renting a place, be clear on how often the rents will be increased. This will prevent you from unnecessary expenses on rent.
- Cost of Parking:- the cost of rent is enough to have you living on a tight budget, so you don’t need to rent a place with high parking costs.
Tweak your Usage of Electricity
Electricity bills can eat you up without your knowledge, hence it’s high time you reconsider how you use your electricity.
Reducing your electricity bill by 25% is possible, you just have to follow these simple tips.
- Keep your fridge and freezer well sealed to prevent energy leakage and adjust its temperature.
- Keep your thermostats at 10 or 15 degrees.
- Reduce your usage of hot water and adjust your water heater temperature
- Take shorter showers
- Use energy-efficient bulbs
Take Your Lunch to Work
Leaving to work with your credit card in hand can trigger a lot of impulse spending. So to avoid this situation, simply consider taking your lunch to work.
To get the best results, keep your bank cards at home and go to work with a predetermined amount that’ll solve only your transportation costs.
With a lunch box and a limited amount of money, you’ll be able to tone down the amount you spend each day thereby cutting down your living expenses.
Cutting down on your living expenses doesn’t demand that you unsubscribe from things that keep you happy.
If Netflix is your mini-comfort zone, you can enjoy it to the fullest without having to bear the expense brunt of it. This is possible by sharing your subscription bills with friends or family.
Streaming services, cell phone plans, car insurance, and file storage subscriptions bills can be shared with family. So before you subscribe to a service, find out the terms and conditions to see if there’s a family subscription plan.
You probably aren’t the only one amongst your friends who wants to cut down on living expenses.
If there’s a friend you’re close to who won’t mind sharing a room with you, you both can split rent bills. Doing this will not only cut your rent bills by half, but it’ll also cause your utility bills, and other housing expenses to be split into two.
Cancel Your Credit Card
Having a credit card may be convenient for the fact that it allows you easy access to credits, but it is for this exact reason that you should consider canceling it.
A credit card makes spending money too easy and as someone aiming to cut down on living expenses, you should avoid whatsoever that will trigger impulse spending.
Having a credit card makes you vulnerable to challenges such as; a high rate of interest, credit damage, high annual fees, and overspending.
Switch to a Cheaper Cell Phone Service
The expenses you make on cell phone services may seem like they do not affect your overall living, but you would be surprised to discover what happens when you cut them down by 50%.
If toning down the amount of money you spend in a month is what you want, it’s time you consider evaluating your cell phone service subscriptions.
There are cheaper options when it comes to choosing a mobile virtual network operator, just do your research and stick with the cheaper plans.
You can also decide to share the subscription bills with your friends and family. This will go a long way in helping others cut down their expenses too.
Another cheap way to lighten your living expenses is by having a shared internet bill.
If you stay with friends or family, you can talk to them about splitting the internet bills; this will help you lower your internet expenses to a great degree.
If you are in a rented apartment, you can talk to your neighbors about the idea of a shared internet connection.
Buy Items in Thrift Stores
The urge to buy something new and firsthand is understandable but if you want to completely have an edge over your expenses, simply consider buying items in thrift stores.
Thrift stores have a lot of unique items with cost-efficient price tags so although it might be time-consuming to sift through rows of items to find something unique; it’s worth it in the end.
Not all thrift items are dirty. If you take your time to look through it, you’ll find the item that’s right for you.
Shop with a List
Going shopping without a plan or list can make you end up with lots of unnecessary items on your cart.
To prevent this scenario from happening, make plans of what to buy while at home and go shopping with the list.
To help further, it’ll be better to go shopping with the exact amount of money on your shopping list. This trick will save you from a lot of avoidable spending.
Have a Spending Plan
To you, having a spending plan would sound like something that can only be read online and not practiced but this is because you aren’t doing it the right way.
To have a spending plan that forces you to stick to it, there are certain things you have to do. Doing them correcting will lower your spending margin as well as leave you with some savings.
Here are some tips to help you create a good spending plan:-
- Know your net income and set realistic spending goals.
- Be clear on your monthly expenses to enable you to create a transparent plan.
- List out the important expenses, and unimportant ones.
- Hold the amount to be spent in cash to enable you to track your expenses.
Stop Buying Branded Products
If reducing your living expenses to the barest is what you’re after, then you’ll have do away with the habit of buying branded products because they offer you nothing but validation and social significance – which isn’t a problem.
There are tons of products that offer the same services as branded products at cheaper rates, it’s time you began to look into them.
If you aren’t sure about the quality a cheap product offers, ask friends who must have tried it out.
Use a Bicycle
When reviewing your monthly expenses, it’ll shock you to know that transportation cost takes away a large chunk of your income. So if using public transport doesn’t help too much in cutting down the spending, then using a bicycle will help a lot.
It may sound odd and old school, but it’s a smart way to block off every expense resulting from transportation.
Look for Cheaper Insurance Deals
Don’t go spending more than the required on insurance when there are better insurance companies out there with much better deals. Always do your research by comparing the rates of different insurance companies to enable you to find cheaper deals.
And before you sign up for insurance with a company, be sure to check out their discounts.
Cancel Gym Membership and Consider Doing Workouts at Home
Paying for a gym session is great but not a smart decision to make when trying to ease your living expenses.
So what decision do you make? It’s simple; you just have to cancel your membership.
Canceling your gym membership will have no effect on your body goals if you conduct workouts at home. There are lots of practice videos on YouTube that can help you stay up to date with your workout session without feeling left out.
Cook Your Food At Home
Eating out is a very good money-consuming habit that you have to stop if you’re aiming toward a stable financial life.
Cooking at home is much better, cheaper, and healthy. So try reducing your spending by buying affordable cooking ingredients and making do with them.
The little things you do today to cut your expenses can determine how much savings you’ll have tomorrow. So be wise!
Before you make a spending decision, make due diligence calculations. This will help you to live within your means with no debts.