5 Simple Budget Cuts That Can Save $200 a Month
by Ted Hunt
Saving money doesn’t have to be painful. With these five easy budget cuts, you can put a little wiggle room back in the budget. Your family will have an extra $200 to pay bills, save up for summer vacation, or put toward some other financial goal.
Most American families face a financial crunch at some point, and it seems it’s frequently happening these days.
Prices and costs have increased over the past few years, but income has remained stagnant. Some employees have taken part-time jobs instead of full-time work or accepted fewer hours per week just to keep a job.
Don’t despair. Here’s how to save $200 per month by making small changes without even saying “ouch.”
Unplug Unused Electronics: $10 Per Month
According to Move.org, the average American home spends $1,400 per year on energy bills. If you have a lot of electronics and appliances in your home, your bill is probably higher. And you could be paying $8 to $10+ per month to power electronic devices and appliances that aren’t even being used, especially if those appliances and electronics are older. (source: energy.gov)
Unplug your cell phone chargers when you take your phones off in the morning and unplug unused gaming and video consoles. Don’t leave laptops plugged in unless they need a charge. Also consider unplugging DVD players and cable boxes if you still have those. If you leave small kitchen appliances plugged in all the time, such as the toaster oven or air fryer, consider only plugging those in when you need to use them.
Get a New Homeowners Insurance Quote: $17 Per Month
Take a look at how much you’re paying for homeowner’s insurance. Do a little research on homeowners insurance basics so you know what you’re looking at when you review your policy.
Are you taking advantage of discounts you’re eligible for, such as home security discounts? Could you save money by raising your deductible? If you can save $200 per year, it means about $17 per month back in your pocket for something more enjoyable than insurance premiums.
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Get a New Car Insurance Quote: $17 Per Month
By comparing insurance agencies, raising your deductible, and taking advantage of savings like multi-vehicle discounts, your family could save as much as $200 per year or more. This translates into another monthly savings of about $17.
Also, ask about good student discounts, safe driver discounts, and discounts for combining your homeowners and auto policies. Experts recommend revisiting your insurance policies once each year to assure you’re getting the best deal and have adequate coverage as your life changes.
Cut Entertainment Expenses: $50 Per Month
American families spend an average of $243 each month on entertainment.
You don’t have to cut out all the fun to see significant savings in the entertainment budget. By saying goodbye to one of your five paid streaming services, cutting out a visit to the local theater, and passing on the latest video game release, your family can see tremendous savings.
Cut Back on Eating Out: $110 Per Month
The average family of four spends $2,376 per year eating out. Reducing this by half saves about $100 every month.
Also, meals at home may lead to better family interactions. At restaurants, it’s easy to spend time watching other people, texting, and chatting with the waiter. Eating at home reduces distractions and allows your family to spend intimate time together while saving a big chunk of the family budget.
How Will You Save $200 Per Month?
With these five easy budget cuts, your family will have an extra $200 to pay bills, save up for summer vacation, or put towards some super cool holiday gifts for next year. However, you may find even more ways to save if you take a hard look at your budget and your spending.
Saving money doesn’t have to be painful. It just takes some creative problem-solving and a little willpower to stick to the plan.
Build an Emergency Fund
With these simple tips and tools, you can build an emergency fund, even while living paycheck to paycheck.
Reviewed April 2023
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