Looking for a way to free up some serious room in the budget? Hey, I get you! We’re living in strange times right now, and it’s not a bad idea to find ways to live frugally. Or, maybe circumstances have changed and things just aren’t the way they used to be. If that’s the case, then you can certainly benefit from these 10 things to cut out to massively save money.
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10 Things to Cut Out To Massively Save Money
There are always a lot of little things you can do every month to save money (read about 5 ways you can save over $500 a month), but for now we’re going to focus on 10 big things to cut out to massively save money.
If you’re in a pinch, or need to free up some cash fast, some of these will work for you immediately.
Some of these other tips, however, will take careful planning before you take off.
However, once you do, you’ll wind up saving hundreds–even thousands–of dollars.
1: Credit Cards
Okay, in full disclosure, I’m going to be honest here and say that I despise credit cards.
For 95% of us it’s nothing but a money trap.
Seriously, who wants to buy money? When you use a credit card, that’s essentially what you’re doing. The “price” for the cash that you’re getting upfront has been renamed “interest”.
And it’s not for your benefit.
Sometimes, in a bind, credit is the only way you can take care of an emergency.
But you should know that credit card companies did not develop their business with your benefit in mind. They developed their business to make money.
Off of you.
The average person has over $6000 in credit card debt hanging over their head, and the average interest rate, or “price” of money, is between 14.87% and 16.88% (source).
So, no, credit cards are not your friend.
Pay those puppies off, and then start saving up a cash reserve that builds interest–not charges interest.
2: Fancy Cars
It’s a symbol and it makes a statement. But that gorgeous, eye-catching, brand new car will depreciate in value faster than almost any other asset you own.
In fact, by the time you’re ready to sell it, you’ll lose close to 40% of the vehicle’s value, maybe even more.
What if that were your home’s value? You’d be devastated.
Even though we’re talking about a much smaller dollar amount than a home, does the concept of value and stewardship really change?
Yours truly? An old Honda Odyssey (just thought I’d throw that in there since it seems all the cool people drive Hondas and it made me feel pretty good about my mom van).
My husband and I calculated how much interest we paid on our cars, one of which we purchased brand new, and we just couldn’t justify it in our minds.
Especially considering the amount of money we lost over just a few years’ time.
Aside from that, we live in Southern California, where heavy traffic is a way of life. Dings, scratches and scuffs just happen. There’s no getting around it. Why have something that will get scratched and make us cringe every time it happens?
So, we sold our “new” cars and paid cash for an older vehicle. And we’ve never been happier.
Honestly? Getting out from another monthly payment lowers so much stress.
While this tip may not be so popular, it’s honestly probably one of the most effective ways to save thousands of dollars.
3: Delivery Services
It’s super convenient, but you’re certainly going to pay for that convenience–and quite a bit extra, too.
Services like Door Dash and Postmates that deliver food to your door can be helpful, but the cost of the food is actually higher.
And then there are delivery fees, service fees, and tip.
An order to Chick-Fil-A for my husband and I quickly jumped from around $18 to nearly $30–for the same food!
I couldn’t justify it. So, I got in my car, drove to the drive-through, and ordered our meal myself.
Using the “I’m saving gas,” line doesn’t work. Unless you’re driving quite a distance away for your food, you’re not going to spend $12 of gas picking it up.
4: Expensive Furniture
Another one of 10 monthly things to cut out to massively save money is expensive furniture in your home.
Yes, it’s beautiful and impressive, but unless you’re doing quite well for yourself, you’ve probably financed it.
Now you’re making monthly payments that you have to worry about and then you’re paying interest, even if you get the first 6 months or year interest-free.
It’s nice to have pretty things, but when push comes to shove, the money speaks a little more loudly.
Instead of financing expensive furniture, shop around for bargains. You can find pretty things on a budget, too!
Sites like Wayfair, OfferUp, Amazon, Overstock, and many more sell beautiful pieces at much more affordable prices.
Pro Tip: Do a little research. Many name-brand furniture stores have outlets and the furniture is discounted (like, a lot). Many also have back rooms where the “less than perfect” furniture is sold at a highly discounted price. These pieces might have a tiny little flaw that you can’t even see, and the price is much lower. Just ask!
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5: Luxury Taste
You’re shopping and you reach for a gorgeous garment that captures your eye.
The tag reads $$$ instead of $$.
I get it. You have beautiful taste. And it’s fun to wear clothes and buy things that have particular brands and lifestyles associated with them.
But honestly, it’s not necessary.
If you’re trying to save money in your budget, it might be time to find some brands that are nice quality but more affordable.
You can also sell your luxury or designer brands on sites like Poshmark or Modcloth and get some of your hard-earned money back.
It’s hard to stay home when you’re used to going out and about, but another, very fast way to save money is to stay home.
Postponing a vacation or getaway is hard to do, but there are some other, fun alternatives.
You can have a “staycation,” for instance, where you vacation at home.
You can plan all sorts of fun things in advance. Some ideas of this would be:
- Plan a family camp-out in the backyard (or even the living room!)
- Get some new board games or family games to play
- Plan relays and games to play around the house (scavenger hunt, relay race, etc.)
- Try a fun art project as a family
- Make some small, homemade gifts for neighbors or family and friends to spread some love
This one is general on purpose. When you saw the word “habits,” a particular habit of yours probably jumped into your mind.
We all have those things that we do frequently, weekly, maybe even daily, that cost money.
It’s not so much that the habit itself is expensive in that one instance, but the frequency is what makes it add up.
If you were to sit down and calculate how much money you’re spending per year on your habit, you’d probably be quite shocked.
8: Toys and Gadgets
This one is big. Nothing adds up faster than buying “stuff” for the kids.
Naturally, as parents, we want the best for our littles. We want to give them the newest and the best of things.
But that gets expensive–quickly.
And let’s think about this for a second. Is giving our kids the best of everything, all the time, sending them a message we really want them to receive?
What is it really teaching them?
That’s up to you and your family, but on the money side of things, it doesn’t need to get so pricey.
Based on my experiences with my own kids, I’ve learning that what my kids want more than anything is my time.
My toddler has more fun playing with a plastic bin full of water and a wooden spoon with me than with his fancy trucks and trains by himself.
That sure taught me something!
These are sneaky little things that look harmless but add up faster than anything.
One subscription… okay, seems harmless.
Now, go back and look at all your “harmless subscriptions” and add them up.
Yeah… sneaky little brutes.
Try and cut out mos–if not all– of your subscriptions, saving only a couple of the ones you know you rely on the most if you must.
You can research ways to replace your subscriptions with services that you can buy what you need as it’s needed.
Some examples of frivolous subscriptions are:
- Razors and other basic self-care items
- Reading materials
- Electronic subscriptions
- Apps and games
- Toys and children’s books
- Gym Membership
Chances are you aren’t even using enough of the products or services to justify the monthly payment.
I’ve mentioned this one before in 5 Ways to Save Over $500 A Month, but it’s so common that it’s worth mentioning again.
According to a small study (source), 70% of people claimed that they threw out expired, uneaten food.
On top of that, the average American eats out over 5 times a week (I’m kinda cringing at this one). (source)
A good way to curb this habit is to give your family a weekly “eating out” budget. Eating out is not high priority, so it should be a smaller allowance to free up cash for other, more important things.
When the money is gone, it’s gone. Period.
You can avoid throwing out expired food by planning meals in advance, creating shopping lists and sticking to a plan.
Plump Up Your Cash Supply
So, now that you know 10 things to cut out to massively save money, you can start making some changes.
Start small, and then gradually adjust your spending habits as you go. Don’t make yourself miserable by trying to take everything on at once.
Saving money is a marathon. It takes building a stamina of good habits and discipline.
Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself the grace to learn as you go.
Nothing feels better than knowing you’re being a good steward of what you have, learning to save, and building wealth.