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Tricks To Minimize Expenses

If you have gotten to reading this post, I am assuming that you have already read the previous post and you have started tracking your financial metrics to understand where you stand with respect to your finances.

This post is meant to provide simple tricks on how to minimize non-essential expenses. Below is a list of some typical non-essential expenses based on my experience and tricks on how to reduce them.

Eating Outside

Based on my experience eating outside by far seems to account for the highest monthly expense. Everyone is constantly looking for ideas to minimize expenses on eating outside. Eating outside at work seems to be one of the most common reasons for increased expenses associated with eating outside. In order to reduce eating outside you can simply start by bringing lunch from home just a few days a week. You can bring a simple lunch such as a salad, a cold sandwich or ready to eat meals from the grocery store that can be heated up at work. This has a two fold advantage, not only does it help save money but it also makes you healthy.

Other ways to minimize expenses on eating outside is by limiting the number of times you go out to eat as a family to once per week or going out to eat only during special occasions.

Online Shopping

The other major source of unnecessary expense is online shopping. Online binge shopping has become a favorite hobby for a lot of people. People tend to buy unnecessary things online due to the great return policy with the hopes that they would return it later if they did not need that item. But, guess what, very few  people ever get to returning those unwanted items adding to unnecessary clutter and wasted money.

One way you can minimize your online spending is by curbing your urge for impulse purchases. There are several ways to minimize impulse purchases

  • When you like something, don’t immediately buy it. Instead add it to your cart or click on watch/save for later. Come back a day or two later and if you still think that it is something you really need then go ahead and buy it.
  • Don’t buy multiple items with the hope of keeping one and returning the others. That seldom works. Just buy one item at a time and make it a habit to not buy the next item until you have returned the first item.
  • People tend to buy gift cards and add money to their online accounts so it’s easy for them to purchase items.  Always pay with your credit card or bank account each time you make a purchase. This gives you an opportunity to re-think the purchase and decide if this is a purchase you really want to make.

Cable & Internet

Cable and internet bill seems to account for another major chunk of monthly expense. Internet speeds seem to be constantly increasing and people tend to always want the highest speed internet. You obviously have to pay a premium if you want a ultra high internet speed. However, if you are a typical household and all you use your internet is for streaming videos, music and surfing the internet, an internet speed of 40 – 50 Mbps is more than sufficient. By reducing your internet speed you should be able to reduce your monthly internet bill.

Another major expense is your cable bill. People rarely watch cable these days. However people tend to pay for cable because it tends to come bundled with your internet. If you are one of those people who barely watches cable consider cutting your cable and switching to a internet only plan. This should significantly bring your monthly bill down. Instead, switch to online stream services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon prime etc. if you like to watch local channels, you can always buy an HD antenna and you will be able to get all your local channel and news for free.

By applying the simple tricks provided above one should be able to reduce their unnecessary monthly expense.

This is by no means an all inclusive list. Please add any tricks that have worked for you in order to reduce unnecessary expenses in the comments.

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