Save $500 Or More on Monthly Living Expense

Save 0 Or More on Monthly Living Expense

You can save $500 a month or more by reducing your living expenses. This doesn’t mean living in a tent with a wood fire. The tips that follow are real life ideas that anyone can do, resulting in real cost of living savings.  Your results will vary depending upon where you live, climate and local cost of fuel and utilities. But if you follow these tips you are sure to save hundreds per month
Cash is King
Pay cash or use your bank debit card whenever possible. Avoid using a credit card particularly for everyday expenses like groceries, gas, lunches, dry cleaning etc. It does not cost anything to pay cash. Paying with credit could potentially cost you more than the item you purchased depending on how disciplined you are.

Invest In Debt
If you have savings over and above your emergency fund, pay down a credit card. In today’s economy, if you are making 4% on an investment you qualify as an investment guru. How would you like to triple or quadruple that return? Just take a look at the finance charge on your credit card. What makes more sense; keep the money in the investment, or reduce your debt and potentially reduce the cost of that debt by 300%?

Change Your Light bulbs
The new Compact Fluorescent Light bulb (CFL) can save you $10 to $40 each per year depending where you live. How many light bulbs do you have at your place? Aside from saving on your electric bill you are also reducing the emissions from coal powered generating plants.
Inflate Your Tires
The NHTSA reports that 23% of passenger cars and 31% of light trucks and SUVs are riding on one or more significantly under inflated tires. While NHTSA is interested in the safety issues regarding steering and handling, it is also important to remember that a tire that is under inflated has a bigger foot print on the road creating more friction. This friction can cost the car 6% of its MPG rating for every pound that the tire is under inflated. So invest $4.00 and get a pressure gauge. Many gas stations now charge for air so pay the 50 cents and save at the pump.
Insulate, Insulate
If you live in a cold climate you already know the value of insulation. However, there are thousands of homes in the Southwest that have no insulation at all because of the temperate climate. When we think of insulation we think of keeping warm air inside. It works in reverse in the summer keeping hot air outside and reducing air conditioning costs. If you house has no insulation, insulate at least the attic. The cost will easily be covered by the reduction in your utility bill, While you are at it, insulate your hot water heater and make sure it is not set higher than 120 degrees.
Buy Staples On Sale
When an item you always use like paper products, toothpaste etc goes on sale, buy as much as you can even if it means exceeding your budget. If the product has a long shelf life and you have the storage, take as much advantage of the savings as you can. You will get your budget back in shape over time as you will not be buying these items, and you will have saved on their budgeted cost.
Singles, Cook Together
If you are single, you know what a pain it is trying to cook for one. It is also less efficient because you wind up eating out or throwing away spoiled food. Find another single friend, pool your budget, and cook once a week. This probably will not work between a vegetarian and a meat eater, but it can be a fun experience and save money at the same time. For starters it means you have to come up with menus, which means your grocery shopping becomes more disciplined and less impulsive. Obviously what you make has to be able to be packaged and frozen as you are doing a week meals at a time.
Here are a few other ideas that are pretty obvious but they do not roll around every day. Shop your insurance. The internet has given consumers much more power in learning what they should be paying for home and auto and other insurance. Refinance your car either stretching out the length of the loan and reducing payments, or getting the equity out of it. This is a tough market right now but may loosen up as the economy improves.
So a few simple steps with limited investment can yield a significant reduction in your monthly expenses.