12 Easy Things to Cut the Fat Out of Your Budget
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….12 Frugal Things…
When you want to save money or pay extra toward your debt, sometimes it’s easy to think about big ways to save money and forget about the little things. Here are 12 frugal things you can do this week to save some extra money. Every little bit counts.
- Pack your lunch. If you spend $5 on lunch 5 days a week, you’ll save $25 a week by packing your lunch. That’s $1,300 a year…not chump change!
- Give up the soda. In our area, a twelve pack of pop costs around $3. If you go through one twelve pack a week, by giving it up, you will save $150 a year.
- Cut back your cable/satellite package. You can save $5-$10 a month by dropping down to the next level on your cable package. That’s $60-$120 a year.
- Don’t buy magazines. You can get them from your local library. If you save $3 a week by not buying, that’s another $150 a year.
- Get Active. Walking will improve your health, which will impact your medical budget. Even if it saves you only two doctor’s appointments this year, that’s an extra $40 if you have a $20 copay.
- Speaking of health, stop smoking. If you smoke a pack a day at $2.25 a pack, you save $67.50 over the course of a month and $821.25 over the course of a year. And that doesn’t even include the amount you’ll save by being healthier.
- Make the switch to CFL bulbs. You can save up to $30 a month by using CFLs instead of regular light bulbs. Assuming you save $20 a month, that’s $240 a year.
- Have a meatless meal once a week. If a package of meat costs $3, cutting out meat from one meal a week will save $150 a year.
- Drop the DVD rental package. My husband and I did this earlier this year, and we haven’t missed it. Our lower tier membership was $9.99 a month. We’re saving $119.88 a year.
- Sell your books on half.com. It’s really easy to list your books by the ISBN number. It only takes a few minutes. I listed mine at the beginning of last year, and I make an average of $10 a month with very little effort. That’s $120 a year.
- Use generic medication. You can save around $3 by using generic ibuprofin instead of Advil. And using a generic prescription medication can save you even more. When I switched to a generic prescription, I saved $36 a month! That’s $432 a year!
- Track your spending. By tracking your spending, you will avoid overdraft fees, most of which are around $25. If you have to pay an average of 3 overdraft fees a year, tracking your spending will save you $75.
If you save the maximum in all of these areas, it comes to $3,718.13! That’s a lot of money! I realize that most people aren’t going to be able to do everything on this list, but let this be a springboard for you to think of the little things you can do to save money. Then add up all the money you can save. You might be surprised at how the little things add up over the course of the year.
This wraps up the 12 Days of Christmas – Personal Finance Style! Make sure you work your way through the whole “song”! On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me….
If you like this article, please sign up for free weekly email updates.
Disclaimer and Legal Mumbo Jumbo
I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, I state that I have a financial relationship with companies mentioned in this website. This may include receiving access to free products and services for product and service reviews and giveaways.
Any references to third party products, rates, or websites are subject to change without notice. I do my best to maintain current information, but due to the rapidly changing environment, some information may have changed since it was published. Please do the appropriate research before participating in any third party offers.