As more people lose their jobs and the prices of goods and services steadily increase, it's time for you to take action and do something about those bills. Fast.
Where do I start? Everything I'm paying for is a necessity. There's nothing I can cut down on. What do you want me to do if they are gone? How will I live?
You're not the first one who spoke this way and you'll certainly not be the last. If you take a careful and objective look at your bills and all the "stuff" you're paying for, you actually do not need a good majority of them. There are also some affordable and efficient alternatives that will not put a hole in your pocket.
If you want to save money then the best place to start is to cut your recurrent costs as low as possible. That way you will have enough money left aside for savings or investments.
I've put together 6 tips that you can follow right now to drastically reduce your recurrent costs. They're so simple but the results are impressive.
1. Cut Back on Eating out
Maybe you didn't notice (most people don't) that the coffee you buy from Starbucks, the lunch dates, takeouts and those jelly donuts make up expenses. In fact, eating out is one of the things eating at your budget and you can save so much money just by reducing the number of times you eat out. Breaking out of this habit might save you a great deal.
As an alternative make more home cooked meals. Pack lunch to work and store some coffee in a flask. It's so much cheaper preparing food at home and healthier too.
This does not mean that you should never eat out. You can choose special days to eat out like birthdays or anniversaries. You can eat out once a month, for example or follow other worthwhile tips and patterns.
2. Reduce Your Electricity Consumption
Shocking but true. When you reduce electricity consumption, you cut down on your energy bills. Don't worry. It's not as hard as you think.
Start by turning off the lights you're not using. This will help reduce your electricity consumption.
Change the incandescent bulbs to CFLs. With CFLs you save so much on power as they are only 13 watts compared to the incandescent bulbs that are 60 watts. The best part is that they last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Also unplug gadgets or appliances that you're not using.
3. Cut the Cable
Be honest, how much TV do you actually watch in a day? How many channels? Most times you're at work, or on the phone. And when you're watching TV you don't watch all the channels and neither do you spend time in front of the TV all day.
Consider subscribing for a lower plan or cut the cable cord and use free-over-the-air-transmission or get a streaming device to watch streaming channels on TV for free. You'll still be able to watch TV and have several channels available for you to watch.
4. Cut Back on Magazine or Print Subscription
How many times have you picked up a magazine only for you to not finish reading it all? Magazines are great but sometimes they come with articles that you don't really care about so you don't bother reading them. These days most of the information or news is available on the internet for free.
Review your magazine or print subscriptions to determine which ones to unsubscribe from.
You can also draw out a list of topics or categories you like reading about and search for free online alternatives where you can read about the topic of your choice. If you have a specific topic you want to be regularly updated about, set up Google alerts to keep you up-to-date with information on that topic.
5. Cancel Your Gym Membership or go for a Pay-Per-Use Plan
Exercise is important to stay healthy. In fact, you save more money when you stay physically fit than if you are in poor health. But there are more affordable ways to keep fit, if you exercise for health's sake and not as a body builder or something.
Exercise at home or jog around your neighborhood. If you can't work out without an exercise trainer, try searching for exercise routines on YouTube.
If you want to use gym equipment then you can convert your gym membership style to pay-per-use. That way you pay only when you come to the gym to use the equipment. Or better still, invest in gym equipment if you can make that bulk investment, so you'll cut back on recurrent costs of gym membership.
6. Maintain Gadgets and Household Equipment
When you're trying to cut costs, it's always a smart choice to keep your gadgets and appliances in good condition. To increase the lifespan of your gadgets and appliances keep them clean and check them regularly.
For example, you will save a lot on getting a new air conditioning unit when you maintain your AC with best practices like cleaning the AC filters or drain line. You not only extend the lifespan of your AC, you also reduce your electricity bills because your AC will not be exerting more energy than necessary.
You don't need to practice all of these at once, but if you are really willing to cut down on those recurrent costs, then one of these will surely come in handy.