Are You On a Mission to Cut Your Monthly Expenses?
When we first took out our mortgage our basic monthly expenses were high as we were also paying for full time childcare. We started slowly building debt as we were living beyond our means.
Buying your first house is always more expensive than you think it’s going to be and it’s not always possible to suddenly start earning more to keep pace with your increased budget.
When we decided to knuckle down and try to live within our means we had to look at what our monthly expenses were and see where we could cut back.
I think most of us presume we are spending our money wisely as no-one would willingly waste money just for fun!
What we found surprising was there are plenty of money saving ideas to cut bills in everyone’s budget without feeling the pinch, even if it is just pennies.
There are many bills and monthly expenses you can’t cut completely but these money saving ideas will help you to free up more money.
Related post: Cut your budget with tips from the experts
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10 Monthly Expenses You Can Cut to Crush Your Budget Today
We unplugged the tumble dryer and vowed never to use it unless an emergency. Every load we tumbled dried probably cost around 50p in electricity.
As a family of 4 with Mr2p working in the construction industry and 2 kids we washed a lot of clothes.
I got used to line drying throughout the year and using upstairs doorways to hang everything along with an indoor airer up against a radiator. We always ensured we had an air flow to take away the moisture.
Related reading: 25 tried & tested money saving tips
My haircuts weren’t super expensive as I had very long, straight, fine hair but the ends got straggly really quick so regular cutting was necessary. I decided to cut it myself for many years with Mr2p taking over when I wore it shorter.
Mr2p has used his own clippers for 20 years now to cut his own hair every month. A straight over number 3 with a neck shave from me and he is done.
You can find tutorials on YouTube to learn how to cut different styles and pick up a set of clippers and special scissors for less than the price of one haircut.
My brother goes through rolls and rolls of paper towels using it for everything from napkins to wiping up spills to blowing his nose. Paper towels aren’t expensive but they are an unnecessary expense.
We stopped buying them and used cloth napkins and washable kitchen cloths for spillages. Now I wouldn’t know what to do with a paper towel roll if I bought it!
We each had a wardrobe full of clothes with many items hardly being worn. We committed to wearing what we had and necessary replacements coming from charity/thrift shops.
New items could still be purchased for birthdays and Christmas. This included the children where possible but not always as they were still growing and choices were sometimes limited.
DD1 received an monthly allowance once she reached 14 which included money for new clothes.
Related post: Why you should create your own work uniform
Processed Convenience Food
I’m not talking takeaways or take out here (although they went as well). I’m talking processed beige food, potato shapes, potato waffles, breaded chicken and the like.
These are easy, no thinking meals that don’t take any effort or time to prepare. But that convenience increases your monthly expenses. Save your money by cutting the beige food out and lower your grocery bill.
An added bonus is you will eat healthier meals. You might want to have one evening a week with home cooked junk food, as a treat or if both of you are working late.
We allow ourselves fish and chip Fridays but not from the chippy, we cook these at home.
Fabric softener is not hugely expensive but it’s not a necessity. You don’t need fabric softener even if you live in a hard water area.
Yes our towels are pretty rough when newly washed but people pay good money to buy sugar scrubs and the like in the pursuit of softer skin. Line dried towels do this for you for free!
Replacing Thrown Out Food
As a nation we throw away roughly one third of the food that we buy and then don’t eat. I’m not even going to talk about people around the world going hungry.
We throw away one third of the food we buy!!
Why do we do that? Needless to say this is an area you can cut costs by becoming masters at minimising your food waste. An over ripe banana can be the makings of banana bread. Limp vegetables can be turned into yummy homemade soup.
Reduce your monthly expenses by not throwing away any food you buy. You are also doing your bit for the environment by not wasting food.
Related reading: 13 killer ways to save money on groceries
You can spend a fortune on makeup these days, £30 for a small palette of 9 eye colours is normal. If you bought mid range full face makeup you could be looking at over £80 straight away.
Add in colour choices and the potential cost saving continues to rise. I continued to wear the make up I had but bought no more, saving any new purchases for birthday present lists.
I subsequently stopped wearing it completely, partly to save time and partly because why should I?
Why do women feel we need to wear makeup anyway? MsZiYou’s post on the beauty tax makes for thought provoking reading.
Related reading: 10 things I don’t do or buy
Brands spend a fortune on marketing their products to encourage us to believe that top brands are better. They may be slightly different, sometimes better, sometimes meh!
But top brands cost more than own brand equivalents. We down branded all our grocery shopping, dropping to value brands in the main. We kept the odd branded item (Marmite!) and cut our grocery bill.
I know some people swear by their gym membership. Others pay for it every month with great intentions to start going again but never do.
We had gym memberships on and off in the early years but decided this was a monthly expense we could drop.
Mr2p set up a second-hand weights bench in the garage and whoever was undertaking housework made sure they did it with gusto, thereby having a mini workout.
Related reading: 15 tips to save $14,000 a year!
Cut these 10 monthly expenses and crush your budget today. We cut them out and have never looked back.
- Stop using a tumble dryer
- Cut your own hair at home
- Stop buying paper towels
- Wear what you have or buy second-hand
- Cut out junk food
- Bin the fabric softener
- Stop food waste
- Become makeup free
- Buy a brand or two down
- Dump the gym membership
What monthly expenses are you willing to cut to free up money? Are you on a mission to pay off debt and live within your means?