Being BROKE Made Me Realize About These 34 Good Habits

ways to cut expenses

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All that I was left with was rugged jeans, few multi-colored t-shirts and just a Single, Yesss I mean it A SINGLE pair of shoes.

Just imagine my situation as to all of this was happening in my life when I was planning to marry my High-School BAE (I can’t still figure out how it lasted so long), in a Lavish Plan-A kinda wedding that every girl dreams for.

These hardships taught me that it takes a lot to stay financially stable or to stay without any debts at the least.

But all of this turned out to be a good thing in my life because it made me realize that Luxury is not required to live a happy life, at least not at the point when you are earning a 5-figure number per annum with double the debts and responsibilities.

And guys trust me when I say this that if you don’t follow the below-mentioned points and plan on How to Cut Expenses starting today, then even Plan- Z wedding theme would be impossible (It’s not at all Beautiful and yes I’ve been there)

It is definitely better to learn a lesson from My hardships than facing your own, so read on and gather some cool experience!

1. Keep a check on PREVIOUS EXPENSES before making a huge investment

The very thing that you need to do before realizing How to Cut Expenses is that you first need to know how much you owe and to whom.

Pick up the yellow thinking pad and a pen and start writing your debts. Then start figuring out about the ones which come with interest and need to be paid off on a priority basis.

I hope you don’t have a long list as I had, but even if you do then keep on reading the points below and I assure you, by the time you will be through this read you’ll be in a happier place to start dealing with your finances.

2. Carpool

We all have that one “Rich Friend” who comes loaded up with cash from his parents. Not being completely selfish, but it is way better to ask for a favor from your friend instead of buying a car for yourself and ending up with huge debt. This can prove to be the best way on how to cut expenses.

The EMI’s, high-interest rates, monthly maintenance, fuel charges rising per gallon are just a few expenses to name and I haven’t even thought about the parking tickets or flat tires!

Make some friends, choose to carpool and save some cash!

3. Sell your Liabilities or at least Rent them out!

Now that we are on the same page and you too are already burdened by this unnecessary expense or are planning to be, please STOP and sell away your car or don’t even think about purchasing one.

Buying a car without having my finances sorted was the biggest mistake that I made, but still, if you can’t let go off of your prized possession then rent it out to people on Turo and make some cash out of your liability!

Read more: Quick Way to Make Some Extra Bucks: Rent Your Things

4. Yard Sale (Sell Your Stuff)

Nobody needs all of the stuff that he/she owns, is all that we need to focus on.

This can further help you in realizing that there are various ways which you’ve never noticed on how to cut your expenses?!

This is the only thing that we need to keep reminding ourselves and while we do it, plan on to sell away all the stuff that you don’t need on a regular basis or haven’t used since past few months.

A yard sale is the best option to sell away your stuff. You can even check out Bookscouter and sell away your untouched books.

5. Say No to Plastic Money

After becoming a shopaholic, the very first step I took towards not being one was destroying my Credit Cards.

Plastic money lures you into the trap of buying today and paying tomorrow and it gets you into a vicious cycle of debt (for which to be repaid I had to take various Loans).

And thanks to my good credit score that I was able to pay off some of the debt through loans. If you don’t have the option of the loan then check out this article to understand what else would be expected out of you while you go through this entire debt process.

Read more: 7 Best Debt Settlement Companies to Call when it All Goes Wrong

6. Pay in Cash

Adding on to the above point, not the plastic but paying up front in cash is exactly what is going to stop you from overspending.

This trick helped me the most as the hard work of walking up to the ATM to withdraw cash was the most tedious task for me, which ended up in helping me avoid extra expenses (Imagine, even your Laziness can help in saving money).

But then again the most important aspect that I noticed while paying cash was that it made me rethink about my investment, even the smallest ones.

“Do I REALLY need this thing?!” “Is it really WORTH all of this money?!” is the only thing I kept on asking myself and finally ended up NOT buying n number of things.

7. No Takeaway Coffees (Search for free of cost ones)

From the morning wake up call till mid-night Decaf, Coffee is as necessary for us as oxygen. And though oxygen is free of cost as off now, Coffee isn’t.

So, reduce the number of takeaway coffees and search for different ways to get either cheaper or free of cost Coffee.

Check out DollarDig which provide you with various offers for a cheaper coffee option. And you must also start liking your office Coffee. Make sure that you grab a cup before you leave office.

8. Pay Less on Online Subscriptions (Borrow from friends)

We still have a few nerd friends who like to download stuff and stock them up in proper order.

This might not be just their love for movie or TV Series but also an obsession of having everything that they can.

So use this opportunity and copy movies and TV series on your laptop, just borrow this stuff as much as you can from your friends.

Check out Hulu which provides you a chance to subscribe free of cost for a month.

9. Cut your electricity expenses

Keeping a few things turned on is definitely a good thing but sadly it’s not the same with your electrical items.

Right after the use please switch off all of your electrical appliances and when you leave your room make sure that you turn the lights off every time.

The best lesson that I can provide on how to cut your expenses would be to charge your laptops and mobile at the office before leaving.

And also make sure that you charge your devices once you reach office in the morning. I know it is sounding too desperate but to cut your expenses you will have to take up the task.

10. Don’t let your Groceries go to Waste, Purchase less, use it and then Buy New Stuff

There was a time when I had to take 2 carts just to carry all of the stuff that I’ve bought. And by the end of the week, I was throwing away 1 full cart worth of products which I couldn’t consume before they went bad.

Bulk buying is only good for such products which have a longer shelf life, but purchasing fruits and veggies in bulk is not a good move.

So you too should follow the simple mantra and buy less, consume it and then go for any further grocery shopping.

You can buy your groceries from Instacart, which time and again keeps on providing various discounts and offers.

11. Get your life to Minimal Living

At first, I thought that it is not possible, but then after selling out more than half of what I owned and never required; it got me to the realization that this new trend of Minimal living is possible.

The minimal living style taught me how to cut your expenses and still live a luxurious life!

So sell away your books at Bookscouter or Cash4booksAnd also, check out Swappa for selling rest of your stuff.

12. Shop in Thrift Stores

If you are one of those people who like to push your cart around the entire store, touch and see the thing that you want to purchase then thrift stores are the best option for you.

While shopping in a thrift store, pick whatever you like at first sight and then decide later whether you want to buy it or not.

And do look out for special days on which you get special offers in thrift stores from your area.

13. Subscribe to Various Sites for Freebies

A boon for all the online shoppers is the freebies they can get from various sites, all you need to do is keep a check on these sites.

I too have found ILoveSamples and Share Your Freebies extremely helpful in this case, and I can say that these sites have helped me in becoming a pro on How to Cut your Expenses.

14. Wash a Laundry load Weekly instead of Daily

Keeping dirty laundry can sometimes prove extremely helpful, so decide for a week’s clothing in advance and do your laundry on a weekly basis.

I’ve saved a lot by doing so because it helped in reducing my electricity and water cost.

You can also try and purchase laundry detergents at an offer price with a combo of fabric softeners at Walmart.

15. Make Public Transportation your Best Friend

Imagination and overthinking have actually proved a good thing for me, it brought me to the conclusion that using Public transport saved a lot of money.

Now it’s time for you to overthink, take out a calculator and start adding up:

  • The amount of your EMI with interest rate
  • The distance you need to travel for office
  • Mileage of your car
  • Washing and monthly maintenance
  • Parking tickets

I’m sure till the time you reached the 3rd point you must have surrender calculating, and I must also tell you that public transport doesn’t require any of your precious time wasted trying to figure out a parking spot.

To sum it all up, travel from public transport for 2 weeks, compare the prices and see the difference for yourselves.

16. Shop in Sale Season

Who says that shopping Full Price is a luxury? Well, times have changed and Luxury is in Shopping during Sale season.

Don’t flaunt that you never shop during sales, in fact, flaunt your stuff bought in sales as you purchased it Full Price.

How to Cut Expenses?! You ask, Become the smart shopper and help your pocket!

17. Install LED/ Power saving lights

There are various electrical fittings in the market which come with a reduced electricity consumption promise and they’ve helped me a lot in cutting down my electricity expenses.

So don’t focus on having bright lights at home, in fact, go for LED and power-saving lights.

Also, bring in a romantic angle and have candlelight dinners once in while with your better half.

Check out a few options here.

18. Unplug the Electronic items right after using them

Most electronic devices which are plugged in but switched off, keep on withdrawing a small amount of electricity i.e. Phantom charge, which adds up to your total electricity bill.

So bring in a habit of unplugging small appliances, like trimmers, hair dryer, waffle maker, mobile chargers etc. by doing this task and you will eliminate the chance of any extra electric consumption.

19. Air seal your home in winters

Don’t just keep on asking but realize one thing that how to cut expenses is an art.

An art of logically analyzing what all are the things that you can eliminate from your life which ultimately helps in reducing your living expenses.

Well if you reach Really Broke from just Broke like me then all of these Art skills will come naturally.

Just realize that Air Sealing your home in winters will take off the extra load from the heaters to keep you warm, so make sure that you save some bucks making your home air sealed.

20. Cancel all unwanted subscriptions (Magazines, Gym etc)

A big-time attraction is a gym membership or club membership which we never use but just flaunt of having it.

So I say guys a little lie here and there never hurts. Firstly, cancel all of your unwanted memberships and secondly, keep on flaunting them for having it without paying for it! (You get me 😉)

If you plan to stay fit then there are various free of cost tutorials on the internet, just keep on doing those exercises and follow a healthy diet.

21. Reduce travel expenses

If you plan a vacation then plan ahead of time, pre-bookings are the best pocket-friendly option when you plan to travel.

TopViewNYC offers various packages for tickets and tours, just select and book the one you like on discount.

Also, check out Crystal Travel and get cheaper deals on Flights, hotels and other tours. And if by chance you don’t plan to board a flight and opt for a car journey then checkout, Airbnb and HomeAway for affordable and cheap accommodation.

22. Buy Long Lasting Items in BULK and use COUPONS

I’ve tried and tested various ways in which money can be saved in household items, and have concluded that buying non-perishable items in bulk and that too online is the best solution.

Visit Uniqpaid and Dollardig for various amazing offers and redeem various coupons from these sites.

23. Deduct all the unrequired charges from your Phone Bill

We need less than the data that we are paying for, thanks to free wi-fi and friend’s Hotspot.

So simply deduct all the unrequired charges from your phone bill, most importantly if you still own a landline then it’s time to get rid of it.

Go through your phone bill thoroughly (take a magnifying glass if you want, Just kidding!) and mark all the charges which can be easily reduced!

I’m sure with all the tips that you’ve got till now, you too can give an entire lecture to the ones in need on How to Cut Expenses?!

24. Reduce Grooming Expenses

Get your trimmer out and cut the visit to salons. 

Salon visits are the costliest yet the most important trips, but cutting them down sure is possible. Make sure that you buy some good trimmers from Walmart, and help yourselves in personal grooming.

Even your girlfriends can manage to come up with good haircuts, but whatever you do just make sure that you plan and budget these luxurious salon visits.

Keep your entire focus on How to Cut Expenses and getting such expensive Hairstyles is surely not advised.

25. Reduce UNHEALTHY Habits

Alcohol and cigarettes are two items that were the first on my How to Cut Expenses list.

I cut these 2 elements (Ohkk, I will be honest! Reduced these items) the minute I realized that I’m broke, like Really Really BROKE.

And I will sound extremely selfish and like a miser right now but borrowing these things from your friends is appreciated rather than buying for yourselves!

26. Cook your meals in Bulk on Sundays

One of the most important life hacks that my Mom taught me is all about food! My Partner in Crime.

She taught me to make sure that I bulk cook my meals on a Sunday and deep freeze them for the rest coming days of the week.

The best part about being a lazy sloth like me is I don’t have to waste my time cooking daily and the even better part is that Gas and Water expenses get cut down tremendously!

Just take out the casseroles, heat them up in a microwave and eat away!

27. Give away Handmade Gifts

The best part about practicing this point is that you get something personalized for your loved one’s Special days.

A memory for them to hook on to for entire life, so make sure that this time instead of bringing something from the market, you simply make something at home!

A good time to practice some DIY’s and save some bucks!

28. Take Care of your Health, especially Teeth

A single visit to a dentist leads to multiple ones.

Even after having Insurance, at some point or the other, these regular visits to the doctor prove to be very expensive.

Especially if you visit a doctor once then be sure that the chain has started and you will be visiting them time and again.

So, floss and brush your teeth properly 2 times a day! Just like we have been taught from our childhood and keep the doctor away.

And if by change you keep on running short on time and cannot floss then at least make sure that you buy some good mouthwash from Walmart and carry it in your bag! (Trust me, you don’t want to show up for your date with bad breath!)

29. Try not to Borrow Money from Friends and Family

When I was broke, I was searching for ways to fund myself with some quick bucks and this situation turned out to be worse.

We borrow money and don’t even realize that if we keep on spending that money then it is not going to help, I was under almost the double debt because of it!

So my advice guys which you MUST follow is to never borrow money from your friends or family.

It will get even harder for you to pay off your previous debts and you will only end up replacing them with the new ones.

30. Refinance your Home/ Automobile

There are various financial institutions that agree to help you in your tough times by refinancing your Loan on a lower interest rate.

Get your automobile refinanced from CarsDirect

31. Know your Taxable Income and plan to Save Tax

For a not so Finance friendly person like me this proved to be a very important aspect when we talk about How to Cut Expenses.

I never focused on the fact that there are various policies which help in reducing the tax liability. I found this article to help you in a longer run.

Plan for your future by saving today!

32. Create an EXPENSE SHEET according to your Salary

This and the previous point complement each other, just like Mac n Cheese!

List down all of your expenses and then see how much amount you are left with to carry out the rest of the activities.

This list will help you in realizing the amount that you need to pay off immediately and then you will be able to plan rest of your financial requirements.

33. Transfer Debt to a Lower Interest Credit Card

We never realize that the interest amount we pay on various services ends up being a huge burden on our pocket.

So make sure that every time you get a bill either for a credit card or your car EMI, you pay attention to the final payable amount and also if there is any way in which that amount can be reduced.

So, read on How to Lower Credit Card Interest Rate and reduce the interest rate on your credit cards to finally help you in answering the question of How to Cut Expenses.

34. Keep a Piggy Bank or The Penny Bowl

A small habit inculcated in us while we were young and I somehow got hold of it and this habit of mine HELPED ME A LOT in my broke days.

Make sure that all the extra change that you get on a daily basis goes into your piggy bank, and I don’t even need to explain the rest that how and when it will be of use to you!

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