The real meaning of reducing expenses means avoiding unnecessary and luxurious expenses but not necessary expenses. if necessary expenses are reduced indirect and unexpected expenses may raised drastically. for example if you avoids buying fruits you may be need to visit doctor frequently and spends more money than you gained in it. so first categorize the expenses class and don't avoid necessary classified expenses
An important thing in save money is reducing expenses. There are a lot of ways you can stretch your dollars and help avoid that "too much month at the end of the money" feeling. Some of these steps will take a bit of planning and investigation but they will be well worth the effort. Others you will be able to implement immediately. Some will require a small up-front investment but have a substantial long-term payoff. Your ability to implement those will depend on available cash and your budget.
What you’ll need first, is a clear idea of where your money is going; then you can look at ways to cut fluff and lower the cost of your required living expense. Always keep in mind that it’s not just about cheaper; it’s about efficiency. Analyze your needs and do the math. Most importantly, however, is to understand that reducing expenses is a lifestyle change and a change in your thinking patterns. Never let yourself believe that pennies don't count.
- 1Determine where you spend your money. If you don’t know where your money is going, you are most likely spending too much. You can get a solid idea in as little as one month and as you continue, you’ll see patterns develop that you can address. Write down everything you buy down to the last dollar. Don’t stop at the obvious things like rent, utilities, gasoline and food – include the ancillary items like sodas and snacks as well as gum or tobacco. Use a Row-by-Column ledger, spreadsheet or other software to keep track every month. If you exclusively use a debit card for your purchases, the bank will do this for you.
- 2Immediately eliminate unnecessary routine purchases. While it’s likely this won’t be the largest savings area, it’s important and easy. Is the coffee shop on your way to work really necessary? How critical are the three sodas or snacks a day you buy from the office vending machine at $1.50 each? A cup of coffee that you made at home is only 25-35 cents, as is a soda you bought in a store as part of a 12 pack. Do you seriously have to rent all those movies (and pay those late fees) each month? Have you checked to see whether your library has movies, or calculated the cost of switching to Netflix and BlockBuster Online? Those ten lottery tickets… the odds against you are astronomical. This is quick and most of it is habit. There will be some psychological pain at first but when you add up the dollars you’ll see a big difference instantly. Make a shopping list before you go to the store and stick to it. This is especially helpful to impulse buyers. Did you ever go in for a carton of eggs and come out with a basket of 15 items? Did you really need 2 for 1 bags of marshmallows or the jumbo box of cereal just because it was on sale? No. You probably didn't need half of those extra things but ended up buying them anyway. A shopping list gives you a clear idea of what you truly need and eliminates unnecessary purchases.
Address your utilities: Heating and cooling (gas or electric): When you leave the house, set your thermostat to an "away" setting (a note of caution here: don’t set it so far from comfortable that it takes an inordinate amount of time to return to comfort when you get home: 65°F or 18°C in the winter and 80°F or 27°C in the summer might be reasonable numbers to use). A programmable thermostat will do this for you automatically. (Set it to adjust the thermostat a while before the heating or cooling is needed, such as in the pre-dawn hours to wake to comfortable temperatures and in the mid-afternoon to arrive home to them, and to provide less heating or cooling immediately when it will not be needed.) Consider investing in ceiling fans – you can get these for as little as US$20 and they dramatically reduce cost of heating and cooling by circulating the air more efficiently. If your expenses are already low, and you won't be staying where you are for long, you may not save enough to pay for the fan, however. Also consider electric blankets and mattress pads.Electric: Lighting is expensive. When you leave a room, turn off the light. The idea that it takes more energy to turn on a light than to keep it on is completely false, as turning on a light only burns as much electricity as burning it for fractions of a second. Energy efficient bulbs really work. This is an investment that will pay off over time but there is a significant savings to be gained. (this energy calculator can help). Turn off your computer/laptop when you’re not using it – (probably) the only reason you leave it on is convenience. Any voltage adapters (including the ones in stereo components) still use electricity even if they're not charging or plugged in to the device. Of the total energy used to run home electronics, 40% is consumed when the appliances are turned off. Either pull the plug on the devices when not in use or buy a device to do it for you, such as a Smart Power Strip ($31 to $44, at http://www.smarthomeusa.com www.smarthomeusa.com]If you have a digital box with an auxiliary AC outlet, plug your TV into it, and program the box to shut off the outlet when the box is turned off. For stereo components, plug them all into a power bar that can easily be switched off when not in use.Open the drapes during the day for light instead of burning electricity. Only use electricity when you absolutely need it.Clean the radiator on the back of your refrigerator, if it is dirty, this will improve the efficiency of one of the larger consumers of energy in your household.
- Water: Save water, save money. Invest in a shower-reduction kit – they cost nearly nothing and will start saving you money immediately. They work by reducing the flow to the shower head and the change is barely noticeable. Learn to take quicker showers – an inexpensive egg timer is a good way to help. Repair leaky toilets and faucets – this is an enormous waste of water and easy to fix. Reduce your lawn watering to minimum needs. If you have a pool, keep it covered when it’s not in use to reduce evaporation – also, if it’s heated that will dramatically increase evaporation as well (only heat your pool to keep it from freezing, and invest in a thermal blanket). Also if you're not using the faucet turn it off -- e.g., when brushing teeth do not leave faucet running. Do not buy bottled water except in rare and unusual circumstances; excess chlorine can be removed from tap water by letting it stand in a pitcher in the refrigerator for a few hours, and the fluoride in tap water makes teeth stronger, reducing dental problems and bills.Gas and Miscellaneous: Do laundry as often as necessary but as little as possible – for a lot of people this is a pleasant step. Reduce the temperature of your shower by a couple of degrees; the less work your water heater does the more money you’ll save. Also keep your water heater thermostat as low as practical; 120 degrees Fahrenheit is often recommended to minimize power consumption and risk of burns. (Turn off the house power before opening any panel to adjust it.) Use the microwave instead of the oven whenever possible – the cost just to preheat an oven is more than the cost to cook a meal in the microwave. Open the windows when it’s nice outside to reduce heating (and cooling) costs.If you live where natural gas is used only in the winter months, arrange with your local utility to do a seasonal shutoff so that you are not saddled with fixed monthly service charges for the "privilege" of being connected to the gas service even though you are not using it. With one supplier, it is $17/month. In the 8 months that you don't need the service, you're charged $17 X 8 = $136, but the season shutoff and turn on costs $54.Cable and Telephone: Seriously, do you really, really need a thousand channels and every single premium channel available including the high definition packages? You can save the full $100+ on your cable bill every month by watching TV for free online, and save most of it while avoiding time-wasting and unnecessary-purchase-inducing commercials by renting DVDs instead, for instance through the vending machines Redbox or through the mail-order company Netflix. However, if you have cable internet, it may actually be CHEAPER to keep basic cable than to pay for internet alone. If you want to save money take a close look at your priorities. For your telephone, shop around based on your use. If you make a lot of long-distance calls to family and friends, perhaps one of the unlimited plans would save money. If all your calls are local you probably can get by with a bare-bones option. Consider that your cell phone may have free long distance; therefore, removing the necessity of having long distance on a land line. Look into the Voice-Over-IP (phone over the internet) for your telephone solutions. Some services, such as Skype, gChat (from Google), and Windows Live! allow you to make free video calls to other users as well as make low cost calls to cell phones and land lines from your computer - including international calls. Other VoIP services, such as Vonage, are not an option for people with DSL, which is tied to their land line.Cell phone: "wat r u up 2" "nm gtg ttyl" Text messages cost money. "Oh no, I have unlimited text!" Oh? How much does that option cost you? Do you actually even need a cell phone? Does everyone in your family actually need a cell phone? Parents – lay down the law on cell phone usage – is your eleven-year-old sitting around the house texting… are you? Another thing to consider is if you really require a cell phone then do you really need a land line at home? Consider consolidating. If your cell phone use is occasional only, consider a pay-as-you-go plan. Do consider, however, that a cheap unlimited data and navigation plan can sometimes save a lot of money by allowing instant price comparisons and quality checks (which are more relevant for someone with quite a bit of money trying to spend somewhat less than someone wanting to just buy simple necessities).Cell Phone Saving Plans: Some mobile phone plans are genuinely good and money-saving; but make sure that you shop around first for the deal that best suits you. Many companies offer either contract or PAYG plans based on the cellphone habits of the user, for example, someone who texts an awful lot or someone who prefers to call. For example, some companies reward you for topping up for a little bit per month with hundreds of free texts which can prove very handy and are much cheaper than calls. Remember, calls to networks other than yours, and landlines, are often considerably more pricey. Avoid "traps" in cell phone plans such as inordinate per-kilobyte or per-message rates, often over some threshold. Look for a plan with modest, if any, overage charges. For instance Sprint smartphone data is unlimited
4Reconsider Gasoline and Miscellaneous Auto: When gas was rationed during World War II, a popular slogan was "Is this trip really necessary?" Ask yourself that every time you get in your car. Make a list before you go to the store so you don’t have to make additional trips. Don’t go for a drive for pleasure – walk instead or choose other forms of entertainment (reading,exercising for example). Check the pressure in your tires. Convertibles get better mileage with the top up (although the marginal pleasure for the mile or two per gallon sacrificed with the top down is very cheap entertainment, assuming one has already paid the considerable extra money for a convertible). A poorly running engine is a huge waste – even a spark plug change can make a big difference, as can clean oil. Also, the less you drive the less frequently you’ll change tires, oil, require maintenance, etc. That’s a savings-over-time, of course, but it will mount up. Another way to save gas (and money) is to change your driving habits. By simply driving more slowly, and/or less aggressively, you can save significant amounts of money (calculate for yourself at this web site ). Take particular care to avoid driving in heavy traffic, which causes no joy and little efficiency gain over public transportation, and to avoid where parking will be expensive. Public transportation mapping and schedules online, often provided by transit agencies, can make that a great alternative in cities.
5Cut Down on Entertainment: It’s astounding how many people complain about money then describe the latest release of a movie along with the cost of theater popcorn. Also, professional sports event, a music concert or tickets to a play can run hundreds of dollars for a couple on a date. Seriously, can you really tell the difference (blindfolded) between a $30 bottle of wine and a $9 bottle of wine? When you do dine out, actually think about the prices on the menu first. Consider a meal share if the restaurant offers that option. Never, ever order delivery of expensive food; you're wastefully enjoying only the food and not the atmosphere when you could cook for yourself far more cheaply. Look for vacation bargains – consider taking the kids camping instead of one of the super expensive amusement parks. The great majority of people, except for serious athletes, actors and musicians (as the case may be) cannot tell any difference between a great and good performance; even if they can, most will enjoy greatly increased variety and frequency much more. Enjoy local high-school and non-prestigious college sports, community theater and orchestras conveniently, for little money (with typically nice but inexpensive meals in the vicinity), and socialize and contribute to community spirit while you're at it.
6Make the most of your clothes and other fashion accessories rather than buying more unnecessarily. Rediscover and show off old ones "lost" in storage or the back of a closet, and organize your wardrobe (or whatever you keep them in) and habits to prevent "losing" them again.
7Focus on Food: The only real difference between a $1.99 can of corn and a $0.63 can of corn is $1.36--and the satisfaction of knowing you're not overpaying largely to feed a cycle of ads to make yourself and others fret about not paying more. (Sure there are exceptions; people on low-sodium or otherwise restricted diets will often have to pay more). The grocery store is a place you can save big.
- Look for foods that are marked "WIC" for savings. Those have been approved for the Women, Infants and Children program by the USDA Department of Food and Nutrition Services… healthy, nutritious and inexpensive. That ring of cooked shrimp is on sale and sure looks tasty… how about a nice grilled chicken breast with green beans and rice? Make dining in an experience instead of just a convenience. It’s quite possible to spend as much on home food as you would by eating out if you are wasteful.
- Particularly if you eat meat, buy what's on sale. Most supermarkets regularly cycle through a variety of meats for specials; you'll get to try them all just the same. The difference between expensive beef and other beef is generally just extra fat and tenderness compatible with not-thorough cooking in the expensive beef.
- Invest $10 in a coffee pot, or $100 in an espresso machine (pump-driven is best, but expensive ones can die just like cheap ones). Making your coffee at home instead of purchasing your $1, $3, or $7 custom latte at the coffee shop will save you money.
- Consider taking your lunch to work instead of buying lunch each day. Even an inexpensive lunch out is several dollars a day – do the math.
- Use coupons whenever possible. Make sure these are on items you would normally eat so you don't purchase things that will be wasted by sitting in your cupboards forever or spoil in your refrigerator. Also use buy store specials and use store customer cards when possible toward food purchases. Consider, however, that store brands are generally just as good and often cheaper than name brands with coupons.
- Look into joining a warehouse club. The price of the membership is usually made up in the first shopping. They carry name-brand products and will take coupons. Also, by not having to shop as often, you spend less money by not being in the store every week and risking impulse purchases. Warehouse club shopping must be done with discretion or you will not save money.
- When purchasing meat items, aim for pieces where you can identify the body part from which it came. Ground beef, although cheap, is processed which increases its price. Tougher cuts of meat can be slow-cooked and made incredibly tender. Also larger pieces can be cooked in bulk and used for several different recipes. (Cook one large piece and when tender, tear it up for use in enchiladas, sandwiches, stews or soups, etc. Simply store in individual portions, labeled with the type of meat and date, for later use.) Organ meat (chicken hearts and gizzards, beef hearts, tripe) are often far cheaper than normal cuts, and can be used to make tasty and filling stews.
- Avoid large packages of fresh produce to avoid spoilage; frozen produce will extend the shelf life of all your fruit and vegetables.
- Measure product use carefully (like soap powder); don't be wasteful with the products just because it comes in a large container.
- Buy products you will actually use instead of substituting just because it's on your list and the only item available. Are you really going to enjoy that box of cereal that's not your regular brand, or is it going to sit on your shelf?
- Be aware of the influence that product promotions do have on your purchase habits and do your best to track this.
8Address your insurance costs: The fastest way for some people to reduce monthly expenses will be in the area of health, auto and life insurance. Companies that sell those are incredibly competitive. Get some bids from different companies. When you do this, bear in mind that lower initial premiums will not always be the most cost efficient!
- Auto Insurance: Look at your deductible. Don’t jump to increase your deductible – analyze the entire plan based on your needs and expectations; do a risk analysis first. If you have an inexperienced driver in your house and you don’t have savings, having a high deductible might not be the best choice – also if your car is financed you may have minimum insurance requirements. However if you have a long history of good driving and you own your car, outright, you might consider a high deductible to save on premiums.
- Health Insurance: Investigate alternatives. Shop around for plans that are consistent and cost efficient with your lifestyle. Consider your actual needs vs. what you have. A single man in perfect health in his mid-30’s might choose a plan with a higher copay or co-insurance and lower premiums, whereas a married couple wanting to start a family might do better with higher premiums but more extensive coverage. In other cases, prescription benefits might be the most important. The point is to look at what you must have .
- Life Insurance: There is no question that this is important – for many people. The rule of thumb for someone with a family is three to five years' replacement income. However, if you’re a 20ish single consider carefully and determine if you’re over-insured. If you’re married in your mid-60’s have you looked at comparative plans from places like AARP? If you’re most interested in "burial policies" then, again, these companies are incredibly competitive. We all would like to leave our loved ones wealthy in the event of our demise, but not at the expense of your quality of life right now.
- Home (and Renter’s) Insurance: This can be a large expense and many home owners have no idea how much they’re paying because it comes out of their house payments – out of sight, out of mind. Review your plan with your agent. Are your personal possessions really and truly worth the $250,000 you have on the policy? Also look for areas that are lacking. Is water damage covered; snow damage; hail damage? Think whether or not you’ll need those. Is anything important excluded? Is anything irrelevant included? Yes, Great-Aunt Martha’s rocking chair has sentimental value but do you really need a special rider to cover it?
9Consider pre-owned items: This is a great way to save significant amounts of money while recycling! If you absolutely must buy something, there are options other than a mall anchor store or a big-box superstore. There are large thrift stores (e.g. Goodwill) and smaller church-run stores that have some incredible bargains on everything from home knickknacks to appliances to clothing. It’s amazing how fast a 4-year old will outgrow shoes (when that happens, re-donate them so somebody else can benefit). Look for garage sales – your neighbors will definitely not think less of you because you bought the winter jacket they are trying to sell – hold your own garage sale and they just might want what you no longer need. There are online sites that often have bargains (like Craigslist.org, Overstock.com and eBay.com).
10Actively manage your credit: A poor credit score costs tens of thousands over the years in increased interest rates and insurance costs. You may even lose your job or lose out on a job application. Pull all three reports; challenge everything that appears incorrect. Pay all bills on time or early. Pay off revolving debt (credit cards) and put those cards away.
11Avoid the overdraft on debit cards: An overdraft may seem like a good idea, but it is simply one step nearer to a pricey pitfall. Even if the bank you are with doesn't charge you for using the overdraft, they will definitely charge you if you even toe the line over it. The good thing about debit cards is that you are not using money that you don't have, and an overdraft will most definitely weaken your discipline over your finances. Don't do it! If you must currently have credit card debt or an overdraft don't forget to compare interest rates, on all your cards and overdraft. Consolidate loans to the most inexpensive one while paying off the debt.
12Save money on razors: If you shave compare razors for durability. Some shave satisfactorily for many, many times longer than others, making their cost of up to a few dollars per cartridge relatively insignificant.
13Avoid or minimize addictive or mind-altering substances, particularly those which are illegal or otherwise currently expensive, decrease current productivity, decrease future productivity, cause health problems, or decrease judgment undermining reduction of expenses generally. Alcohol has all of these adverse consequences.
14Avoid items, however cheap or appealing, which have a primary effect of causing large and unnecessary expenditures. Some of these items, such as printers and suits, though rarely vehicles, are helpful to get rid of even if they are not broken. Culprits include:
- Inkjet printers (a laser printer can cost as little as $100 and cost about 3 cents per page to print, rather than 25 cents or more, with fast waterproof output.) Color laser printers can be cost-effective if much color printing is needed, though they're not great for photos. Online or in-store photo printing is generally a better deal than the high-quality inkjet printers suited to photos.
- Wool suits and iron-requiring cotton clothing, unless important to creating an impression needed to earn money in one's occupation. Iron-free" cotton shirts with a fine pattern to hide residual wrinkles look great and save over a dollar each time plus time and gas in laundering; synthetic pants save multiple dollars per laundering and do not feel odd on legs because they are less sensitive than arms.
- Most television and, to a lesser extent, movies. The purpose of television, from a financial perspective, is to cause you to watch ads to become unhappy that you don't own things you wouldn't otherwise mind not owning. Few of these things are more than frivolous. More insidiously, there is a purpose to keep you watching, which drains efforts from possibly more enjoyable or educational (and thus potentially income-producing) activities. Many movies are about focusing on lavish and extravagant living and as such create a mindset incompatible with frugality.
- Fancy cars. The fastest cars available accelerate about twice as fast as, corner about a third harder than, and have slicker, shinier seats than the cheapest. The differences are generally much more subtle. Mass-market cars such as family sedans and minivans and professional-driver-market vehicles such as Town Cars, vans and pickups have enormous companies optimizing them for things such as cost, comfort, fuel consumption, safety durability and ease of maintenance. More expensive cars, even when not driven beyond the abilities of any others, often make large sacrifices in some of these things for small improvements in others. They also tend to involve much higher overhead due to smaller sales volumes. If many people in your area tend to replace perfectly good cars unnecessarily, a well-maintained and carefully inspected used car can save a great deal.
- Video game consoles and other devices, particularly electronics, with vendor lock-in. These may seem inexpensive up front and can be a good deal if one is sure one wants only very few games or other accessories to play often. But adapting them to a variety of games or other uses requires paying an excessive markup each time. In contrast, a computer has many, many games available inexpensively once they've been out for a year or two (by which time they'll still be far ahead of console games), and many made available for free by their creators much like WikiHow, such as Nexuiz.