Everyone wants to reduce expenses so they can save money, yet nobody wants to change their lifestyle.
I, myself, am a good example. I own this personal finance blog; I write about savings and budgeting and investing on a daily basis. But…if you tell me one more time I can’t go Starbucks because I need to be frugal, I’m going to go Mocha Frappachino on your a$$ (that makes no sense).
Basically, while I manage my finances well, there are some things I just want to do. My main two things I want to do include: 1. Starbucks 2. Drinking beautiful Scotch.
Ninety-nine percent of personal finance blogs approach reducing expenses with a need to change lifestyle. Not going to Starbucks is a change in lifestyle I simply don’t want to make.
Today, we are going to do something different. This article is designed to give you some ideas to become more efficient with as little lifestyle change as humanly possible.
Let’s discover some easy and brilliant ways we can cut spending and add cost savings without altering our precious lifestyles.
Time to begin our journey to reduced expenses!
I found Moovearoo somewhere on the vast internet at a time when I was on the verge of throwing my cable box out the window. I had just received my latest cable bill, and I was at one of those low points when you decide you are not going to let the cable company win anymore (I was paying over $150 per month for cable and internet).
I called Moovearoo and they literally shopped out my services to companies in my area and gave me a range of offers. It was incredible. I lowered my bill to around $80 per month and barely sacrificed anything.
The best part is, Movearoo charges no fee (I assume they make money from the companies they refer to).
I know this sounds like a moving company operated by a pack of kangaroos or something, but it is a legit company to help you reduce you monthly phone, internet and cable expenses.
Click here to take a look at Moovearoo: Moovearoo Website
You can also call them at: 1-855-407-1545
2. Amazon Prime
Three questions. 1. Do you use Amazon? 2. If yes, do you use Amazon Prime? 3. If not, are you crazy?
For about $8.25 per month, you can have access to FREE two day shipping, movies, TV shows and unlimited music streaming. Amazon Prime will easily help you cut spending and add to your cost savings. The free shipping alone should pay for itself; not to mention all of the other benefits that come along with it.
It may also allow you to cut back on other services you are already paying for. For example: services for your music streaming and movies. Hence, it is a reduction of expenses.
I should warn you though; Amazon Prime WILL end up changing your lifestyle. I am sure you are used to waiting many days for the items you order to be shipped to you. Amazon Prime is going to give you (potentially) same day delivery, and at the least two day delivery. So, if you are not used to immediate gratification, and you don’t like being gratified, maybe steer clear of Amazon Prime.
If you would like to signup for a FREE 30-day Amazon Prime Trial, you can do so here: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial
I forget to look at Groupon all the time. I will go a few months without even having the word Groupon pop in my head, then I will come to my senses and use Groupon for a few months.
Of course, I inevitably forget about it all over again (like an idiot). Don’t be like me! Use Groupon; it is your friend.
You can find great deals on everything from restaurants to entertainment. Even certain monthly expenses you currently pay for may have deals appear on Groupon which will allow you to save on monthly expenses. You can save a lot of money using Groupon each month!
Clink here to take a look at Groupon: Groupon deals in your area
GasBuddy is an app I discovered a couple years ago. It shows you the prices of gas in your location and the cheapest gas prices near you. I can’t calculate how much money I have saved using Gasbuddy, but it is definitely a lot of money.
GasBuddy will easily allow you to save money on your monthly expenses by helping you find the closest gas stations with the lowest prices. It helped me realize that, while I had a few gas stations I thought were always the cheapest in my area, there were many periods when a station just down the road had an even better deal.
Gas prices fluctuate so often you can miss out on deals during gas price increases and decreases. One station may lag gas price increases by a couple days, and one may be early price decreasers.
This app really helps you find the best prices for gas.
Click here for the Gasbuddy app: GasBuddy Website
Make money from gift cards
Do you have gift cards laying around you have no intention of using anytime soon? Maybe you have a Chilli’s gift card but hate Chilli’s? Or, maybe you have a J. Crew gift card for $25, but don’t want to spend the extra $50 to afford a shirt? You can sell your gift cards on Cardpool or Raise.com!
If you sell your gift card, you will receive less than the value of the card and the company will take a fee, but, hey, you weren’t going to use the card anyway. You can then use the cash you received from the card to pay towards another monthly expense.
Purchase discounted gift cards
Maybe your bill is $30; you may be able to purchase a $30 gift card for $25. You will have $5 for your next purchase, or, you can always just have a couple more beers 😉
It is a good idea to signup for both of these and try to find the best deals.
You can signup for Raise.com here: Raise.com signup
You can signup for Cardpool here: Cardpool signup
By the way, I wrote an entire article about these two companies here – This Gift Card Idea Can Save You over $500 per Year
6. Save on movies – I’m about to blow your mind
We’re talking about saving money without changing your lifestyle. Of course, you could always not go to the movies and save that movie money but that will change your lifestyle. What if you go to a matinee? That may or may not change your lifestyle depending on who you are.
I’m a movie buff, and I’m going to go to see my movies. I’m just going to pay less for my movies, becuase I am going to hop on Raise.com or Cardpool and purchase gift certificates at a discounted rate so I pay less to see movies than you. Boom. Mind Blown.
I looked up the cinema near me (Regal Cinemas) and there was a $50 gift card to Regal cinemas for $45.39. In a month, I will see at lest three movies. This can be an instant $4.61 savings. If you have kids, multiply it by… a lot.
You may not want to use Raise.com or Cardpool, or you may not have popular cinema chains near you. Don’t worry, you can always try to get their rewards cards. If you book through Fandango, some of the theatre chains will give you discounts via rewards card!
Here is the Regal Crown Club link: Regal Cinemas link
Here is the AMC Stubs link: AMC link
Here is a link to signup for Fandango: Fandango signup
The stupid Mach 3 Razor burns a hole in your pocket. You think the razor is pretty inexpensive, then you go to buy new blades a few weeks later and that’s when you see that $20 price tag.
Instead of having your face suffer by using outdated blades, you can just join Dollar Shave Club and they will send you razors. I have thick facial hair so disposable razors don’t work very well for me. And if you are a female, plenty of women use Dollar Shave Club for razors to reduce expenses as well.
Extra bonus: You will even save on gas from going to the store!
Click here to signup for Dollar Shave Club: Dollar Shave Club Signup
8. Save money on your investments
You may be wondering why this one is on here. This one is to help with the invisible expenses you are paying for your investments. If you are investing in funds, you may be paying high expenses for those funds. You can instead signup for an Ameritrade account and invest in lower cost index funds or ETFs to reduce expenses.
What is nice about Ameritrade is their lower account minimum. If you have a smaller amount of money, you should be able to use Ameritrade.
If you are not saving, maybe you should take some of the extra savings you will generate from this article and allocate them to some investing! See, you may even save money on some expenses you didn’t even know about.
Click here to signup for an account with Ameritrade and you will be able to trade for 60 free and eligible for up to $600: Join TD Ameritrade.
9. Save on contacts and eyewear
I have a weird contact problem; I have to wear what seems like the most expensive daily contacts. It can cost an arm and a leg for contacts so finding the best deal can really save me a lot of money. My contacts cost around $100 for a three month box. If I can save just $10 on a three month box of contacts, that’s an extra $40 annually.
There are a few providers you can search on the internet for contact lenses. I would suggest shopping around on 1800AnyLens, Coastal, or discountcontactlenses.com.
Try to find the best deal for your contacts so you can save a little extra income monthly!
Here are links to the companies:
1800Anylens: You can use this link for $10 off $100 or more and free shipping until April 30th. Use code APR10: 1800Anylens link
Coastal: This is an offer for new customers for 20% Off + FREE Shipping Use Code “20FORYOU”: Coastal link
Discountglasses.com: Get $5 off orders of $50 or more with code DCL5 at: Discountcontactlenses link
10. The Starbucks Gold Card
EVERY personal finance blog inevitably writes a blog post telling you to stop going to Starbucks and use that money to reduce your expenses. The whole “being frugal” thing and Starbucks apparently don’t mix. It’s getting a little cliche with all these articles mentioning Starbucks, but I digress.
Since we are not changing our lifestyles in this article (and because I happen to be a Starbucks junkie) what if you reached the Gold Card level at Starbucks? This will add to savings when you go to Starbucks and reduce the average monthly cost of coffee over time. In order to reach the Gold Card level you first must register a card through Starbucks or signup for the mobile app.
Then, use that card or app until you rack up a certain amount of points (each $1 spent is the equivalent of 2 points). Once you have enough points, you will be eligible for the coveted Starbucks gold card!
Here is a link to learn more and to get started on your Starbucks Gold card journey: Starbucks Link
Here is a link for 10% off your Starbucks order with email sign up: Starbucks 10% off
11. Save money on your travelling expenses
No, we are not telling you to cancel that vacation this year so you can save money and add it towards your investment account. That would be changing your lifestyle and we are not going to do that in this post, no siree bob.
What you CAN do is use some of the better discount websites for your travel plans. I have traveled to Europe and Asia at least 5 times each over the past 2 years and I always use two websites to look for tickets.
Skyscanner and CheapOair are the two companies I have found the best cost savings when booking travel. If you travel a lot, or if you are going to be planning a vacation, try to get those travel costs as low as possible. You can get the same ticket for a lower price; this won’t change your lifestyle one bit.
Click here to search Skyscanner: Skyscanner link
Some people will consider these to be lifestyle changes but it really depends on the person. There are two ideas to use Uber to decrease expenses.
- You can drive for Uber while commuting to work and use it to generate revenue instead of it being an expense.
- You can use UberPOOL instead of Uber X (or for some of you big spenders, UberPREMIUM, UberLUX, or even UberCOPTER).
Make money commuting to work
If you are interested in driving for uber, you can generate money on your commute to work by picking people up during your commute. This will net you a commuting profit instead of a commuting expense.
Goodbye monthly expense and hello monthly revenue. Yes please!
If you are interested in reading more about the idea of driving with Uber during your commute, I wrote an article on it. Here is the link: Uber Hack – Get Paid for Your Commute to Work
Save money with UberPOOL
UberPOOL is a service Uber offers in select cities. It allows the rider a reduced fare with the potential of other passengers being picked up along the way to your destination.
When it comes to UberPOOL, some people really won’t care about sharing a car with someone (many times you don’t end up with another passenger anyway). If you don’t consider this a lifestyle change and you use Uber to get around, this can be a way to save a decent amount of money depending on your usage.
A bonus tip for those interested in driving for Uber: certain locations allow extra incentives. For example, I did some Uber driving once upon a time and was given a rewards card to fill-up at the gas tank. I was able to save a few cents per gallon using my card, and it also came with other benefits like discounts at repair shops.
If you want to signup to drive with uber you can click here: Uber signup
If you want to learn more about UberPool you can click here: UberPOOL link
If you want to read my post about Uber commute driving, here is the link again: Uber Hack – Get Paid for Your Commute to Work
You may also be interested in these articles by yours truly:
- 5 Financial Reasons Why You Should Try to Make an Extra $50 Per Week with Side Gigs
- How to Budget – Remember, Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie!
- Investing in Stocks for Beginners; 3 important ideas
- Scotch Street on the Rocks: Financial Blogging Under the Influence
How to Save with Insurance
The final three Ideas involve reducing your monthly insurance expenses.
13. Reduce your Auto Insurance Deductible
Quick, what’s your auto insurance deductible? I bet you don’t know the answer to that question, do you?
Chances are you have no idea and that’s ok; it is common with many people. There is a good chance that your auto insurance deductible is really low: probably $500.
The auto insurance companies like this, because you get charged for a lower deductible, yet it doesn’t necissarily increase the chances of you filing a claim.
This is because most people have an insurance threshold. They will pay out of pocket if a claim is a smaller amount of money out of fear of their auto insurance increasing due to a claim.
If you are one of those people, simply look into a higher deductible auto insurance plan. Maybe change your plan from $500 to $1,000. This alone can save you monthly on your auto insurance. If you are not comfortable with a $1,000 deductible, do NOT increase it. But, many people are OK with a $1,000 deductible.
You can use Esurance for a $1,000 deductible auto insurance quote. Or, if you qualify for USAA, you can shop an auto insurance policy with USAA with a $1,000 deductible.
Might as well see how much money you will save monthly with a little higher deductible. It may make more financial sense to go that route.
If you are interested in looking at a quote with Esurance click here: Esurance Quote
If you are interested in a quote with USAA click here: USAA Quote
14. Look into your health insurance.
These days health insurance can only be changed during open enrollment towards the end of the year.
However, if you have a qualifying event, such as marriage, having a child, moving to a new zip code, you may be eligible to make changes to your plan. You may want to search Healthcare.gov for plans, or you can search eHealth for plan comparisons with Aaetna and Humana.
If you do not have a Health Savings Account, you may want to look into one. It will require a higher deductible, but you will pay a lower premium and have the ability to save tax deductible savings for future healthcare expenses. These plans can be an option for those who are healthy and don’t use their insurance often, as well as those in higher income tax brackets.
Here is a link to Healthcare.gov: Healthcare.gov link
Here is a link to eHealth: eHealth link
15. Life Insurance premiums
It is not suggested you cancel your life insurance just to save some extra money each month. However, if you have lost weight, quit smoking, or if your health has had an improvement in any way since you purchased your current insurance, you may be able to achieve a better rate.
You can shop on the internet for quotes. Two companies we already mentioned you can use for quotes include:
eHealth: eHealth can quote you with companies such as Banner Life, AIG and Fidelity Life.
You can also try PolicyGenius for online quotes through an array of carriers like Principal, Prudential, and more.
If you are interested in a fully underwritten offer without a medical exam within 20 minutes, Haven Life offers that ability by using algorithms. Haven Life is one of the InsureTech companies making it easier and quicker to receive underwritten life insurance online.
Haven Life is also backed by a fantastically rated company, MassMutual.
Here is the link to USAA again: USAA link
Here is the link to Ehealth again: Ehealth link
Here is the link to: PolicyGenius
Here is the link to Haven life: Haven Life Link
Woo. I’m beat. That was a lot of writing.
I think I’ll purchase a discounted gift card for P.F. Chang’s, have some Chinese food and a little scotch (those totally go together).
I just looked it up on Raise.com and there is a $50 gift card for $42.45. 15% off…yes please!
Thanks for reading!
Do you have any brilliant ideas I missed? Do you dislike any of these ideas? If so, let me know why!
Flickr: Gold Card – By: Sunghwan Yoon