Major areas/ways to cut spending habits WAY down?

posted 10 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
508 posts
Busy bee

kmmq72 :  I wouldn’t consider anything you listed to be a “major” way to cut spending “way” down.  The biggest expenses for most people are housing and cars. Controlling those expenses is significant, much more so than making coffee at home or cutting cable.

Buying an average priced new car every 10 years vs every 5 will save $150,000 or more in an average adult’s lifetime. You would have to cut spending by $8-9/day over 50 years go save the same amount of money. That’s a lot of lattes! 


Same with housing. Buying the max priced home you’re approved for vs something more modest OR buying more home size-wise than you need are both huge money drains.   Also, not moving as many times during a lifetime. Because most Americans net worth is almost entirely tied up in their home’s value, they lose on average 10% of their net worth every time they move due to closing costs and moving expenses.  

Post # 32
1292 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Meal planning for the week (incorporating items you already have at home) and making a list before going to the grocery store is great because you don’t end up wandering around and grabbing extra items.

We home cook most meals and only eat out Saturday nights.

I eat greek yogurt daily and found it cheaper to buy a large container and distribute it into mini tupperware containers with fresh fruit instead of buying the $1/each cups. I’m sure this applies to many other items.

I drink water with lunch and dinner. Saved on buying juices/soda/etc. and much healthier!

I am not the type that gets my hair/nails done and that is a huge saver!

We save on heating/AC by not overdoing it. Like instead of making it super cozy, we might just have it on the low 60’s and wear a hoody.

Post # 33
1006 posts
Bumble bee

I have all my monthly expense money direct deposited into a checking account, my savings goal direct deposited into an online savings account, and then whatever is left over goes in a checking account I have a debit card for and I only spend that money each month 

Before I switched to that method I was using to set budgets and check on how I was doing against each which was great but required a little more effort.

Setting a budget can be wonderfully freeing because then you don’t have to be stressed out when you do spend money, because you’ve already taken the time to look at your finances and decided it’s acceptable to spend $X on “optional items”. Plus it just helps you feel more in control.

We also just purchased a home and the biggest thing we did was change grocery shopping to Friday night. That way we have a fridge full of some things that we actually want to eat going into the weekend, instead of week old whatever. Plus sometimes we pick up something special to make at home Saturday night and for breakfast Sunday- still way cheaper than eating out.

Also it might be counterintuitive, but spending a little more on pre-portioned meals etc help avoid things like bagels for breakfast when you’re short on time. 

Post # 34
1086 posts
Bumble bee

We cut out cable. We share a friends Netflix account (and so does their entire family).

My SO got rid of his Amazon Prime because he and I both lost our student discount but we can share mine.

My SO has like an extra hour before he goes into his work so he makes me 2 K Cups of coffee in a tumbler before I go and i use the fancy creamers. Save a TON.

I make my breakfast in advance. I boil 9 eggs for my three days at work. Then pack leftovers for lunch. I then pack the leftovers and the eggs the morning before and grab that and coffee and run out the door. Enjoy both at my desk. You can probably get a bag of bagels for $2 and cream cheese for that price. And if you see if on sale you can freeze both and stock up. I have a cafe at my job I can toast at work or home. But prefer work.

For me to not over spend I literally schedule payments for my big bills in advance which honestly leaves me with no room to buy leisurely things that i can make at home myself.

Have your extra income if you have it auto sent to your savings. And just forget it even exists. I have done that for three years and look back and I am amazed at home much I saved. Before if I knew how much was there or it was in my main account… I would blow through it like nothing.

And credit karma stays free. No fees.

Post # 37
1006 posts
Bumble bee

kmmq72 :  I like the idea of budgeting where you spend your extra money! I always fall into the trap of spending money on little things and then at the end of the month I’m like “gee, if I had saved those times I was tempted by little things, I would be able to do inenthing I really wanted.” So that’s something I’m going to work on.

Another change I’ve made that I just thought of is getting a credit card that has high cash back. I buy everything on it and then pay it off every time I get paid. I’ve had it for 4 months and made $250 cash back so far 🙂 

Also I just saw that you commute 45 minutes. My fiancé and I have a similar commute and have started commuting together Wednesday’s and Fridays. It takes some getting used to waiting for each other to get out of work, but has saved us huge amounts on gas/maintenance, and gives us some extra “us” time. We have 2 podcasts we listen to together which gives us something to look forward to. 

Post # 38
2007 posts
Buzzing bee

The only other thing I would throw out is not being penny wise but pound foolish with where you save money. If you are spending money on something for your health, don’t take shortcuts! For example- Darling Husband and I could save a bunch if we bought cheaper grocceries. We buy higher quality food, which can cost more. This is something I’m not willing to skimp on because I think it’s important. Eating healthy keeps us healthy, which keeps us out of the doctors office and saves more in the long run!

Post # 39
1170 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

kmmq72 :  I’m only about 2 miles from Walmart and Target. But the subscribe and save saves us quite a bit of money compared to the prices at the local store. They have lower prices for using it and they also give a 15% discount when you have 5 items on your delivery list. So that’s really where I’m saving the money. It isn’t because I’m far away from town or anything.

Post # 40
4401 posts
Honey bee

For me it’s been taking advantage of my work perks – we have a keurig (and they will buy pretty much whatever kind of coffee we like) and also toast, jam, etc. So I can have my coffee and breakfast in the morning at work. Saves time and money!

Post # 42
6454 posts
Bee Keeper

kmmq72 :  I just made a very basic spreadsheet of my own: Date/ Credit ($ in)/ Debit ($ out)/ Balance/ details

And yes, having Tim Horton’s or Starbucks once a week instead of once or twice a day definitely feels like a treat. Much more appreciated rather than routine. 

Post # 43
47 posts
  • Wedding: September 2007

Don’t stop for coffee. And if you do, just get coffee and not a latte or whatever. 

Call your cell company and see how much data you use and lower your plan accordingly. We were paying for so much data that we never used. 

Cancel cable. 

Pay off your car, if you have a payment. Being without a payment make you so less likely to get into a new one. 

If you have a gym membership, exercise at home. Or go to a rec center or whatnot. 

Keep your fridge nicely stocked. You will eat out less if you have food readily available and easy to make. And less frequent shopping saves money.

Bring your lunch to work

keep a snack on you so you won’t stop anywhere  

If you wear daily contacts, only change them every other day  

Buy nonperishable items in bulk. Not because it’s necessarily cheaper. But the less you have to go to the store, the less you will spend unnecessarily.

I don’t know what you spend on hair, but that crap can get Uber expensive. I switched salons.

Manicures and pedicures are only a luxury I indulge in occasionally.

And! If you are anything like me, tell yourself (when you are about to talk yourself into buying  something you don’t need), “Sure I deserve it, but I deserve to be debt free more”.  

If you can, transfer and credit card balances to zero percent cards  

None of of these things will make a huge difference in and of themselves. But the pennies add up to dollars.


Post # 44
47 posts
  • Wedding: September 2007

Also, I have all my bills auto deducted. Because I have to pay them, so they are never late, and I can’t put them off and just say “oh I’ll pay that next week”. 

Post # 45
388 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

DH and I recently bought a house and have cut spending in the following ways:

1) We do not go out for dinner/drinks as often. We use to live in a very convenient area to go out. Now we have to drive or uber to restaurants and bars, so we go out 50% less. This has been great savings.

2) During the work week I never buy breakfast and each a packed lunch 4/5 days. I also started bringing coffee to work with me more often and now only buy coffee out a couple times a week. This has all added up.

3) We cut cable and use a Roku to for Sling, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. We also changed the internet bill over to my name so we could get the promotional rate.

4) We order our cats food from They send it every few weeks and the prices are better than the stores in my area.

5) I have started making meal plans and our grocery bill is slowly going down.

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