It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s a great time to take a look at your budget and decide which expenses to cut in 2015 and which to keep. Can’t decide what needs to stay and what can go? Here are three easy expenses to cut out of your life and three that are absolutely necessary.
Expenses to Cut in 2015
I know. We’re no fun. However, it’s the first thing every money blog says to drop for good reason. Meals out often cost between $20-$30 for a single person, plus tax and tip. For the same amount of money, you can eat several meals at home.
If you have to eat out, try eating vegetarian, which is guaranteed to save you at least a few dollars on each entree.
Oh, and we know for some people, stopping for coffee on the way to work is a natural as going to work. Instead, try investing in a to-go coffee cup of your own and making coffee at home. This will save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Personal Care Products
Both men and women spend a considerable amount of money on personal care products each year. From shaving cream to razors to hair products, we require a lot of upkeep these days. To save money, try switching from a designer brand to a drugstore brand. Or, if you’re willing, try eliminating one aspect of your routine. For example, ladies can make the switch to tinted chapstick instead of lipstick (you’ll still get color but at a fraction of the price!) and men can get shorter haircuts that require less product.
Date Night Out
Dinner and a movie might be a classic date but it’ll set you back about $55 (or more if you need to hire a babysitter.) Instead try things like free movies in a park, visiting a museum on free days, or going for an afternoon run together. (Get awesome outdoor gear plus up to 5% back at Sierra Trading Post when you sign up with Wherewithal.)
Expenses to Keep
Saving money is the first line of my budget. I treat it like an expense, like any other bill, because it’s an easy way to stay on track. Saving automatically is a great habit to start in the new year. That way, if you want to start saving for retirement or sell your old car and upgrade someday, you’ll have money in the bank already to help you reach those goals.
Maintenance for Electronics
Whether it’s a laptop, desktop or tablet, it’s important to treat your computer well. Invest in a secure online backup program. I run one that is only a few dollars a month, but you can also spend some money on a backup hard drive where you can save your important work. Also if you haven’t yet, invest in a case for everyday use and a sleeve for when you travel. Look into insurance and see if that’s an affordable option for you. That way, your computer is secure and lasts as long as possible.
I lived without health insurance for 8 months in 2014, and it was a gamble. If you are a single adult, even if you do not have a full time job, health care is a must have. I know it is expensive, but if something bad happens, it can set you back financially. Plus, regular check ups are important because undiagnosed issues can snowball into bigger problems quickly, which can cost more money in the future.
Do you have expenses to cut in 2015 or ones you want to keep?