This is the worlds leading source of financial content on the web, ranging from market news to retirement strategies, investing education to insights from advisors.
Forex Forever!

4 Ways To Cut Your Living Expenses

Author: Michael Smith

Even with the economy on the mend and the job market picking up steam, people are still struggling to meet their monthly expenses. According to a recent SunTrust survey, close to one-third of U.S. households that earn $75,000 or more are on the brink of financial disaster. The survey also found that one in four households earning $100,000 or more live paycheck to paycheck some months. The reasons for America's financial woes vary, but ultimately most consumers must cut their living expenses to survive. Here's a look at four ways to reduce your living expenses.

Downsize Your Living Situation

Housing is likely your largest living expense (Read more on the topic, here: Easy Ways To Cut Rental Costs). Whether you live in an apartment, single family home, recreational vehicle or cabin, there is a monthly cost for housing. Since housing expenses account for a large chunk of your monthly income, evaluate how to reduce your housing costs. For example, if you live in a one bedroom apartment, consider moving into a studio. Similarly, if you're a homeowner, consider downsizing to a smaller or cheaper home.

Eat In More Often

We live in a fast-paced, frenzied world where families rarely have time to eat dinner together, let alone cook meals. For many people, it's much easier to pick up takeout or dine at a restaurant. Americans spend billions of dollars eating out each year. Eating out isn't cheap, and the cost can add up quickly, particularly if you dine out multiple times a week. A quick and easy way to free up some money is to eat in more often. If you don't want to quit cold turkey, even cutting back to eating out only twice a week will yield you some savings.

Avoid Banking Fees At All Costs

Banks are supposed to be a way to save money not spend it. Yet, far too often people waste money on the fees associated with banking. Think about this: banks make multi-billions of dollars each year in overdraft fees alone; not to mention the cost of ATM and e-transfer fees. Banking fees are expensive; however, a lot of consumers blindly pay these fees. Avoid extra banking fees by withdrawing money from your bank's ATM only, having enough money in the bank account to cover checks and shopping around for low-cost banking fees. Competition is high in the banking industry so make sure you are going to a bank that doesn't charge you a lot to do business with them.

Pay In Cash

In this credit-fueled economy, it is easy to charge it and forget about it, but it is those impulse purchases that get countless Americans into trouble. According to NerdWallet, the average household debt in the U.S. is $15,706. However, plenty of people have credit card debt double and triple that number. Carrying a balance of any sort means you will be charged credit card fees, which will simply drain your income further. If consumers pay for everything in cash, they will avoid credit card fees and think twice before making a purchase. That $5.00 pumpkin spice latte may not seem so attractive if you are shelling out physical cash for it.

The Bottom Line

Racking up living expenses is easy to do, but covering them can be a struggle. Cash-strapped consumers have options when it comes to reducing some everyday costs. If you want drastic savings, you could downsize your living arrangements. That being said, there are simple, easier ways to save money like avoiding ATM fees, eating in or not using your credit card.

last five articles

#433 How Safe Is Traveling In The Philippines?

Author: Christopher Williams

The Philippines, an archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean of more than 7,000 islands, is well-known for its natural beauty, from white sand beaches and rich coral reefs, to lush mountains, volcanoes and brightly-colored rice terraces. During 2013, the Philippines hosted nearly 4.7 million tour... see more

#1290 Will Retirement Be Part of Your Retirement?

Author: Ethan Smith

Retirement is changing. The question is how? A scan of retirement headlines suggests that it's largely negative, driven by overburdened retirement structures and elderly people working minimum wage jobs long into their so-called Golden Years. I think the reality is more complex, and a lot of it i... see more

#159 The Basics of Roth IRA Contribution Rules

Author: Andrew Taylor

If you are working, you may be able to contribute to a Roth IRA. This type of retirement savings account allows you to take tax-free withdrawals of your contributions at any time and tax-free withdrawals of earnings on contributions after a five-year holding period (assuming you are at least 59½... see more

#1431 Mortgage Choice: Quicken Loans Vs. Your Local Bank

Author: Jacob Jackson

Since the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, online mortgage companies have becoming an increasingly significant force in the home loan industry. Leading the charge is Quicken Loans, now the second-largest mortgage lender in the country. In 2013 alone, the company extended some $80 billion worth of ... see more

#1678 5 Signs You Need A Postnup

Author: Daniel Williams

Ah, marriage. The beautiful union of two people – and their assets. Alas, nearly half of married couples aren't able to stick it out for the long haul. According to the CDC/NCHS National Vital Statistics System, 44% of marriages end in divorce. Another study puts the divorce rate as ranging fro... see more