Budgeting, Lifestyle, Save Money

10 Expenses You Should Consider Cutting Out if You’re Broke

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Most of us have had periods of time where money is tight. But going through a tight period is different than being completely broke.

If you’re flat out broke, you have to know that you can improve your financial situation. The only way to do that is to either increase your income (like by starting a blog), cut your spending, or ideally both. So now we are going to be talking about cutting your spending.

I want to put on my personal finance serious face for a second and say that, though we laugh about being broke, being broke is a serious thing. Being broke all of the time means you will never become debt free, you’ll never retire, and you’ll never have the means to live the life you want right now. You absolutely have to make some sacrifices to improve your future.

Trust me, making a few cuts now will allow you to live the life you really want to live. If you’re constantly living from paycheck to paycheck, you’ll never get the life you want. No one should accept living under that much financial stress.

Luckily, there are a few simple expenses you can cut out while you get your financial situation in order. If you started cutting out all 10 of these tips, you could save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars a month, depending on your current spending.

Though that would be incredible to cut out all 10 things, it’s not to say you are bad with money if you still choose to do some of these. Personal finance is personal and everyone has different priorities. But here are some ideas to get you started 🙂

1) Cable

Cable is pricey! And in all honesty, it’s a high price to pay for a bad habit. If you’re a serious television watcher, there are many cheaper options, like Amazon Video (included in the price of an Amazon Prime account!) or Netflix.

Missing out on a few of your favorite shows is worth the savings of $60-200 a month. And nowadays, you can usually steam shows online after a few months.

2) ATM Fees

Though an occasional ATM fee might not seem like a big deal, all of those little expenses add up. And have you ever thought about how silly it is to pay that much to access a few dollars of your own cash?

You can easily avoid this fee by making sure you always have a bit of cash on you, or by driving through or stopping in your bank before you go somewhere where you need cash. And you can keep tabs on what ATMs are free for you depending on where you bank.

3) Entertainment and Alcohol

FOMO is real and no one wants to miss out on anything his or her friends are doing, but you gotta be honest about your financial situation. If you can’t afford a $50 bar tab and an Uber every Saturday night, you can’t afford it.

Fortunately, you can still go out and be the DD, or you can host parties at your place. Having a social life is important, but there are so many cheaper (and healthier) ways to do so.

4) Eating Out

Sit-down restaurants can be very expensive, but yet, they seem to be a common social place to gather.

If you can’t sacrifice eating out in its entirety, you can commit to eating a quick bite at home before you get to the restaurant and only order an appetizer. And skip the drinks!

And fast food is another must-go. Though you might not think it’s expensive, it does add up. If you’re even just spending $6 a day on fast food, that’s $180.00 a month. And that’s just for one meal a day!

5) Clothes Shopping

I’ll admit, this is my biggest pitfall. I love shopping and clothes. And sometimes it’s hard to pass up a really great deal.

But when times are tight, or we have big savings or debt repayment goals in place, I don’t allow myself to shop, unless I desperately need a new pair of something I wear frequently (like tennis shoes or heels for work that I wear all the time) Other than that, it’s really amazing what you can come up with when you shop your own closet!

6) Subscriptions

Glam bags, magazines, gym memberships, and any other type of subscription service can save you a lot of money now and in the long-run if you cancel them.

A lot of these items are fun, but not necessary in daily life. You can exercise at home or outside instead of going to the gym, or buy makeup as you need it instead of getting a glam bag of items you don’t even know if you’ll like.

7) Rent

This is #1 the best thing you can do if you’re broke. If you live in a city with a family member, moving back in with them can save you a ton of money.

I know, I know, few people want to do this. But this can save so much money. You can use your would-have-been rent money to save or pay off debt instead. If your rent is $500 a month, that’s $6,000 a year!

8) Travel

Obviously, this includes big trips, but I’m also talking about small travel too! Even a day-trip to a nearby town can get expensive when you factor in gas and food.

9) Trips to the Salon

I know this is unpopular, but you really can forgo trips to the salon.

I know girls who spend $200 every 2 months on their hair. That’s $1,200 a year for just hair.

If salon trips are a must for you, try spreading out time in between visits, or stop coloring your hair entirely. You can probably trim your own ends between visits and not botch it up, or have someone help you for free. Remember, these are sacrifices!

10) Gifts for Others

If you’re like me and love giving gifts, this can be hard. I love to mail gifts for birthdays or celebrations, but it does get expensive.

Luckily, friends and families should be the most understanding when it comes to gifts. If you feel like you have to give them something, you can always lower your budget or just send a card.

Remember, you need to take care of your own finances first before you can be responsible in giving gifts.

Have you cut any of these expenses out? Is there anything else you’ve cut out to save money? Comment below!

12 thoughts on “10 Expenses You Should Consider Cutting Out if You’re Broke

  1. Ugh, ATM fees! I’d argue that no one should be paying these because they’re silly. I use a bank that reimburses me for $15-worth of ATM fees each month, which I love. It’s okay to reevaluate the bank that you use!

    Although we aren’t broke any more, we still carried over our money-saving habits. For example, I no longer go to the salon and I do all of my ~fancy~ spa treatments at home (ie. waxing, plucking, mani-pedis, haircuts). We’ve also started making our own beer and wine, which has turned out to be WAY cheaper than buying the cheap stuff at the store (and it tastes better).

  2. I don’t recall ever paying an ATM fee either, but I’m always surprised how many friends “just need to swing by the ATM.” I try to use my credit card as much as possible for the points and pay it off every month.

  3. My family has lived on a low income for many years. Our income is variable; this year it’s less than half what it was last year. It’s the nature of many kinds of jobs, and ours is one of them. Next year, we could make three times what we make this year–but we just don’t know what it will be.

    We watch shows for free on YouTube or Pbs.org. We cook meals from scratch and I spend $300 a month on food and toiletries for my family of 10. We have one car and limit our driving to keep expenses down; even short errands are combined when possible. We don’t drink alcohol, coffee, or tea (I do grow some herbs at home for herbal teas). I get free magazine subscriptions from Recyclebank. We cut everyone’s hair at home. We never use the ATM; we usually use debit cards, and we track all of our spending that way (you can use a free app to do this so that you know where every penny goes). When we need clothing, we look first at garage sales, second at thrift stores, third on clearance items, and fourth on sale items. Most clothing items I find at garage sales for $0.50 to $2 an item.

    Our gift budget is small and is mostly limited to direct family. I plan $10 to $20 per child for Christmas. I make a large number of gifts for my family.

  4. Great points! Eating out is our number one spending problem. That and Target can get out of hand. But I’ve been working hard to rein it in. I’m horrible at keeping a consistent list, so that would help cut down on the number of errands we run. Hair, that gets cut about once, maybe twice a year. Everyone else’s gets cut at home. We don’t have cable, but are considering a Hulu or Sling subscription. Any thoughts on that? We aren’t really heavy watchers except for the weekends, although my husband keeps up with several shows as he is able. Maybe we are heavier watchers than I think!

    1. Target sucked all my money away too, so I made myself switch to Walmart and local grocery stores. I found myself always buying shoes, clothes, and new makeup at Target so I had to remove the temptation some. I also make sure I keep a list of things we need so we only have to go to the store once a week, if that. It really helps to reduce expenses and save time.

      As far as streaming goes, I have tried Hulu and Netflix, but not Sling. I’ve heard good things about Sling but don’t feel like we need it now, as we are trying to cut back. Between Hulu and Netflix, it depends what you like. I think Hulu has more shows from cable, but Netflix has better originals. If you’re a reality show junkie like me, I suggest Hulu 🙂

  5. I try to use coupons wherever possible and shop between Walmart, No Frills and the IGA, depending on sales. I also use the apps flipp and rebee to peruse flyers first before shopping and because we live in a small town where prices can be too high for my liking I save up and travel to the city every once in a while to go to Costco; even then I`ll go with my girlfriend so I can split the cost of the groceries.
    I’d love some suggestions though on how to get my hubby on board with spending less!

    1. That’s a great idea to buy in bulk with a friend! We live in a small apartment and don’t have space to buy much in bulk, but could make it work if I purchased with a friend and split everything. Thank YOU for the great idea 🙂

  6. The best savings I do is NOT going into the grocery store except once a week. Even though I may need just one or two items, I have not been able to pass up the sale items! Of course, when meat is on sale, I purchase it, then I get the sides that would be good with it, etc.. My one or two items becomes a half cart and totals about $30.-40.00, all for the $5.00- $6.00 item(s) I actually needed.

    1. That is so true! We are trying to get better at that as well. It’s amazing how much you can save by planning ahead. We aren’t perfect at it, but you’re so right in that those random stops to the grocery store always end up being around $40!

  7. Ask your local butcher at your super market when the best days for ‘quick’ sale meats are most available. And tyou have to shop very early! Like 6:00am to 8:00Am. Produce at certain Ingles stores….are all on discounted on Wednesday afternoons… Also it pays to communicate with you grocer’s to know when you can bank on great deals. You can freeze things like fresh herbs. And as far as the butcher goes. Build a friendly relationship. You would be surprised to find out the tips and things they would be capable of helping with. Good Luck!

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