It happens – you did your budget meticulously, but shopping here, a high bill there, and you’re breaking the bank once again. It doesn’t have to occur, though, and there are steps you can take to smart expense management.

The best part – you won’t feel it in the long run.

Everyone’s life is different, but most have some overlapping fields that eat up your salary. Here are four areas where you can lower your expenses with very little work.

Do Some Energy Efficiency Checks

Does your electricity bill always come a bit higher than expected? There are ways to fix that.

Replace your regular light bulbs with energy-saving ones – LEDs are affordable and save up to $20 per piece. You could also install a thermostat which you can program to shut off the cooling and heating when you’re not home.

A DIY project of sealing your home is another option – it will lower your energy bill and make your home more weatherproof.

These won’t change your life quality, but they will make a difference in your bills. The money you save can go towards more important matters.

Make your home more cost-efficient with our tips

Be Smart About Your Loans

Sometimes, we have to take out a loan to handle an immediate concern. As a result, the interest rate of the loan becomes our next immediate concern. However, there are smart loopholes that can let you pay less in the long run.

First of all,  even if money is tight, do your best not to miss your monthly payment. It could lead to even higher interest rates in the future, and that’s the opposite of what you need.

Then, you should check if your loan comes with a prepayment penalty. Most do, and it can be so high that it makes no financial sense to repay it earlier. This situation is especially true for those high interest, easy fixes such as title loans.

If you want to pay off your title loan early, you could take out another loan, although it might sound counterintuitive. Consolidation loans are a great way to handle several smaller liabilities in one batch.

Make smarter financial decisions with only a few easy steps

Shop Wisely

When grocery shopping, be careful not to go to extremes and buy too much or too little of any ingredient. Ideally, you will buy in bulk when you’re sure you will use up the purchased item. Only buy as much of everything else as you will need.

If you regularly shop at a particular place, you could check if they have a customer reward program. It could be a hassle to fill out their forms, but such offers most often result in coupons and discounts without continuous effort on your end.

On the other hand, if you do your shopping at several places, keep the bills from each of them. After a month, compare them to see where you can get the most for your money. Afterward, become a regular at that store.

Becoming a regular in a store or a chain can help you save money

Switch Your Phone Deal

Most phone deals come with unlimited minutes and messages you won’t use since most communication happens online. Nonetheless, you may still be paying for the contract you made years ago.

One option is to switch to a cheaper deal, which gives you data but not as many messages and minutes. Another is to drop the contract altogether and pay as you use – most places have WiFi nowadays, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

 

Switch to a more inexpensive phone plan, but keep the data

Final Thoughts

Of course, there are many other techniques to budget your expenses, but the fields we mentioned are close to universal. Besides, once you introduce them, you won’t need to think about it a lot. Follow them and alleviate your money-related concerns at least to some extent.