The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate and clean up your budget. Sometimes you just get in the routine of updating it for each month without really looking at what you’re paying for. January is a great time to reconsider all those expenses! Here’s a handy list of expenses to cut from your budget this year.
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Cutting cable seems to be a hot topic these days. There are so many different options for streaming services that offer the same channels as cable. Figure out which channels you actually want and then look up which streaming services offer shows and live TV options for the channels you want.
My boyfriend and I are planning on cutting our service and going only to Hulu Live and Netflix in the next few months. We will have to pay for several streaming services in order to get all the channels we actually watch, but it will still be cheaper than paying for a cable package that doesn’t have everything we want!
I love makeup as much as the next girl, and beauty subscriptions always seemed like a fun way for me to try out new products. At some point, however, I realized that I was accumulating more than I could use in a reasonable amount of time – and some of it I didn’t even like.
Cutting out your beauty subscriptions will save you money and help you cut down on clutter. If you aren’t going to use the majority of what comes in a box, then it isn’t worth the money to keep paying for it.
The start of the new year is a great time to evaluate your closet along with your budget. If you find yourself regularly buying clothes that you aren’t actually wearing, then it might be time to reduce your spending money or cut the clothing budget line. Try using the cash envelope method to control your spending, or immediately send that money to debt or savings instead of leaving it available to spend in your account.
Banking and Late Fees
There is no reason you should be paying any type of banking or late fees. There are so many banking options these days without fees. I use Chime banking for my business accounts and I highly recommend it!
Late fees are a sign that your finances aren’t very organized. Now is the time to change that! Put together a budget planner or binder and start setting some financial goals. Check out this video on my budget method and this blog post on getting started organizing your finances.
If you have memberships you aren’t actually using, it’s time to cancel them! No matter what type of membership it is, it’s not worth keeping if you aren’t getting any value. I used to pay $50 for a gym membership that I only used a handful of times. I finally canceled it because I was just throwing my money away each month!
Also, be sure you aren’t paying for membership add-ons that you aren’t actually using. If your gym offers a class pass that you’re paying for, but you’ve never done a class, then get rid of that extra pass!
I know I just mentioned replacing your cable service with streaming services instead. But make sure you’re only paying for the services you’re actually using. If you pay for Hulu, Netflix, and Disney +, but you never ever watch Netflix, then quit paying for it! Think about what you actually watch on a regular basis and get rid of the rest.
I’m all for self-care and treating yourself, but getting your nails done every few weeks is expensive! You can do a pretty great job at home yourself and save a good chunk of money. Consider doing your own nails, or just reserving a manicure or pedicure for special events, trips, or holidays.
I purchased a gel nail kit from Amazon and my nails usually look pretty good – just takes a little practice! The cost of the kit was about the cost of one trip to the nail salon so it paid for itself within a couple of uses. You can check out light, top and base coat, and polishes I use.
I absolutely love subscription boxes. It was really hard for me to cut these out when I got serious about paying off my debt, but it has saved me so much money. The average subscription box (in my experience anyway) costs around $40 with shipping. That adds up pretty quickly over the course of a year – that’s $480!
Make sure the subscriptions you pay for are things you really love if you keep them. We all know that sometimes subscription boxes can be a little disappointing. If you are receiving a box that hasn’t lived up to your expectations in the last few months, it might be time to take a break!
The food budget category is one of the hardest to stick to. Eating out is quick, easy, and pretty convenient. It’s also pretty expensive! If you added up how much you spent at restaurants over the past month you might be a little shocked. Cooking at home is a much cheaper (and usually much healthier) option.
Setting things up to make it easier to cook at home will help you avoid the temptation to run out and grab something. Plan your weekly meals ahead of time and make a grocery list for everything you need. If you have all the items in your house and have a plan ready to go, it’ll be much easier to get home and cook a meal.
Alcohol can eat up your budget so quickly, especially if you are going out and buying drinks. I’m not saying you need to cut it out completely by any means. But be more aware of what you’re actually spending. How many of those $9 drinks do you buy on the weekend? It might be a better use of money to go buy it at the store, invite your friends over, and enjoy your drinks at home.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas for things to consider when writing your budgets this year! Focus on your goals and make sure your budget is in line with your priorities.
Want to learn more about budgeting? Here are some other great articles for you:
- The Complete Guide to Writing Your First Budget
- The Basics of Sinking Funds
- Why You Need an Emergency Fund
- The Budgeting Method That Changed My Life