How To Slash $800 a Month Off Your Living Expenses 

 October 31, 2019

By  Jim Daniels

Quick… If you could choose between earning $800 more per month or cutting $800 a month from your budget, which would you choose?

Most people go for the extra earnings. But that is the wrong choice by far.

Today I’ll explain why, and show you how I knocked $800 a month off my family expenses, by making a few simple changes…

This blog isn’t just about making money, it’s about saving money too. Today I’ll show you some clever ways to slash your monthly budget without missing a beat.

Here’s why slashing your monthly budget is even better than adding income…

For every dollar more you make, you get to keep maybe 75 cents after federal and state taxes, if you’re lucky.

So if you managed to cut $800 a month from your budget like I did, it’s actually just like earning over $1,000 a month more in gross income. That’s like making $12,000 a year more than you make now!

That’s right, not spending money is much more effective than making more money. That’s exactly why there are so many “thrifty” millionaires!

When I learned this trick I decided to see where I could save and was surprised at how easy it was.

Here are the 8 ways I slashed more than $800 a month off of our family budget…

1. Cut your cable.

We cut our $160 a month cable TV service and went to WiFi only for $75 a month. We now use a Roku and it is awesome!

On the Roku we added a few streaming channels that are free and a few that are paid.

The paid ones include Netflix for $9 a month and Amazon Prime for another $13 a month. Now we can watch all the movies and original series we want! I also like to watch football on Sundays so I added the CBS All Access channel for $5.99 a month. I like their news shoes too.

As far as free channels, I added the Pluto Free TV channel and can watch all literally hundreds of news, movies and TV shows at no cost. 🙂

Total TV savings $57 a month and $684 per year.

2. Replace your electric hot water heater.

This year we replaced our electric hot water heater with a new hybrid “heat pump” model. Our electric bill went from an average of $200 a month to $130 a month. While the new new unit cost a bit more than a regular one, ($700 minus a $300 rebate) it has already paid for itself.

The heat pump model is ingenious technology. It pull moisture from the surrounding air and coverts it into hot water. And yes it works in warm climates as well as colder climates like New England. It even cools our basement and keeps it drier. And it uses a fraction of the KWH that our electric hot water heater used.

Total electric bill savings of $65 a month and $780 a year!

3. Use smartphone apps.

I use smartphone apps every day to save money.

My favorites are… StoCard for all my savings cards (the ones I used to attach to my keyring such as CVS, Dicks, etc.) AirBNB to find great places to stay when on vacation (cheaper than hotels and much roomier!)…. GolfNow to get my golf tee-times at 50% off regular prices.

Total discounts average $150 a month and $1800 a year.

4. Let someone else do your grocery shopping. (For free.)

This one is a dream come true.

Just download the new Walmart Grocery app onto your smartphone, pick out everything you want and THEY do the shopping for you.

You just drive up to the side door at your local Walmart, put the groceries into your car and drive away! (This app is my new favorite as I’m not a big fan of grocery shopping.)

If you want to try it out, here’s my referral link where you can save $10.00 off your first order of more than $50 from the Walmart Grocery Shopping App.

I’ve found their low pricing saves me about 20% on my weekly grocery bill.

Total grocery savings $150 a month and $1800 a year — plus no more grocery shopping!

5. Dump your big name cell phone carrier.

Instead of using one of the big name cell phone carriers like Verizon or AT&T, why not try a lower cost plan.

I switched my family’s 4 cellphones from AT&T to H20 Wireless and still get unlimited minutes and text (with a little less data) on the same cell towers. I pay $27 a month for my service now. 🙂

Here’s a list of some more carries like H20 that offer low cost plans, some even let you take your phone with you.

Total cell phone savings $120 a month and $1440 a year.

6. Use Amazon and Ebay

I moved some of my shopping online. I now order my vitamins, supplements, electronics, household items, etc. at Amazon and ebay at about 25% off retail.

You may be surprised at how much money you can save. And remember, Amazon has free 2-day shipping for Prime members, so you not only get all those movies I mentioned earlier, you get free shipping as well.

Total shopping savings $100 a month and $1200 a year.

7. Switch Insurance Carriers

I switched my auto insurance to USAA. If you are a veteran, you can take advantage of their lower rates too. I know this may sound like a commercial or a paid endorsement, but it is not. I saved more than I expected by switching.

And if you’re not a veteran, you should still shop your insurance around every few years. You may be surprised at how much you can save.

Total savings $60 a month and $720 a year.

8. Transfer your credit card debt to 0% interest.

If you have any credit card debt that carries over from month to month, get a free Credit Karma account. That will tell you your credit score and how to improve it. Then they’ll recommend balance transfer cards if you’re eligible.

I did it and saved over $1000 a year on interest! Some companies such as Navy Federal Credit Union (sorry, veterans only) don’t even charge you a balance transfer fee.

If you still have a balance left after your 0% balance transfer period expires, transfer to a new card. You can do it every year if you want to.

If you have any credit card debt that carries over from month to month, get a free Credit Karma account. That will tell you your credit score and how to improve it. Then they’ll recommend balance transfer cards if you’re eligible.

Total savings $100 a month and $1200 a year.

In closing…

I understand you probably can’t use all 8 of these exact strategies. But I bet you can use 5-6 of them easily and save close to $500 a month.

Even if you take just a few of these steps it will help your budget.

And remember, the more you save on a regular basis, the less you have to earn to pay the bills.

And that can mean less time working and more time playing!

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About Jim

I gave up a life of jobs in 1996. Since then I've been earning a living online.

I write books, create software, license info-products, affiliate marketing, build membership sites, design websites and more.

I prefer this over my old lifestyle of getting up early, commuting to work, coming home to have a few hours for my family and living for the weekends. Now every day is a weekend. I work when I want and answer to no boss.

  • Maria Svrlinga says:

    Definitely 1400 off bills.

  • Good article Jim, I really like the no car payment option. We went with this a few years back and never regretted it. I have two late model vehicles, a Chevy Tahoe and Dodge Minivan in the driveway. Both run excellent and I never have to worry about a repo man. With no car payments we are able to put that money towards vacations and fun projects around the house. We’ll never go back to payments again. We also implement everything else you stated above except the smartphone apps. Thanks for the tip, I’ll be looking into those today.

  • Great tips, Jim. I’ve been doing much the same for awhile now and it has made a big difference in my overall finances.

    One tip that may not apply to everyone but is a really big saver is to eliminate unnecessary monthly auto payments on credit cards. $9.97 may not seem like a lot, but it you have several of them across a few cards, the bleeding can be substantial.

    Have a great weekend!

  • What a great article Jim! Thanks for some super tips. You always offer some of the best information on the Internet.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  • All great ideas! We are no longer making a house payment, as we just paid it off. That’s $1400 month foe us to work with. My car will be next and having purchased a ten year bumper to bumper warranty, future repairs will cost us only $400 per year, which is helpful for budgeting purpose. Finally dropped the land line $35^month. Shipping around for new insurance carrier is always smart as insurance companies steadily increase your premiums, hoping you won’t notice. I’ll be checking into the phone apps $

  • Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying these details.

  • Theda Erickson says:

    Hi Jim I could have written your blog, I have already done all that you have talked about. Biggest one Cox TV we use Roku Pluto and all.

    A great article might help some who don’t think about those things.

    Thank you

    • Glad you liked it Theda, not too many people know about the new hybrid hot water heaters, so hopefully more will try that!

  • Great recommendations, Jim!

    Verizon is slowly catching on has people cut the cable. They continue to raise the price of internet only services. But at least I am saving $100 a month by getting rid of the cable service.

    • I’m glad you found them helpful Glen! I know what you man, my internet only price has been creeping up too. Need more competition!

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