Before we get into ways to reduce your monthly expenses, we need to highlight the fact that when it comes to spending money, there are three types of people. First, we have those who have so much money, they have employees in charge of literally every facet of their life. We then have those who have enough money to cater to their needs and have found a way to strike a balance between their income and expenses.
Finally, we have those who constantly struggle with their income and often end up wondering how their paycheck got exhausted before the end of the month.
If you are in the first category, you’re probably not actively thinking about reducing your monthly expenses because your finances appear to be in a good place. However, if you belong to the second and third category, you probably think about your account balance more frequently than you like but then, life happens and this is why we decided to put together ways you can reduce your monthly expenses. These tips are designed to help you cut down the amount of money you spend every month regardless of how much you earn or where you are financially. Let’s get right to it.
Take a Second Look at Your Subscriptions
Your monthly subscriptions are the first things you should look at because if left unchecked, they could burn a hole in your pocket in such a way that you wouldn’t even realise it.
When this happens, you become what we call the ‘subscription slave’ with a chunk of your salary going into subscriptions month after month. We’re not sure which specific services you have existing subscriptions for but there are quite a lot of them out there.
“It dawned on me that I was shooting myself in the foot. I had existing subscriptions on Apple Music, Netflix, a reading service, Candy Crush, DSTV, my wi-fi service provider, mobile data, Google storage subscription and several others. I knew I had to do something about it and I did,” Sarah Kadeji, the Finance Officer at Money in Minutes Finance Company explained.
Identifying these subscriptions is one thing but cutting them down is where the true work is and as Kadeji went on to explain, it calls for a high level of dedication and discipline.
We should also mention here that subscriptions have taxes associated with them, which is why you need to trim the list down to include only services that you consider essential.
For your internet, consider picking one between mobile data and your wi-fi subscription as opposed to having both. If you opt for mobile data, there are weekly subscription plans with the capacity to give you virtually the same quality of connection and data as opposed to the monthly plans.
By cutting down on these subscriptions, you will be able to save a whole lot more. Remember that the goal is to reduce your monthly expenses.
Embrace a Healthier Lifestyle
If you work 9–5, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the habit of eating out or even hanging out with friends and colleagues after work and indulging in occasional drinks along with your dinner.
While this might seem like a necessity, it isn’t because when you think about it, you have a cheaper alternative. For instance, have you tried cooking your own meals and taking it to work? It might come across as being inconvenient at first but with a bit of dedication, it is something you can pull off and it gives you an opportunity to prepare healthy meals.
Please note that this isn’t necessarily saying you must cease eating out. Rather, this is simply saying you shouldn’t make a habit out of it, especially the part where you constantly hang out with friends after work. One meal might not hurt you that much but several meals over a period of time will definitely take its toll on your expenses and by extension, your monthly budget.
It isn’t just about food though as Kadeji went on to explain. “Going to the gym might sound like a brilliant idea for you if you are looking to lead a healthy lifestyle but you can achieve the same level of fitness by running on a regular basis. The major difference here is that by running, you would not need to pay for a gym membership and you end up saving money.
What is in Your Wardrobe?
There’s nothing wrong with buying new clothes but if you have clothes in your wardrobe that you have not worn in the last 6–9 months, this is a sign that you already have more clothes than you actually need. The same goes for shoes and bags. Avoid impulsive buying or buying things just because they look good. This will not help your finances in the long run.
Before you buy clothes, you need to ask yourself if this is something you need or something you want just because you think you can afford it. The same goes for “Aso Ebi” (ceremonial clothes). You can either afford them or you can’t. If you find yourself spending more on “Aso Ebi” at a frequency that triggers concern, then this is a red flag and make adjustments where necessary.
Be honest with yourself and your budget and cease taking those seemingly little things you spend money on for granted.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Reduce Your Monthly Expenses
Don’t expect that this will be easy to accomplish. Your friends, colleagues and even loved ones might question your decisions but no one knows where the shoes pinches the way you do and that’s because you’re the one wearing it.
One great way to approach this is to start slow. Don’t make the mistake of making all the changes at once. If you do, it’s bound to hit you really hard and the feeling could make you feel like you’re slipping into withdrawal. Rather, effect the changes in stages until you’ve checked all the boxes.
In other words, drop a few things one at a time. The goal is to reduce your monthly expenses without losing your happiness in the process.
If you’d like to take advantage of more opportunities tailored to take you closer to financial wellness and stability, register on the Money in Minutes app to get started.