10 Expenses You Should Cut Out in 2015


Nobody wants to be told how to spend their money, but everyone wants to be told how to cut their expenses. Even if you’re not in a tight financial situation, you still want to save. We all want to save. It’s responsible and it’s the right thing to do. However, some people think they’re already saving as much as they can and they have no way of further cutting their expenses. Even if you have no credit card debt, no car payments and you pay your insurance premiums in full for the entire year, you still have ways you can cut spending in your budget and make your lifestyle a bit less expensive and a bit more fruitful as far as your savings account is concerned. So just how do you do this? It’s simple; you listen to what we have to say, you look into your budget, your expenses and your spending habits and you cut these unnecessary costs where you can. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds.

Dining Out

No one likes to hear that they can’t dine out anymore, and we are not saying you cannot dine out anymore. We’re just suggesting that you cut back on this portion of your budget and spend a little more time cooking at home. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I do know that most people I know, myself included, go out to dinner several times a week. If you eliminate one trip a week out to dinner, you could save $100 a week. That’s $400 in savings each month, and a total of $5200 in savings per year. If you take it a step further and stop eating lunch and buying coffee at work, you could save another $100 per week.

Text Messaging

Honestly, who is still paying for this? Most cell phone plans now offer unlimited text messages, or at least unlimited texts between phones from the same carrier. Look at your bill and determine how much you are sending per month and what you’re paying for. If you’re still paying that $20 fee for those unlimited texts but you’re only sending 250 on a busy month, it’s time to get rid of that fee each month. That’s $240 in savings a year per line.

ATM Fees

It’s expensive to go to the ATM if it does not belong to your bank. My husband is a banker, and the bank he works for does not have a location near us, which means every single time I need cash and don’t have it, I spend $4.75 at the ATM. I’m paying almost 25% of what I need to get $20 out of the ATM. Instead, I now have my husband bring me cash each week so I don’t have to go to the ATM, and if I think I might need more, I’ll get cash back at the supermarket when I’m shopping.

Late Fees

Just pay things on time and you won’t have to pay late fees. It’s one of the stupidest and most ridiculous expenses people pay for. Why are you spending $5 per month paying your water bill a week late just because you always forget to mail it? Just get things in on time and you won’t pay hundreds of dollars a year in unnecessary fees you don’t even need to worry about.

Television Fees

You’re paying too much. If it weren’t for the fact that we love sports, we would not have satellite. We’d live off of Netflix, I tell you. However, we watch sports. And we’ve been able to minimize our previous almost $200 per month satellite bill by narrowing down the fact that we watch all of 5 channels out of the 1000 we pay for. Cut this fee in half. If you can’t watch it online and stream it to your television or get it on Netflix, it’s probably not that important.

Convenience Fees

Do you understand just what a waste it is to pay this? Do you get that you are spending money on something so ridiculous when you pay a convenience fee? I can’t even tell you how much extra I’d spend every month if I paid everything online. Some expenses, such as my Direct TV bill, do not charge me a convenience fee, so I always pay online. However, between a $12.50 mortgage convenience fee, $3.75 to pay my utilities online and $3 to pay my water bill online (it’s only $12 to begin with!), I’d pay almost $20 extra every month to pay  my bills online. Write a check and mail it.

Babysitting Fees

Grandparents love their grandkids and they want to babysit free of charge. Ask them. If you don’t have that option, ask your friends. We have a system in our friendships; we watch each other’s kids every so often. We usually do things together so it’s not feasible to do this, but if someone has to go to the doctor or run to the store on a school break, we don’t hesitate to ask a friend who will watch the kids free of charge. Otherwise, it’s grandparents. We have a sitter we love and trust, but to have her watch our four kids so we can spend 4 hours out costs us $100 alone on top of what we’re already spending to go out.

Grocery Bills

We all waste so much money at the store. Let’s resolve to go once a week or less by making a list and sticking to it. Meal planning is not fun or easy, but it can be done and we can make this happen. I bet we could all save thousands if we stuck to this rule of not going to the store more than once a week. Actually, I know we could.

Gym Memberships/Other Memberships

Do you go to the gym? Do you go anywhere else? Do you have memberships you no longer use? Cut them out of your monthly expenses. End them; you don’t need them. You can work out at home, ride a bike, walk, swim or take yoga classes for a per-class fee without paying for a gym membership you don’t even need.

Unnecessary Insurance Coverage

You need insurance, so don’t think we’re telling you to get rid of that. We’re not. We’re telling you to call your insurance company and ask where you can cut your fees and how you can save a little by not having to pay for things that maybe no longer work with your vehicles or your other insured items. It never hurts to ask.

Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images for O2


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