Realistic Places to Cut SpendingFinding ways to cut down on spending can be a challenge, however the best way to start is by hitting your already budgeted monthly expenses. Monthly bills are inevitable, but finding ways to reduce them can have a tremendous effect on your budget and savings at year-end. Remember how I said that budgets fail because we aren’t realistic? Same goes with reducing your spending. Cutting down your spending realistically means that you can try without too much hassle as well as knowing it will be manageable for you and your family.

What’s the benefit? The potential of saving money that totals a large sum by the end of the year.


Here are 7 realistic places to cut spending.


Carpool – Did you know that Americans spend a total of $1,681 a year on fuel for vehicles? Ask a co-worker to ride into work together. Take turns driving weekly, and you can save on gas as well as wear and tear of your vehicle.


Payoff Debt – If you have any debt looming over you, work on paying it off immediately. Having debt is not only stressful, but it means you have less money to save, as well as possibly spending more with high interests rates.


Refinance and Consolidate Loans – If you have high monthly payments on a car loan, mortgage or student loans, think about refinancing at a lower rate, or consolidating your loans. This equals lower payments as well as lower interest rates which helps payoff balances sooner.


Cut Your Electric Bill – The average home spends around $2,200 a year on energy bills. There are ways you can reduce the amount you are spending monthly on your bill. Consider changing out old lightbulbs for LED’s. It may not sound like it would do much, but this could save you around $40 a year off your bill. Unplug all electrical devices that are not being used such as the toaster, coffee pot, and microwave. Energy is still drawn out, even if the appliance is turned off.


Cut Your Cable Bill – This is an area most are afraid to visit, but is surely one where you can save. The average cable bill is $125 a month. Imagine saving that much? It would equal to $1,500 a year, and there are various affordable options such as a digital antenna, Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.


Negotiate Your Payments – Okay, so don’t want to cut the cord completely on cable? Call your service provider and ask if they have any specials or bundling options that could save you more at the end of the month. You can also call your electric, internet, cell phone and car insurance providers to negotiate services and lower payments.


Save on Food – Food is a necessity and also a huge spending problem that eats away at our monthly budget. A great way to save on food spending is by packing your own lunches for work, reducing the amount of take-out – meaning cook your own meals, utilize your left overs, buy in bulk, and shop online. Also, using coupons and purchasing generic brands can reduce cost tremendously.


How do you cut spending? Share with us in the comments below.


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About the blogger:
Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. Her husband was one of the many soldiers impacted by the unprecedented activation of the National Guard in 2008. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She is also co-founder of SpouseTalks. As a branding and digital influencer, she has created content for A&E, Lifetime Network and PBS. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.


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living in WI
Established Member

I dont know if this is the  proper place to add this question but Im going to attempt to place it for what its worth:

I recently just purchased a home, then there were the holidays and now my car has electrical problems... to top it off Im in debt over 30K total.  I work for the military-Im a hard worker, dedicated to my job and the people I service, I am also a drilling reservist.  Is consoldatitng my bills the best option at this time or are there other options out there for me?  Please advise.

J.J. Montanaro USAA
Community Manager
Community Manager

Living in WI, Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is a watershed year for you and your finances. Debt consolidation might be a part of your overall game plan to get things on track, but the key word is "part." The first step is to create a working budget. This willl probably entail tracking where your money is going, figuring out where it should be going to meet your obligations and then building a plan (cutting back or out where necessary) to get where you need to be. Your consolidation idea could be a part of your plan.  However, if you just consolidate without digging into the details of your cash flow, down the road you could have a consolidation loan and a bunch of other debt. I think you should get some help putting together your plan. As a drilling reservist and someone who works for the military do you have access to the financial counselors at the Military & Family Readiness Center on your installation? If so, this could be a great place to start. If not, a credit counselor associated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling might be very helpful. These folks, for little or no cost, can help you put together your plan. Find a counselor through their website, All the best!