Beyond Financial Independence

Expenses: 25 Ways to Cut Expenses and Increase Your Savings

May 25, 2012 · Joe McLaughlin · Comments

We've all seen the lists out there of how to cut our expenses and save money. So I thought I would create my own list of things that I know of and things that I have done and used or plan to use to save money. Even if you only use one of these ideas it will be worth it. Let's cut those expenses and start saving today.

1. Buy cheap gas, like 87 octane and buy it at Wal-Mart or another grocery store. It's usually the cheapest gas around.

2. When you commute to work, choose the most direct route with the fewest stops, this will increase gas mileage.

3. Cancel your cable bill and use DirecTV or Dish Network. They have often have 12 month deals around $25-$30 per month.

4. Get rid of your smart phone go get a cheap "dumb" phone or a burner phone to avoid high monthly fees and contract fees.

5. Stop eating out. Take your lunch to work.

6. List out all the meals you are going to eat each week for breakfast, lunch and dinner and only buy food for those meals. You will save money buy eating at home and reduce the stress of thinking "what am I going to eat tonight?".

7. If you have a car payment sell that car and buy a cheaper one. And while you're at it get one with better gas mileage.

8. Don't buy name brand anything. There's always a premium expense on that.

9. Pay off your credit card debt. Once completed, you can put that extra money in your hoard.

10. If you own your own home pay down on your mortgage till you've paid off 20% of the total, this will save you money on the mortgage insurance you are required to pay by your lender.

11. Make your own laundry detergent. It's easy. My wife does it and we save $100 of dollars a year. There are many recipes online that show you how. And yes it will even work with the new High Efficiency (He) side-loaded washers.

12. Make your own hand soap. My wife and I don't do this yet, but we are going to start. More money saved means more money to put into our hoard.

13. If you are really creative you can make your own biodiesel. You probably won't have enough to run your car on it, besides the car would need to be modified first. But you could run your lawn mower with it. Check online for instructions on how to do both.

14. Buy an electric line trimmer. Easy to use and you don't have to spend money on oil or gas.

15. If you are industrious you could generate your own electricity. Many kits are available now, including wind and solar. Many rebates are available as well. Check for incentives in your area. You may be able to not only eliminate your entire electric bill, but you can sell back the power you generate to your local utility.

16. Start an online business selling whatever interests you. Find something that people are interested in and sell it to them.

17. Sell your expensive house and buy a smaller one. Put all that you save into your hoard or vault.

18. If you live in a city with good public transportation you could use that instead of your car. You save money on a car payment, car insurance and GAS. Put it in your hoard.

19. Grow a garden. Raised garden beds are the easiest and least maintanence garden you can build. Grow vegetables, melons and herbs. Try to grow everything you buy now at the store. I have two raised garden beds and quickly ran out of room. I may have to build a third and fourth next year. If you prefer berries you can build a few raised beds specifically for berries. This site: is a great site to get non genetically modified seeds and heirloom seeds for your garden. If you want to go hydroponics you can get supplies here: With hydroponics you can grow the plants indoors and have food all year around.

20. If you keep your car try to do all your own repairs yourself. If you can't see if you have a friend that can help you. Give him something out of your garden to compensate him.

21. Use Netflix for your cableTV instead of cable TV or Dish access. Using Boxee you can access Netflix and other online sites to stream video and audio.

22. Use hydroponics or build an insulated greenhouse (cheaper than you may think - use PVC, plastic and simple heater) and grow vegetables or fruit during the winter. Sell the produce to your neighbors. Be upfront and tell them what you are doing and that you are selling the excess produce to your neighbors. One family made quite a bit of money one winter buy selling strawberries door to door. If you don't have a green thumb you will do better to try one of the other items on this list.

23. See if there is a farmer's market near you where you can get fresh produce if you don't have a garden. It's organic, free from pesticides, better for you and cheaper.

24. Swallow your pride and go shop at the Salvation Army or some other surplus store. After all you only have to wear it until you increase your hoard amount to your financial independence number.

25. Find a friend or your significant other and play a game with them each month were you each see how much you can save. Keep track of what you spend (hold onto receipts) and what you save total from your monthly income. Compare notes at the end of each month. The loser has to cook dinner for the other person.

Those are just a few ideas. I encourage you to try some of these today. Especially the ones that can save you money the easiest. After all its your money to waste or to save. I can't tell you where to put your money, but it makes sense to place as much as you can into your hoard. Start building that base of capital up and reinvest those dividends and it will grow and grow. Before you know it you'll be living financially free.

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