Are you looking at ways to cut back on your monthly expenses? Maybe you’re moving from a two-income household to one through choice or necessity, or perhaps you want to put away funds toward a down payment on a home. You might just feel like you are spending more than you should each month and would like a little more control, or you could be struggling to make ends meet. Whatever the reason, the three tips below can help you cut back on your spending each month.

Refinancing

It may be possible to refinance your home, your car, and even your student loans and pay less each month on those debts. It’s important to read the fine print carefully and understand economics. Refinancing won’t always necessarily save you money in the long run. For example, if you are extending the life of the loan for several more years, you may ultimately end up paying more in interest. However, there are a lot of other variables to consider. For example, if the interest rate for your refinance is very low, you could come out ahead by putting money toward investments that have a higher return. Furthermore, you could have a significant boost in income that means that even if you are paying less now, you could still pay off your loan early in the years to come. Finally, you may just need the cash more now. For student loans, you could refinance with a private lender and reduce multiple payments into a single, lower monthly expense.

Meal Planning

meal planning for reducing monthly expenses

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You might be surprised at how much of your budget is going toward groceries, delivery, and meals out. Employing a strategy such as batch cooking, in which you cook several large meals over a few hours and freeze most of them for later, as well as learning how to whip up fast, satisfying meals after work can go a long way toward saving you money every month. Once a week, make a meal plan that takes leftovers into account and avoids food waste and make a list to the grocery store with you. For even more savings, look for coupons and sign up for your store’s loyalty program.

Charge It

This sounds like the opposite of good advice on saving money, but if you sign up with a rewards credit card, use it for most of your purchases and pay it off each month, you can rack up significant points toward flights, vacations, restaurant meals and more. As a bonus, this can also give you a pretty comprehensive record of your spending each month, which you can use as a basis to make a budget. If you do go this route, there are a few things to keep in mind. One is that you need to be someone who does not tend to impulse buy and who will responsibly make the monthly payments. Another is that you should make sure that there is not a significant annual fee or other costs that would negate the savings you get.

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