If you’re among the nearly 300 million Americans with debt, you clearly aren’t alone. After all, debt is hard to avoid in certain situations — the cost for childcare, college, homes, and vehicles are mostly paid for through loans. The cost of living has also gone up 19% in the past 10 years, putting more financial strain on individuals and families. It’s even higher in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Thankfully, there are several small changes you can make to help get ahead. Here, we’re sharing some of the best ways to cut excessive spending so you can reduce your debt, save for special items and events, or simply build your emergency savings.
Track and make a budget
First, to cut your spending, you need to know how much you’re spending — and what you’re spending it on. That starts with tracking your spending, then turning that into an ongoing budget. Through this, you’ll be able to get a much clearer picture of where your money is going and the areas you could start cutting down.
Some of the most obvious areas in which you can overspend are things like housing, food, and transportation. That comes as no surprise, though, as that’s what most Americans spend their money on. Once you have a better idea of where you could be overspending, you can take steps to set budgets in those particular areas and come up with ways to save, like making and eating meals at home, taking your own coffee to work, and using public transportation more often.
Refinance your home or car
While this isn’t exactly a quick fix to cut spending, refinancing your home or car could save you lots of money in the long-term while lowering your monthly payments. Even if it lowers your monthly payment by just $50, that’s $600 a year, and $3,000 in five years. That’s a big chunk of change! Talk to your lender and pay attention to interest rates to see if it’s a good time to act. If you’re not sure whether refinancing is right for you — or even worth it — there are a few helpful tools to help you out.
- Mortgage refinance calculator: Quickly determine how much refinancing your mortgage can save you.
- Auto loan refinance calculator: Calculate your potential monthly payment and overall savings.
- Rule of 5s: These helpful rules can serve as a guide to help you determine whether refinancing is right for you.
In addition to considering refinancing, you can also get in touch with your insurance providers to see what better deals they may be able to offer. Whether it’s based on your good record or how long you’ve been a customer, it’s always worth asking how they can help you lower your payments. After all, you’ll never know the answer unless you ask.
Consolidate your debt
In addition to the loans we take out to pay for college, homes, and vehicles, lots of us also juggle several forms of credit card debt. But with so many loans taken out at different times, there could be a huge difference in interest rates, terms, and monthly payments. As a result, you could be overpaying on interest in certain areas. If that sounds like you, it might be time to consider consolidation.
With a debt consolidation calculator, you can add each of your loans, the interest rate, and your monthly payment. From there, it will help determine a new interest rate, how much you’ll save over time, and your new estimated monthly payment. Compared to all the separate loan or credit card payments you may have now, you might be surprised to see a much lower, once-a-month payment, helping lower your overall monthly spending.
Consider a small lifestyle change
Cutting spending in the biggest areas of your life can be overwhelming and take some time. Thankfully, though, there are other quick and easy ways to reduce your excess spending that don’t require much change or paperwork. Here are some ideas to help get you started:
- Plan your meals ahead of time
- Make shopping lists and stick to them
- Cancel memberships or subscriptions you don’t use
- Use public transportation more often
- Consider cutting the cord and using streaming services instead of cable
- Sell unused or unwanted items
- Use energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs
- Create homemade gifts & wrapping paper instead of purchasing store-bought ones
- Take a staycation
- Attend free events and activities in your neighborhood
LendNation is here to help
Cutting your spending can be tough, especially when you’re facing a financial hurdle or emergency. That’s where LendNation comes in to help you get the cash you need fast — and when you need it. With flexible lending options to choose from, you can find the right solution to fit your needs. The best part? You can do it online or in-store. Check out our title, installment and payday loan options, then apply today!