Monthly expenses can be quite irritating. They diminish your paycheck considerably, and they have a tendency to increase over time. However, you can curtail such expenses strategically with a few conscientious steps. Following we’ll briefly explore three ways you can cut your monthly expenses considerably—by as much as 50% or more—by the coming spring.>Monthly Expense
1. Find Ways of Cutting Car Costs
The IRS estimates that you can value each driven mile in your vehicle at 57.5 cents for
deduction purposes. If the IRS says that, you can bet the actual financial impact is higher; but that’s a supposition. The point is, it’s expensive to drive. A hundred miles is
What’s your daily commute, thirty miles round trip? That’s $17.25 a day. If you work 20 days a month, you’re looking at $345 in depreciation. For the year, that’s $4,140. Now, in contrast, the average monthly utility bill for an American family is going to be between
$178.91 and $232.91, when you average gas, electric, and water.
At the high number, that’s $2,794.92 a year, or $1,345.08 less than your driving costs. If you can find a way of cutting your daily commute in half through carpooling, you’ll save
$2,070 a year (with a thirty mile round-trip commute) right away. Walk, bicycle, carpool, use public transit, or whatever means you can to cut driving costs, and you can save thousands.
2. Consider the Solar Angle
A 3.1 kWh solar array will cost less than a dollar per Watt per solar panel. If you go the
DIY route, you can probably get such a system installed for $5k and a week or two of work. If you install it professionally, you’re looking at closer to $10k. At minimum, a solar array will increase home value $10k. At maximum, the system outlined here could increase value by $30k.
You may profit directly from property value increase right away by installing a solar array. However, even if you just break even, you’ll still have a tax deduction you can make, and you might even have a tax credit; depending on your state. Furthermore, you substantially reduce your monthly expenses. Electricity usually costs about $104 on average—see the link above.
With a solar array as outlined here, you can cut out the lion’s share of that cost. If you charge your electronic devices during the day, and do all your cooking then as well, you might be able to completely cut out your electricity costs. Combine that with vehicular use reduction and you’ll save well over 50% a month on your recurring expenses.
3. Re-Evaluate Energy Use, Reduce Unnecessary Spending
Certainly, going the solar route is a large switch. Sometimes it’s better not to make such a jump. Sometimes you’ll have better luck simply re-evaluating your existing electricity usage, and cutting it down. If you’re in Texas, you might consider available options there. Texas Electricity Plans offers some good rates and can help you identify usage patterns. (check here: http://texaselectricityplans.com/)
When you leave a room, turn out the lights. Make sure the house is properly sealed for energy efficiency. Open windows at night to bring in the cool, close them at dawn to seal it in, and shutter windows as well in hot environments to avoid the heat until later in the day. Don’t leave devices plugged in when you’re not using them. These things can save a lot of money.
Reducing Your Monthly Utility Bill
Cutting down your electricity use—or at the very least consolidating it through examination of how you’re using it every month—can save quite a bit of money. Reducing how much you drive and going the solar route can also substantially reduce associated monthly utility bills.
Consider your specific situation, and which of these suggestions is most realistic for you. You can definitely cut your recurring utility bills down; it just may mean you have to get a little bit creative.