Rappahannock United Way

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Three Easy Ways To Reduce Spending Today

Cutting expenses can feel daunting for anyone.  Here are some tips to help you in your efforts to curb spending from RUW Financial Coach, Melody Fowler.  


Review and Reduce Subscription Services

Reduce Subscriptions Services 

Subscriptions whether traditional mediums such as magazines, newspapers, and cable or modern offerings such as shipping and stream services, have a way of adding up in a hurry.  The $8.99 monthly fee for Netflix may seem like a deal, but add that to the cost of Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ and it can become costly.  As with any purchase you need to review the frequency with which you use the service and gain benefit against the cost.  For example, maybe, the household enjoys watching family movies on Disney+, but you’ve only watched one or two shows on Netflix in the past month.  This may be a good case to consider suspending the Netflix account, at least until the next season of Stranger Things is released. 






Minimize Online Convenience Spending

Minimize Online Convenience Spending

Online retailers maximize profits by making online purchasing as easy as possible.  When a website offers to store your credit card for quick purchasing next time, just say no.  Much like subscription services, when the purchase is out of sight and out of mind, spending can quickly get out of hand.  Additionally, after you have clicked on an item websites are optimized to show you items that were frequently bought to further maximize profits.  A sound strategy to control online spending, just like in the real world, is to start off with a fixed spending limit.  So, the next time you see a sale at your favorite retailer give yourself a limit, say $100, and stick to it.  You may find it hard to keep yourself from going over as there is something else that is on sale and you just have to have it.  Take a moment and look over everything in your cart and see what you can put back to bring the total back down below your limit (remember your limit includes shipping and taxes!). This will take some real will power, but you can do it and it can definitely help to limit overspending.




Reduce Nice To Haves

Reduce Nice-to-Haves

This one is definitely personal.  Everyone has different things that are needs, wants, and obligations.  One person’s needs may be another person’s wants.  Take a moment to go through your bank statements highlighting nice-to-haves or keep a notecard/small notebook and log all your expenses for a month that have the nice-to-haves on it.  First just look at them all together.  How does it make you feel?  Try to start small and think of one nice-to-have to reduce or eliminate.  Some people can do major cutbacks and others need to start small and work up to reducing or eliminating more nice- to-haves in their budget. Do what is best for your current financial situation.  

Good luck and remember the key to changing habits is to replace an old one with a new one.  So, you are not denying yourself all these little pleasures, what you are doing is giving yourself the means to focus your money where you really want it to go.  




Make a free appointment with an RUW Financial Coach today! Email Melody for more information - mfowler@rappahannockunitedway.org

Brenda Sapanghila