I’m currently obsessed now with spending as little as I possibly can on my monthly expenses. In fact, after interviewing Kara Perez from Bravely for my podcast-I’m doubling down on finding ways to save more money. You’ll have to listen to her episode to find out how much her monthly obligations are (it will be released in a couple of weeks). Click on the following link so that you don’t miss the episode (iTunes).

One of the biggest financial mistakes that I’ve made and see other people making is that have way too many expenses that they’ve obligated themselves to. Because many of us have our payments on automatic debits we’ve become desensitized to how many items are flowing out of our accounts.  I’ve come up with 7 strategies to lower your monthly expenses

Don’t have time to read the post? I get it!

Step 1 

Do a budget audit…and count the number of financial obligations that you’re paying for. I have (insert number). These obligations are coming out of different bank accounts.

  • Personal account for personal expenses
  • Misc bank account for miscellaneous expenses
  • Business bank account for business expenses

I discovered a couple of things while doing my audit. First, while it’s a good thing that I have different accounts for different expenses, I have business expenses coming out of my miscellaneous bank account. It’s time to change the account information so that all of my business related expenses are coming out of one place.

I have some miscellaneous expenses that I may need to rethink. So, I will begin asking myself-do I need these things in my life? Or, are these expenses unnecessary and could be applied to debt-repayment, savings, or investing instead.

Also, I will see if there is a way to use the resource but do it for less.

Step 2

Embrace free. For those of you following this blog for awhile-you know that I have a ton of fun looking for awesome free experiences, opportunities for education, and free resources. To be clear, there is a time and place for free and when you’re shifting financial gears-that’s a great time to embrace free.

I do have a couple of standards that I follow when attracting free things into my life.

  • The quality has to be the same as if I were to pay for the item.
  • If the free item is something I would otherwise NEVER want…I don’t bother with it. For example: if you were to give me free Pepsi or Coke Cola-I would say no as I don’t drink soda. And, I have a Soda Stream. I love that machine.
  • The free item/good/or service must actually enhance my quality of life. If it doesn’t-why bother?

Step 3

Triple check when all of your bill payments hit your accounts. It pains me to admit this, but, I had a vague idea of when different payments were hitting my accounts. For example, I knew when my mortgage would hit…that’s always for the first of the month. But, there were a number of smaller payments that I had a just a vague idea of when they would hit my account. No Bueno. I’ve since created ridiculously detailed spreadsheet with the following information:

  • Name of obligation-Mortgage, electric,etc…
  • Due Date
  • Amount of the obligation
  • Notes-basically details of the transaction. I now have this spreadsheet for each month of the year.

I also have tabs for each bank account because I had different expenses going out of different accounts. Then, I added my obligations and my total was:  $2640. I want to cut that amount by 30% by the end of the year so that I’m on the hook for around $1850 a month. Seriously.  When I began my financial journey I was regularly spending probably around  $4000-$5000 a month. I had: a ton of debt, credit cards, too many clothes, and a travel habit. I feel really good about the progress that I’ve made financially, but am looking to finish my current financial journey by September/October 2018.

Step 4

Focus on building wealth. I find that whenever I’m working hard and having money come in constantly-I spend less. And, I’m connected more to the abundance in my life. I’m ramping up on wealth building for the next 1-2 years. Unlike previous years, I am really looking forward to the challenge of finding and attracting money from as many places as possible.

Let’s be clear, you can still mess your finances up while building wealth-it’s called income creep. Income creep occurs when more income comes in and your expenses creep up subconsciously. Be super mindful as you ramp up your income.

Step 5

Begin negotiating the prices you pay for services. As of the writing of this post I’ve done the following:

  • Lowered business expenses for some services that I use.
  • I will negotiate the price for my internet service. They have a new plan that is substantially less and I plan on switching to it.
  • Close down the old D.O.N.E. Society website as that content is now included in Michelle is Money Hungry
  • Gone through all of my personal expenses to see what I can get rid of, or get the same service for less.

Step 6

If you’re wanting to lower your monthly expenses, you should consider paying some of your expenses in full for the year. Do your research to see which expenses you can do this with. Please note, you may also be eligible for discounts when paying these expenses up front for the year.

Step 7

Break your habits. A couple of years ago I did a year long no-shopping challenge. I ended up breaking my mindless shopping habit and saved $4000 that first year. I also saved a ton of time as well.

Your habits may be standing between you and lasting financial change.

Related Post: 10 Things I Learned During My Year of No Shopping

101 Ways to Save Your Money When You’re Not Naturally Frugal

Start implementing this simple steps to begin lowering your overall expenses. When you first start working on this it won’t feel like anything is happening. But, then, one day you will notice how streamlined your bills become and you’ll increase your peace of mind as well. Good luck!

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I am an obsessive foodie, but not self-righteous with it, love travel, meeting new people, helping you look good, and am freaked out by people who don't enjoying reading...something! Grab a Perrier, read my blog, feel free to drop me a line! Hope to hear from you soon.