Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your Expenses

#10. Know your expenses – Sit down and figure out how you’ll spend your money before you receive it instead of doing it on the fly. Taking your savings percentage right off the top of your paycheck helps force you to live on what’s leftover. Maintain control of your spending from paycheck to paycheck with an expense gathering device and standardized expense categories.

#9. Prepare mass quantities – At least every couple of weeks, make one of your signature dishes for dinner. Make a lot of it, much more than you’ll eat. Choose dishes that keep well and are good for you like casseroles, soups, stews, and pasta. The idea is to freeze the excess in convenient portions for later. It’s nice to be able to chill occasionally with an easy-to-prepare nutritious meal that doesn’t cost a small fortune. Invest in some bell jars and tops. Get serious with a vacuum sealer and extra freezer.

#8. Brown bag it – Avoid the added expense and stress of eating out when you’re on the giddy-up working. Pamper yourself by taking the time to prepare healthy, nutritious, and mobile meals, and yes, prepare your own delicious coffee in the morning too.

#7. Learn to say no – Saying no at times can be extremely difficult. Learn to pick and choose among your opportunities with thriftiness in mind. Remember, you’re forced to live on what’s left over after taking your savings percentage off the top. Having a budget can make saying no a lot easier. So does keeping those delectable financial goals in mind.

#6. Be a transactor – If you decide to keep a credit card or two after paying off your credit card balances, you must swear to never allow your credit card company to charge you even a penny of interest again. Ever. Become what I call a transactor. You’ll enjoy no-interest loans, improved cash flow, a higher credit score, and of course all those benefits, whether it be miles, cash back, or some other reward.

#5. Eliminate credit card debt – I want you to eliminate your credit card debt for now and forever. There’s a “best” way to do it: Follow a plan that gets you out of debt as quickly as possible for the least amount of money. That’s why I call my always-free e-book the Best Debt Elimination Plan. If you’ve got credit card debt, you owe it to yourself to download it now. Best Debt Elimination Plan is also the first book in my series Becoming Financially Independent because you’ll never reach financial independence carrying around high-interest debt. The book is also available at a low price in paperback or audio (narrated by me, Keith Dorney) at Audible.

#4. Save money on insurance premiums – The higher the deductible the lower the insurance premium. You may not hear this as an alternative from your insurance agent but raising your deductibles can save money on insurance and free money up in a hurry. It’ll make you a better driver as well as a more concerned homeowner or renter when you share more of the risk. It’s the same with your medical insurance too. If you’re healthy and don’t see the doctor much, choose a high-deductible policy and your share of the medical premium will be much lower. Plus, you’ll have access to a Health Savings Account and can save even more. Check out more ways to save money on insurance.

#3. Don’t finance future automobile purchases – Limit the purchase price of your next vehicle to no more than 10% of your yearly gross income. Even if you can afford a new car, I advise buying a used one, and I want you to pay cash for it. If you have a double-digit interest car loan, pay it off a.s.a.p. by selling your now used car (if it’s not yet underwater). Heeding this advice will save you a ridiculous amount of expense, not just the thousands you save on interest charges but on title, tax, and insurance too. For more, visit New Car Smell.

#2. Keep your investing expenses super-low – Use no-load mutual funds and brokerage-free ETFs that are passively managed and have low expense ratios to create your investment plan. Keeping your investing expenses super-low is tenet #1 of my 5 Tenets of Successful Stock Investing.

#1. Maximize your use of tax-advantaged accounts – Take advantage of all the tax breaks afforded to you by your old Uncle Sam, including investing exclusively in tax-advantaged accounts for most long-term goals. Those tax savings and advantages over the years translate into a higher after-tax rate of return. Combine that 401(k)-type plan, Roth IRA, and HSA with low-cost, high-yield investment plans, and you’ve created a powerful way to invest. Save even more by doing it yourself.