The amount of money required to sustain your lifestyle makes up your cost of living. Several factors increase or decrease this number, but if you find yourself struggling to make ends meet or simply want to save more, following are some changes you can do to help lower your cost of living and free up space in your budget.
Some cities are just cheaper – housing, food, transportation, healthcare, and other essentials simply cost lesser. For example, you do not have to pay income tax in Texas or sales tax in Oregon.
- Shorten your commute
If you live in an area with reliable public transportation, such as New York or Chicago, you can save a lot of money by commuting. However, outside of major urban areas, traveling by car may be the fastest way to reach your destination. To still save money, carpool and split the cost of your drive to work. Alternatively, you can consider shortening your commute by moving closer to your job or looking for work from home positions.
Be more practical in your choice of home or car. Downsizing is another option. A two-bedroom apartment cost 15% more on average than a one-bedroom apartment. When it comes to cars, SUVs and trucks come with high insurance costs and more gas consumption compared to smaller sedans. If you do not need the space, downsizing can save you a lot annually.
- Get a roommate
If you want to save on housing but cannot relocate, getting a roommate may mean more savings. This will split the cost of your house, as well as household utilities.
- Save on energy
Being energy efficient at home can save you at least $500 per year. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests investing in programmable thermostats, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances, and making sure your home is properly sealed and insulated to save on energy.
- Assess your budget
Review your spending and update how you save money. Check your credit card statement and get rid of unnecessary bills. If you can use your dollars towards something better, do it!