Stuck in a budget rut? We understand. It can be a challenge to grow your budget while paying fixed expenses like rent or mortgage, auto loans, groceries and other bills, especially if you aren’t due for a big raise or promotion soon. But with a little creativity, it’s possible to find some extra wiggle room in your budget.
Here are a few easy ways to cut back on expenses and expand your budget—no side hustle required.
- Cut back on subscriptions.
When is the last time you took a good look at your subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu? Are you paying for satellite radio that you barely listen to, or an expensive cable plan you hardly watch? What about all those free trials that stopped being free, and now you’re stuck paying fees each month?
Look through your bank statements to see if there are any services or subscriptions you can cut. The savings can add up quickly: By cutting just $20 per month in subscriptions, you’ll free up $240 per year to spend however you like.
- Take advantage of credit card rewards.
If you aren’t being rewarded for your purchases, you’re leaving money on the table. Consider opening a rewards credit card to accrue points and cashback for your everyday purchases.
WaterStone Bank offers three different types of rewards cards, with up to 3 percent cash back on eligible purchases. The more you use your rewards card, the more cashback you accrue, which is money in your pocket—and a serious boost to your budget.
Choose the card that best fits your lifestyle, from the Cash Rewards American Express® Card that offers tiered rewards with extra cashback on gas and groceries, to the Premier Rewards American Express Card that offers additional rewards for restaurant and airline purchases.
- Commit to one no-spend weekend every month.
How much do you spend on the average weekend? If your Saturday and Sunday plans usually include dinner, a movie and brunch, the bill can add up quickly, especially if you’re out with the whole family.
America’s Debt Help Organization suggests challenging yourself to a weekend of no spending. Enjoy a home-cooked meal, plan a picnic at the park, go for a hike or watch a movie on the couch. You’ll free up money in your budget while remembering that happiness doesn’t need to cost a thing.