Make a budget
If you don’t have one already, make a budget and plan your spending around your lifestyle.
Take account of all your regular expenses and fixed costs — whether that involves writing them all down and pulling out a calculator, tracking them in a spreadsheet or using a budgeting app — and look for ways to cut back.
If you enjoy traveling, think about spending less money on home decor and canceling subscriptions you don’t really use. Or, if you prioritize your quiet nights watching Netflix, perhaps reduce your spending on fancy dinners at restaurants.
Consider using the “cash stuffing” method, where you take your paycheck in cash and separate your needs into different spending categories based on your budget. For example, if you allocate $200 for groceries and you hit $220 at checkout, you’ll be forced to put some items back if you want to bring home food.
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Get rid of your second car
When it comes to cutting back on unnecessary expenses, think about whether your family really needs that second car — because the overall costs of owning even one vehicle are quite high.
Whether it’s the insurance, the gas, the cleaning and maintenance or even the parking fees, owning a vehicle comes with plenty of costs. The Morris family told Insider they usually spend between $300 to $500 a month on gas for their bus and Chevrolet Silverado.
Try carpooling, taking public transit or riding a bike if you don’t need to travel too far.
If you really can’t give up your second vehicle, make sure you’re shopping around and securing the best rate on auto insurance possible.
Slash your energy costs
Next, look for ways to lower your energy bill in your home. The Morris family outfitted their own home-on-wheels with solar panels to save them on electricity fees.
You can turn down the thermostat now that the weather’s perking up for summer. Don’t forget to also unplug your devices, like your laptop, when they’re not being used.
Your utility company might even allow you to switch to a time-of-use plan, which typically offers different rates for “on-peak” and “off-peak” hours. Try to avoid using appliances like your dishwasher and washing machine during on-peak hours, which are more expensive.
And if you’re considering upgrades to make your home more energy efficient — such as installing a heat pump — check whether you’re eligible for any credits or rebates come tax time as well.
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