Your personal budget will have a mixture of fixed expenses and variable expenses. Fixed expenses are regular expenses that do not change. They cost the same every time you pay. Some fixed expenses that are probably sitting on your budget are mortgage payments and car payments.
Variable expenses don’t have set prices. Their prices vary. Some examples of variable expenses are groceries, takeout, coffee and gas.
It’s not easy to adjust fixed expenses on your budget. You can’t skip a mortgage payment or cancel your auto insurance just to save money. It’s much easier to trim down the variable expenses in your budget.
If you’re not sure how to trim your variable expenses, get some inspiration right here.
You might’ve noticed that gas prices are steep right now. Every time you fill up your car at the station, you feel your stomach drop. How can you trim this expense?
You could stop idling your car, follow the speed limit and use apps like GasBuddy or Gas Guru to find the most budget-friendly gas station prices. A bigger change that you could try to reduce the expense is to stop driving so often. If you can walk or bike instead of driving, do that. If you can take public transportation to reach your destination, try that. If you can ask your workplace to let you work remotely more often, you could cut down your commuting needs and subsequent gas expenses in a hurry.
Do you buy a cup of coffee everyday? More than one cup of coffee? That expense seems small, but it adds up over time. A daily habit of two Starbucks coffees per day would cost you just over $2000 per year. This calculation is based on a regular cup of coffee, not a specialty espresso drink or Frappuccino. A habit of buying those will cost you even more.
How can you reduce this variable expense? Start brewing your coffee at home. If you still want to purchase coffees from your favorite drive-thrus or cafes, save them for weekends and special occasions.
This is an essential expense that you can’t skip out on to save money, but you can shrink it. These are simple tips that you can follow to reduce your monthly grocery spending:
- Use coupons and discount codes
- Buy generic items over name-brands
- Read flyers to find items that are on sale
- Purchase less meat
- Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season
- Store perishable items in the freezer to increase their shelf-life
Why Should You Trim Variable Expenses?
Trimming your variable expenses is a quick and easy way to find savings when your budget is tight. Without those savings, you could be living from paycheck to paycheck and have no ability to cover emergency expenses. You’ll be putting yourself in a vulnerable financial spot.
If you ever need to pay for an emergency expense and you don’t have the savings to handle it, you could try to apply for a personal loan as a solution. Look for personal loans that are specifically available in your home state. So, if you’re living in St. Louis, you should look for personal loans in Missouri to manage their emergency expense. Otherwise, you might apply for a loan that isn’t accessible to Missouri residents. It will be a waste of time.
It’s always better to have some savings. Get them fast by cutting your variable expenses this month.