9 Expenses You Can Easily Save Money on in 2023
As we begin the new year, Americans’ top two money concerns are inflation (33%) and living paycheck to paycheck (24%), according to a recent GOBankingRates survey. As a result, around 28% are committed to saving more money in 2023.
If that’s your goal, too, here are the easiest expenses to cut back on, according to financial experts.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that food is the third most costly living expense in American households.
“Compared to buying groceries, cooking at home, and packing lunches, buying meals from restaurants can be expensive,” said Drew Feutz, a financial planner and founder of Migration Wealth Management. “Depending on how frequently you dine out and how much you spend when you do, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year by reducing this expense.”
“Don’t ignore or forget unutilized subscription payments,” suggested Holley G. Cary, CFP®, vice president and senior financial planner at First Horizon Bank.
One of Cary’s clients saved over $200 per month by identifying old magazine and website subscriptions. Check your credit card and bank statements for charges to streaming services, gym memberships, big-box retailers, online gaming services, cable packages, apps, cloud storage and subscription boxes.
See if you have any overlapping streaming services, too. If you have multiple streamers like Hulu, Netflix, Disney+ and Peacock, consider cutting down to one service or switching to a lower subscription level.
Between movies at theaters, concerts, sports games and more, entertainment expenses add up quickly. This can be a relatively easy area to cut costs in, but be careful of the “starving yourself” mentality, Cary warned.
Instead, find cheaper or free alternatives that are still fun, like staycations, at-home movie nights, pool parties, picnics in the park or visits to a nearby museum or aquarium.
It’s easy to forget about your insurance once you choose a carrier. But premiums often go up each year, making it important to weigh your options when it comes to health, car, home, life, flood and travel insurance.
“Obtaining quotes from an independent insurance broker rather than a captive agent could help you determine if you might be able to save money on your insurance premiums,” Feutz said. “However, it’s important to make sure you don’t sacrifice coverage in order to get a cheaper premium.”
“Neglecting home maintenance can cost you significantly in the long run,” Feutz said. “It can lead to larger repair bills down the road.”
If you’re a homeowner, consider keeping a list of regular maintenance tasks, such as:
- Replace air filters every six to 12 months.
- Check for plumbing leaks at least every two years.
- Clean gutters at least twice per year.
- Service your HVAC unit annually.
- Prevent infestations with pest control — frequency may depend on where you live.
- Replace your furnace filter each season.
- Inspect your property regularly for mold, deterioration or wood rot.
Credit Cards and Other Consumer Debt
As interest rates continue to rise, Cary recommends evaluating your consumer debts, including your credit cards, to see if it makes sense to consolidate where possible.
“Stop using cards with higher rates and look for ways to pay down these items more quickly,” she said. “If you have cards that provide points or cash back, are you utilizing them to their full potential? In addition, make sure that you’re aware of the annual fees you’re paying.”
Grabbing a soda or pack of gum at the grocery checkout line may not seem like a big deal, but small purchases can add up over time, Feutz said. Try tracking each of these minor impulse purchases to see how much you spend on them each month.
Depending on how often you drive, gas may be a hefty monthly expense. Check if your go-to grocery store partners with a gas station to offer fuel discounts. Certain apps can also alert you to deals at nearby gas stations or let you know which locations are cheaper.
“If you save just 25 cents a gallon and have a 20-gallon tank, you’ll save $5.00 every time you fill up,” said Nathan Liao, founder of CMA Exam Academy. “And if you fill up four times a month, you’ll save $20 a month — or $240 a year.”
Many internet service providers increase their fees regularly. Do a comparison (beyond first-year discounts) of various providers to find which one makes the most financial sense to you.
“If you find one for $10 less a month, you can save $120 a year!” Liao said. “It’s worth switching internet service providers if one offers the same internet speed — or higher — for a lower monthly price.”
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Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed 1,028 Americans aged 18 and older from across the country between November 14 and November 18, 2022, asking twenty different questions: (1) What best describes the impact of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan on you?; (2) How do you think student loan forgiveness will affect the economy in 2023?; (3) Describe your working situation in 2022; (4) Which best describes your working situation?; (5) What do you prefer your working situation to be in 2023?; (6) Did you look for better value in your job in 2022?; (7) Are you planning for any major job changes in 2023?; (8) Which of the following economic factors impacted your finances the most in 2022?; (9) What would you like to have happen the most in 2023?; (10) Are you in favor of more stimulus or inflation relief checks in 2023?; (11) If you had a major financial emergency in 2022, how did you pay for it?; (12) How did your stocks fare in the bear market of 2022?; (13) Did you put off a big purchase in 2022 due to the strained economy?; (14) What best describes the impact the Fed raising interest rates has had on you?; (15) Which best describes your top financial goal for 2023?; (16) Are you planning for any of these major milestones in 2023? (select all that apply); (17) What is your top financial stressor heading into the new year?; (18) If you are a small business owner, what has been your biggest financial challenge in 2022?; (19) How do you feel about the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 8.7% for 2023?; and (20) How did social media most impact your finances in 2022?. GOBankingRates used PureSpectrum’s survey platform to conduct the poll.