Living expenses can put a dent in your budget and often lead to financial stress. However, being in skilled trades means you have the advantage of earning a decent salary. By implementing mindful spending habits, you can significantly reduce your living expenses and save money in the long run. Here are six smart ways to cut down your living expenses today.
1. Balance your consumption
The first step in cutting down your expenses is by analyzing your consumption pattern. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends $60,060 annually. Of this amount, housing expenses account for 33%, transportation accounts for 16%, food accounts for 13%, and personal insurance and pensions account for 11%. By balancing your consumption, you can reduce expenses on non-essential items such as subscriptions, entertainment, and dining out.
2. Embrace energy-efficient habits
Energy consumption in the US accounts for about 19% of total energy usage worldwide, making it the largest consumer of energy. As a skilled tradesperson, you can adopt energy-efficient habits such as turning off lights and appliances when not in use. Air leaks can cause significant energy loss, leading to higher bills. Sealing drafts and insulating your home can reduce your heating and cooling expenses.
3. Reduce your transportation expenses
Transportation expenses account for a significant portion of the average American’s budget. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates the annual cost of owning a vehicle to be around $9,282. As a skilled tradesperson, you can reduce your transportation expenses by embracing alternative modes of transportation such as cycling, walking, or taking public transport. Carpooling can also help reduce fuel and maintenance expenses.
4. Plan your meals
The average American household spends around $7,729 on food according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Planning your meals in advance can help you stick to a budget and avoid unnecessary spending. You can also reduce your food expenses by buying in bulk, shopping at farmer’s markets, and using coupons. Cooking at home is also a more affordable option than dining out.
5. Consider downsizing
Housing expenses take up a significant portion of the average American’s budget. The US Census Bureau estimates that the average monthly rent in the US is around $1,048. Downsizing to a smaller home or apartment can significantly reduce your housing expenses. You may also consider moving to a more affordable location or negotiating your rent with your landlord.
6. Save on utilities
Utility expenses such as water, electricity, and gas can take up a significant portion of your monthly budget. You can reduce these bills by adopting conservation measures such as taking shorter showers, turning off the faucet when not in use, and using energy-efficient appliances. You can also save on your utility expenses by comparing rates and shopping for better deals.
As a skilled tradesperson, you have the advantage of earning a decent salary, but it’s up to you to manage your expenses wisely. By implementing these six smart ways to cut down your living expenses, you can significantly reduce your expenses and achieve financial freedom. Remember, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
> For one on one or group assistance with personal finance, STR recommends that you check out the following resources:
> Inaccuracies with Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data: Many of our blog posts will quote BLS data. SkilledTradeRescue.com has been able to identify that data quoted specifically for Skilled Trades can be as much as 50% LOW in many USA labor markets. For more information on these inaccuracies please visit the STR national labor survey page at the link below. On this page there is a video containing the latest information at the top of the page as well as other information. If you currently work in skilled trades, PLEASE consider participating in our national labor survey.
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