Stack of SavingsCredit: Petr KratochvilCredit: Petr Kratochvil

In the tough economy, we are all looking for ways to cut down on our expenses. One of the fastest ways to improve our financial situation is to save our income. Most of us only get yearly raises, and most employers have lowered the average raise given to employees. There are people not even receiving raises. Below are some simple ways to cut down on our monthly expenses. 

1. One is to get rid of cable or satelite. Some people consider this is a necessity, but I consider it a luxury. The average person would likely save $50-75 dollars a month by doing this. Here is an article I wrote on how to get rid of cable, Make Getting Rid Of Cable Painless. If this is not an option for you, in the past I have had success getting the cable company to reduce my bill by threatening to cancel my cable. Also, look at removing features that add to the monthly cost. 

2. There are new cell phone companies providing similar service to the major providers. Gone are the days of having to pay AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon. Companies like Virgin Mobile, Metro PCS, Boost Mobile can lead a huge monthly savings. If you are someone who rarely uses their cell phone, there are now some pre-paid plans that would be perfect. Companies like T-Mobile sell pre-paid minutes that don't expire for a full year, and this could amount to less than 10 minutes a month. Additionally, my girlfriend used AT&T for almost 6 years, paying for her Iphone phone bill at $100-120 a month.  With the need to cut back on expenses, she switched to Virgin Mobile, has an android phone, unlimited everything, for only $45 dollars a month.  That's $60-80 dollars a month that you could be saving.

3. Another big expense for people is the electricity bill. I know I have experienced the shock of a higher than expected monthly bill. One simple way to save is just turn off any lights not in use and unplug electronics not being used regularly. Most modern electronics have status leds constantly drawing current and raising our bill.

If possible, try and raise the temperature of your air-conditioning unit. Every degree above 72 leads to a savings of 3% per degree. This could really add up quickly. One way to keep your comfort up is to buy ceiling fans in rooms you spend a lot of time in. 

Using the microwave to heat up food and even for cooking. The microwave is a lot more energy-efficient when compared to a stove. 

4. When purchasing items always look for savings. At grocery stores, this means looking for store brand items or keeping a look out for specials. At Publix, I'm always on the look out for what items are two for one and stock up. 

Before buying electronics, books, etc. I perform a google search for coupons. I look on sites like Fatwallet and even Ebay for coupons. When looking at prices always take into account any fees and shipping when doing a comparison. Here is an article to help you on how to perform a google search, 5 Google Search Tips.

Well, there you have some simple tips for everyday expenses and how to cut down on them. Stay tuned for even more tips in the future and if you have any other tips please provide comments. If these tips have helped you in any way, I'd love to hear from you.