Whatever the case, reducing and cutting a few expenses won’t hurt your lifestyle but will help your bank account. (Okay it might hurt a little, but you won’t miss them as long as you have alternatives in place.)
Here are five ways you can save over $5,000 and 5 great alternatives that won't cost as much:
1. Wireless service: $840 a year
The average cellphone bill is around $70 these days. With some providers, the average bill is over $100.
Switch from a $70 a month provider to a $15 a month provider and you can save over $680 per year. Compare providers here to see how much you can save.
2. Cable: $1,200 a year
Cut that cord! Cable monsters are eating up your monthly budget, but you don't have to let them.
The average cable bill is $99.10, according to Leichtman Research Group. Instead of having cable, consider opting for cheaper alternatives or doing something besides other than watch TV, such as developing a hobby or skill.
3. Dinner out every week: $2,668 a year
In April, Bloomberg discovered that Americans' spending on dining out overtook grocery purchases for the first time ever. On average, Americans spend $2,668 per year eating out.
But let's face it – We don't have to eat out every single week. Cutting down in this area can save you a lot of money.
4. Twice a week coffee trips: $520 a year
America loves coffee. ABC News reported that Americans workers spend around $1,100 annually on coffee, and according to the US Small Business Development Center, 66 percent of Americans go out for coffee. But if you go out for coffee instead of drinking it at home, this can cost you a lot more.
Imagine someone goes out for coffee twice a week and spends $5 on their favorite latte each time. That extra jolt of java can add up to about $520 a year.
5. Movies out twice a month: $480 a year
There is no doubt movie ticket prices have increased over time. At an average of $8.61 per ticket in the second half of 2015, it's certainly a jump from the 34 cents it used to cost in 1948. Add in popcorn and snacks, and you might just be spending $40 for two! But to keep it simple, pretend you spend $20 per night out at the movies, twice a month. That'd be equal to $480 per year.
Grand total = $5,708
All of the above add up to a grand total of $5,708. But the good news is, if you can change your spending habits by making different choices, you can still save $5,000 or more a year!
With so many alternatives to mobile providers, cable providers and simple choices we can make on our own, there are many ways to spend less.
1. Choose a different wireless service provider.
If you chose Republic Wireless, for example, instead of one of the big four carriers, you’ll save $674 and spend just about $165.84 a year.
Let’s say you opt to eat dinner out once a month instead of once a week. Plus, you spend $30 instead of $50 by sharing an entree or choosing a less expensive restaurant. You could also go out for lunch instead of dinner to save money or splurge a little on something at the grocery store instead of a full meal out. Whatever you choose, making changes to food spending makes a big difference. Spending $30 on food out once a month is $360 per year.
Instead of going to the movies, try to wait until the films come out on DVD. Yes, some flicks may look better on the big screen. But choosing Redbox twice a month over a movie out costs just $24 a year.
The net savings
These give alternatives altogether cost about $675 for the year, which means you’d still save $5,033 a year by making some simple adjustments to your routine.
Just because you want to save money doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying life. It just means you may want to make a few adjustments to help you reach your financial goals. Making small changes can save you big over time.