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Easy ways to cut your spending

What we'll cover

  • How to analyze your spending

  • Easy strategies to cut back on spending

  • How to lower expenses without feeling deprived

You want to spend less, but you don't want to give up the things you love. While you might think you have to deprive yourself to cut back on expenses, these simple strategies can help you rein in spending without feeling the squeeze.

Start tracking your spending habits

Before you can start making changes, you have to know where you stand. With Ally Bank's Spending Account, you can utilize spending buckets to organize your expenses and track your spending. Spending buckets are like a digital form of the envelope budgeting method, allowing you to set aside funds in your checking account for certain expenses such as your mortgage, car payment or dining out.

Create a monthly budget

Once you start tracking your expenses, you can set up a monthly budget to manage your spending. Build a budget with four easy steps:

  • Assess your income

  • Distinguish your needs from your wants

  • Calculate how much your wants cost

  • Add up all your costs to build your budget

With Ally Bank's Spending Account, you can utilize spending buckets to organize your expenses and track your spending.

Ways to balance your spending

Cook at home vs. eating out

Dining out at restaurants is fun and delicious, but there's no question that preparing your meals at home can save you money. To make the experience more enjoyable, experiment with new recipes and cuisines. You might even try to recreate some of your favorite restaurant meals at home.

Shop with a list and stick to it

We've all popped into a store "for a few things" and walked out with a lengthy receipt full of items we didn't plan to buy. When you go on a shopping trip, have a plan. Make a detailed list, and only buy the items you truly need.

Brew your own coffee

Your biweekly stop at the local coffee shop can add up quickly. Try being your own barista and brew your joe at home. If a delicious cold brew or oat milk mocha is your jam, experiment with recipes for recreating your favorite lattes and iced beverages at home.

Cancel unused subscriptions

You signed up for a free trial, but never used the service and now you've forgotten to cancel the subscription . Carefully analyze your bank account and credit card for any recurring charges to ensure you're not paying for things you don't actually use.

Buy generic brands

Paying top dollar for brand names doesn't always translate to superior quality. Consider testing generic versions of certain products to see whether or not the brand name makes a difference.

Revisit your cell phone plan

Take a close look at your cell phone bill to ensure you're getting the best deal possible and not paying for any unneeded extras or services. Could you join a family member's plan to get a better rate? Find out if you're eligible for any discounts such as those offered by your employer or for members of the military.

Reduce energy usage

Lower your monthly utility bills by reducing your energy use, even consider draft-proofing your windows and doors. You could also prioritize turning off lights when you leave the room and unplugging electronics when not in use. Your wallet and the environment will thank you.

Consolidate debt and lower interest rates

If you're struggling with multiple sources of debt, consider your consolidation options to take advantage of a lower interest rate. You'll spend less over time as you pay down your debt.

Use cash only

When you pay with a debit or credit card, it's easy to just keep swiping. Try withdrawing cash and only allowing yourself to spend that amount. When the money is gone, your purchasing is complete.

Eliminate bank fees

As you focus on your spending and budget, it's also important to be conscious of potential costly checking account fees . Pay attention to minimum balance requirements, utilize direct deposits and automatic transfers, and take advantage of special perks and features to ensure you're getting the most out of your account.

Remove temptations

It's certainly convenient to shop online, but it's also easy to overspend. Consider deleting any shopping apps on your phone, unsubscribing from retailers' emails and text messages and unfollowing any influencers that promote products on social media. They may help you land discounts, but they'll likely encourage you to buy more than you should.

Automate your savings

Technology can help you make the most of your money. Put your savings on autopilot with recurring transfers and watch your balance grow.

Make savvy spending cuts

Lowering your expenses doesn't have to be painful. With a little strategy and creativity, you can cut back on spending without sacrificing the things you enjoy.

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