Americans Plan to Cut These 4 Big Expenses to Increase Savings

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 17, 2021 - First published on March 18, 2020

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Want to save more money? Here are four expenses your fellow Americans are cutting to boost savings.

Want to save more money? Here are four expenses your fellow Americans are cutting to boost savings. 

Finding money to save can be difficult, but it's important if you want to accomplish financial goals and avoid debt for big purchases or emergencies. 

If you're not sure where to start when it comes to cutting your budget and allocating more cash to savings, consider what your fellow Americans are giving up. 

Recent research from CreditWise from CapitalOne reveals Americans are making these four big changes to cut spending and increase how much they're saving. 

1. Eating out less

Just over half of survey respondents said they were planning to eat out less in 2020 to increase the amount they're saving. 

Dining out can be a big drain on your budget, so cutting back can make a big difference. And there are some easy ways to reduce your restaurant expenditures.

One of the simplest approaches is to always have something in your freezer for when you don't feel like cooking. When you make meals, make an extra portion or two and freeze the leftovers so you have a dinner at the ready. You won't be tempted to eat out just because you're tired and don't want to cook. 

You can also reduce the money you spend when dining out by cutting expenditures at the restaurant. Skip alcohol and soda, or find a BYOB restaurant if you really like to enjoy wine with your meal. Look for deals from Groupon or discounted gift cards so you can cut your bill. Consider a late lunch, which is often less costly than dinner. And look for a credit card that provides bonus rewards for restaurants so you can turn meals out into cash, miles, or points. 

2. Canceling subscriptions

Forty-seven percent of survey respondents plan to increase savings by cancelling subscriptions. This is one of the easiest options, because you don't really have to give up much or change your lifestyle significantly.

Find subscriptions to cancel by combing your credit card statement. Look for recurring charges, and ask yourself if the service is really worth it.

If you aren't using a streaming service, or you have a magazine subscription you don’t get a lot from, just make a phone call to cancel. Then divert the amount into savings via automated contributions to make sure it doesn't just get absorbed into your budget.

3. Cutting cable

Canceling cable is the plan for 40% of survey respondents, and it's a good one. Cable TV can cost $100 a month or more if you have a premium package. And there are plenty of streaming services to replace it with.

If you're thinking about canceling cable, make sure you're smart about how you replace it. If you sign up for multiple streaming platforms, your bills could quickly climb again and you won't see a lot of savings. To avoid this, try just one streaming service at a time. Watch all you want on it, then cancel and move on to the next one. 

4. Packing lunches 

Just over 20% of survey respondents plan to save more in 2020 by packing lunches instead of buying them at work. Saving money this way can be especially smart, because many people don't particularly enjoy their lunches out at work -- they only dine out for convenience.

If you want to become a brown-bagger, make a plan to ensure you have your midday meal prepared beforehand and aren't scrambling on work mornings. You could prepare some meals on the weekend for the upcoming week, for example, or make extra dinner every night so you always have leftovers. 

Could cutting these expenses help you save?

If you're one of the many Americans planning to cut one or more of these expenses to step up your savings, these tips can help you succeed.

If you aren't already thinking about dining out less, canceling subscriptions or cable, or bringing your lunch to work, now may be a good time to consider it. The incentive is clear: You’ll quickly have more cash to devote to achieving important financial goals.

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