When most people need some extra money, they simply look at their things and sell what they don’t use. But this only gets you so far and is a short term solution. If you really want to start putting money into savings, it’s time to start thinking long term. If you’re tired of spending all of your money on monthly expenses, there are a few things you can do without resorting to donating plasma. Here are a few ways you can decrease your spending and start saving money.

Check Your Subscriptions

The first thing you should do when trying to save money is to take a look at your bank statement and see where your money is going each month. The main things to watch for are recurring bills and spending drains. Are you subscribed to any magazines that you get in the mail and immediately throw in the trash? Did you sign up to get dog treats each month that make your pet sick half the time? You should really just cancel those subscriptions and use the money or more important things. 

Consolidate Your Debt

It’s not uncommon for people to graduate college with more debt than they expected to gather, to say the least. Whether it’s student loans, credit card bills, or both, it can be intimidating to get these bills every month. A good way to ease your mind is to consolidate your debt, either by transferring your credit to one card or seeking a third party loan at a lower interest rate. Getting all of your debt onto one bill will make things feel more manageable and lower rates will help you pay it off faster.

Watch Your Energy Use

If you’re responsible for your utility bills, it’s important to start good habits. Even if you can’t upgrade your insulation or windows like a homeowner can, there are ways to lower these expenses. Switching to LED bulbs are a must as these will decrease your energy consumption drastically. Draw your shades in the summer and open them on sunny days in the winter. Install a better showerhead that will use less water and be sure to turn off all electronics when they’re not being used.

Eat-In

Using your kitchen will save you a lot of money. Eating in will help you save 50-75% of the cost of takeout, which can add up to thousands of dollars each year. Even simply making your daily coffee at home will help you save up to $50 a month. Making a grocery list and spending money at the store rather than a restaurant is the most cost-efficient way to eat, so start following some food blogs, make a list, and get cooking!

Don’t Spend Like Your Friends

It can be hard to say no to a night out with your friends, even if you’re tight on cash. However, even though it may seem like your friends have it all together and are able to spend more money than you, most people live beyond their means and never discuss it. Rather than let yourself live outside of your budget, be the example and live within your means.