When you set your monthly or annual budget, you often start by listing the necessary expenses. What are the things you absolutely have to spend money on? Rent, food, WiFi, health care, a car, a monthly payment, etc. The list is going to look a little different for everyone. But regardless of what is on your list, you can agree that the necessary purchases can start to add up.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could find a way to lower those essential costs? Spending less on necessities leaves more money for entertainment, travel, treat yourself days, and more. It can be easy to feel stuck by your consistent expenses. You may think what you’re paying is non-negotiable, and there’s nothing you can do about it. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are plenty of little adjustments and simple tricks you can use to lower the cost of your necessary expenses.

.

Buy Secondhand

Today, it can be appealing to buy all the new shiny toys. From designer clothes to the most recent iPhone, people clamor for the latest and greatest when it comes to their devices and necessities. You can save money by deciding to buy secondhand or older models of the tech you want. The truth is, last year’s computer is going to work just as well as this year’s model, and you can get it at half the price. You can find refurbished tablets and other repurposed electronics online for a steal at retailers like TheStore. You can trust TheStore to offer you the best devices at killer prices. By buying refurbished items, you’ll be saving in the long run. So stop getting ripped off with insane prices for the newest product when you can get refurbished products of equal quality for much less.

.

Find the Cheaper Option

Just because something is usually done a certain way doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. If you find goods or services that are a lower cost, even if it’s not the traditional route, you should take it. A basic example of this is brand name versus generic food at the grocery store. Sure, Frosted Flakes have Tony the Tiger on the box, but the frosted corn flakes from Walmart taste the same and are half the price.

Taking the non-traditional approach can help with larger purchases as well. Say you have crooked teeth and you’re considering traditional braces or Invisalign. Even though the latter is a newer treatment, Invisalign payment plans can save you money compared to the traditional treatment plan. Even though the cost of invisalign can be high, the right monthly payment plan might make the clear aligner a possibility for you.

Just remember, with orthodontic coverage, as with anything, you get what you pay for. So look for cheaper options where they’re available from a trusted invisalign provider, but be sure you’re not sacrificing an important thing like your overall orthodontic care.

Lower Your Utilities

There is no way out of paying your utility bill. And, this cost is not necessarily something you can find a discount for. But, you can certainly save money in this area. Of course, you have to keep the water running and the lights on, but you can help lower your costs by being more conscious within your home. Take shorter showers, always turn off the lights when you’re not in the room, and get some cozy sweaters and warm socks to wear around the house instead of cranking the heat. These are small lifestyle changes you can make to save a few bucks.

.

Bulk Purchasing and Coupons

Even though the crazy coupon lady may get a bad reputation, she’s on to something. Cutting coupons and shopping special deals does save you money. So does bulk purchasing. If you can get a good deal by buying a lot of one thing at once, go for it. You’re always going to need more paper towels and toilet paper. If you stock up now, chances are you get a great deal that adds to your savings.

.

Trick Your Mind

Sometimes you have to trick yourself into saving. Give yourself incentives to spend less and look for the lower-priced option. Or ditch your credit card and only let yourself spend cash when you go shopping. This will actually force you to stick to a budget. Keeping yourself in check is one of the best ways to guarantee you’re not spending extraneously.