Reducing Your Expenses: Stepping Down Your Spending
Sunday, January 2nd, 2022
person stepping on blue stairs

Whether you’ve lost a job or are considering intentionally reducing your spending in an effort to save more or prepare for retirement, there are ways to step your costs down a notch or two without altering your lifestyle entirely.

Many consumers, either intentionally or inadvertently, now practice some semblance of a “Step Down Spending Plan”. It’s a really simple way to look at how to do more with less.

Here’s how stepping down your spending works – look at each category of your current spending plan and determine areas where you could “step it down”, effectively spending less and thus saving more money. Consider these ideas:


Housing likely takes up most of your budget. But, there are a few ways you can cut your housing costs including:

  • Renting an apartment
  • Finding a roommate
  • Renting out a room


Americans spend roughly $400 per month on food. Some ways to reduce your food costs include:

  • Eating out less
  • Eating out at less expensive restaurants
  • Splitting meals with a friend


Transportation costs can add up quickly if you’re not careful. Between gas, car payments, repairs, or public transit costs, your transportation expenses could take up a significant amount of your budget. To save on these costs, try:

  • Driving your own car for all activities
  • Car-pooling when possible
  • Taking public transportation or walk when possible

Entertainment and exercise

You want to spend money on the things you enjoy not just the necessities. But, when you do, there are ways to cut costs including:

  • Joining a local gym or club
  • Setting up a home gym with used equipment
  • Walking or biking at neighborhood parks


While you may need clothing, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to find good buys. Here are a few ways to minimize the amount you spend on clothing monthly.

  • Shop mall department shops
  • Shop thrift shops
  • Set a specific amount monthly for clothes purchases

The Bottomline

These are only a few ideas that you might consider that fit your own situation. Hopefully I’ve piqued your curiosity about how you can reduce monthly expenses even more, and use funds for other purposes. Good things take time and making changes in your financial life is no different. With discipline and by making these incremental adjustments, you too will have what you really want.