It seems like it’s always a juggling act as you try to keep up with expenses and pay your monthly bills. Even with all the hours you work, your paycheck never seems to stretch far enough once you pay your rent and utilities. Then, when you add expenses for gasoline, automobile and insurance there’s even less money remaining. Factor in monthly groceries, a meal out once in a while and your cable payment and you wonder where all the money went. Fortunately, there are ways to increase your bank balance and start reducing your monthly expenses. You may decide that getting a debt consolidation loan is a good way to start improving your finances. Best of all, when you start saving money each month your savings can really accumulate up as the year goes on. Here are some of the best ways to reduce your monthly expenses.

Refinance Your Student Loans

Students acquire more education debt today in comparison to 30 years ago. Monthly student loan payments are often high and it’s hard to keep up with the payments when housing costs and other expenses keep going up. One of the best ideas to reduce your monthly expense is to refinance your student loans. By shopping carefully for a reputable lender with great rates, you can refinance and save substantially on your monthly payment and save on total interest paid. When you refinance it’s possible to save thousands, or even tens of thousands, on payments made over the course of the loan.

Install a Whole House Fan

It’s really expensive to run your air conditioner and those end of month utility bills can leave you really depressed. Fortunately, there’s a great alternative to having the A/C on all the time. If you install a whole house fan you can take advantage of nature’s cooler temperatures and get your electric bill under control. Whole house fans work by pulling the hot air up from the home into the attic. As soon as it gets cooler at night you open up windows in the home and turn on the fan for a short time. It’s powerful and quickly pulls cooler air in from the outdoors and vents the hot air from the attic to the outside. You can repeat the cycle in the morning to get your house really cool.

Make Coffee at Home

It’s amazing to watch money change hands when you really stop and observe the activity in a chain specialty coffee shop. In a way it’s like watching a reverse ATM. People come in wanting caffeine and hand over $4 or $5 for their special drink. If you get your coffee from the shop 5 days a week, you’ll easily spend over $1,000 per year. There’s a better path to true coffee happiness. For far less money you can buy a great espresso machine or a specialty coffee brewing system, purchase amazing coffee beans and be on your way to coffee nirvana for a fraction of the specialty store cost. Add a thermos and it’s coffee heaven all morning long!

Save on Your Monthly Food Budget

One of the biggest ways to save money each month is to be a smart grocery shopper and eat almost all of your meals at home. When you do your grocery shopping, purchase produce and meat and other fresh ingredients and leave the boxed and processed foods behind. When you do have to buy something in a package or a can, make it a one ingredient item like rice, beans or pasta. You can easily cook wonderful meals and have tasty leftovers for lunch when you shop this way. If you take a cooking class or get great ideas from an online recipe newsletter, you will soon be saving lots of money each month and eating gourmet meals that are far healthier too.