Going off-grid isn’t cheap and certainly not something to jump into without research. Even if you can’t leave the grid right now, there are ways you can save up for that future by cutting your living costs today – ways that most Americans wouldn’t even consider.
1. Get rid of your cable
According to statistics, the average American spends roughly $65 a month on cable. Americans over the age of two, on average, watch about five hours of television a day, according to data collected by Nielsen. Not only is cable expensive (and will continue to increase in price) but it is often a waste of time. Sure, there are educational programs on some channels and sometimes it’s nice to sit back and enjoy a show or movie, but there are probably better uses of your time and money.
If you or someone in your family doesn’t want to give up television, you can switch to streaming services like Netflix or purchase a Roku box for you TV. With the latter you can still access many stations and TV programs, and some are available at no cost. Or even better, you can read a book.
2. Downgrade your cellphone and plan
The average American cellphone plans costs only slightly less than cable – coming in at about $63 a month. And just like cable, the cost is expected to continue to climb.
Some people rely heavily on their phones for checking email, making calls, video calling family, etc. If you are someone who can’t give up your phone for whatever reason, then you can look into a less expensive service. Nowadays there are more no-contract options and some cell phone companies boast rates of $50 a month or less.
You also can downgrade your phone to one without Internet and email access, which will lower your cellphone bill even more. Being able to make phone calls and send a text message might be all you really need.
3. Limit going out to eat
This year, for the first time, Americans spent more money going out to eat than buying groceries for cooking at home, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Going out to eat is nice as a treat but is an incredible waste of money if you rely on restaurants for regular meals. Eating at home not only saves money but is better for you, so why not improve your bank account while staying healthy? Save even more money by starting a garden, planting some fruit trees for future harvest, raising some livestock, etc.
4. Get rid of your old stuff
Americans are pretty obsessed with “stuff.” It’s interesting how a country that can be so wasteful when it comes to…