6 Ways to Reduce Living Expenses in Austin

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Austin isn’t the most expensive city in Texas to live in, but it’s also not the cheapest. In fact, according to BestPlaces, the cost of living is 30% higher than the national average. Housing is the biggest expense that drives up cost of living in the area. But despite the higher than average cost of living, you don’t have to go broke by living in Austin.

Keep reading to learn about 6 ways you can reduce your living expenses, which inevitably allows you to live life at a much lower cost.

1. Use Public Transportation

Getting around by car is easy but also expensive. Not only do you have to pay for gas, you’re also responsible for registration fees along with expenses for maintenance and repair of your vehicle. This can cost hundreds of dollars a month!

To save money and reduce your cost of living, use public transportation as much as possible. Austin offers the Capital Metro, which connects you to some of the best places in the city. Capital Metro runs commuter rails, which serve suburban park and rides, along with local buses and even shuttles that get you to and from the airport.

2. Eat Out Less

Eating out often can be expensive. In Austin, the average fast food meal costs about $7. In a business district, you’re likely to pay around $15. More expensive meals can add up to $50 or more! If you eat out more than three times a week, at a minimum you’re spending $21 a week or $63 a month.

With the money you spend on meals throughout the week, you could buy groceries that last you twice as long! Though cooking at home isn’t as inconvenient as eating out, the money savings are well worth it, especially if you’re trying to save money and maximize your hard earned dollars.

3. Bundle Services

If you’re like most Austin residents, you have internet and cable services at your home. But, are you using the services provided by the same provider? If not, you’re likely overspending on these services. In order to save money, bundle these services. Many of the fastest internet providers in Austin that offer other at-home services give customers a discount when they purchase more than one service.

You can also price compare between providers and ask them to match a competitor’s price. This reduces your monthly expenses and allows you to have more money to put towards savings or other bills.

4. Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

The more energy efficient your home is, the less money you’ll waste on high energy bills because of leaky windows or drafty doors. These problems are even more costly during the warmer months. There are many ways to make your home more energy efficient including:

  • Sealing windows and doors
  • Replacing light bulbs with LEDs or CFLs
  • Unplugging devices when not in use
  • Using energy efficient appliances
  • Turning down the temperature on your water heater

By taking these steps, you can reduce your energy bill by up to 20% each month. This can save you hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars a year!

5. Grocery Shop Wisely

Groceries can be expensive, especially if you’re purchasing fresh produce, meat, and poultry. But, you can save plenty of money by using coupons and finding the grocery store nearest you that offers the best deals.

These days you don’t have to buy dozens of newspapers and manually clip coupons! Instead, you can use apps like Coupons.com and LOZO.com to browse thousands of coupons. To maximize your savings, combine coupons with store sales or store coupons.

While you don’t have to become an extreme couponer, it never hurts to save a few dollars on some of your most expensive grocery store items. Shopping is also cheaper when you have a grocery list on hand. Shopping without knowing what you need can be a budget disaster.

6. Cancel Unused Services

How often do you watch the three streaming services you pay for each month? Do you really need to pay $100+ a month for unlimited data on your cell phone plan? Chances are if you take the time to look at the services you pay for versus what you use, you’ll find some of your money is simply going to waste.

To save money and to reduce living expenses, cancel services that you don’t use. Even if you do use all of the services you pay for, consider which ones you could live without. Odds are you won’t miss that streaming service you only use for one television show.


Living in Austin can get pricey, but with these tips, you can greatly reduce your cost of living. Follow these tips to stretch your money even further.