When your paycheck arrives, it might feel like all the money’s gone before you even cash it. While that feeling is not uncommon, there are a few things you can do about it. And no, you don’t have to become a total hermit or cancel all your streaming services. There’s hope! Sticking to a sensible monthly budget doesn’t have to be painful. By following some simple tips, you might be able to cut back on your spending and feel a little better about pay day.

Consider making an adjustment in these key areas:

1. Owning a Car

Let’s face it: Cars can cost a lot of money. Between monthly payments, pricey insurance and the cost of gasoline — not to mention parking expenses — it adds up. The thought of going car-free may sound scary at face value, but many people find it freeing once they take the plunge.

How You Might Save Money: Does your city or town offer public transportation? Taking the bus can be great way to get around for less money. Or if you want an even cheaper option — walking is free, or you could invest in a used bicycle and commute that way. Many areas might even have nonprofit bicycle organizations that specialize in fixing up used bikes and selling them at discounted prices. Ride share services may also offer affordable options.

2. Subscribing to Cable

Depending on your cable package, your monthly bills can take a toll on your budget! Not to mention if you’re factoring in streaming subscriptions, those costs can quickly get out of hand.

What You Can Do Instead: One option could be to eliminate cable altogether and limit the number of streaming services to which you subscribe. When weighing streaming options, you might want to consider which services provide the most bang for the buck.

3. Toss That Gym Membership

Some people are lucky enough to have jobs that include perks like free gym memberships, but for the rest of us, that monthly pass can get pricey.

What You Can Do Instead: There are plenty of free ways to stay in shape, such as jogging or biking, but if you miss yoga or spin class, there are also many online fitness programs available to take advantage of. If you’re willing to take the time to search them out, you can find plenty of free workout videos online.

4. Not Taking Advantage of Your Local Library

Do you use your tablet for a lot of reading? Unfortunately, many e-books can cost nearly as much as the paperback or hardcover versions.

What You Can Do Instead: You don’t need to physically visit your local library to borrow books these days. More than 11,000 libraries in the across the country offer books that you can download right to your e-reader to get your reading fix completely free of charge.

5. Overlooked Electricity Usage

When considering a monthly budget, many people don’t factor in their electricity or heating and cooling bills, which can leave a major dent on your wallet.

What You Can Do Instead: Make sure to unplug electronics and appliances when you’re not using them — or better yet, utilize power strips and turn them off. Just because you’re not using that TV or microwave doesn’t mean that it’s not quietly sponging energy – many devices continue to draw energy even when switched off, according to Energy.gov. The same goes for devices and laptops. Unplugging these devices when they’re fully charged can even cut down on your electricity bill.

6. Not Using Credit Cards Efficiently

If you’re using cash to make most of your day-to-day purchases, you could be missing out on major savings. Some credit cards come with rewards and perks, and it can be wise to take full advantage.

What You Can Do Instead: Find a credit card that offers bonus points, cash back or air miles, like the Discover it Miles card, that can be applied when booking flights, making it that much cheaper to travel. Or even if travel is not an issue, you can apply cash back or points right back to your credit card balance. Just remember to pay off your balance in full every month. Otherwise you could get dinged with late-payment charges or interest.

7. Eating Out Too Often

Do you find yourself grabbing food on the go because it’s more convenient? Well, that convenience comes at a cost. Even fast food can add up if you’re eating it several times per week. Not to mention, nothing takes a hit to the wallet like a morning coffee shop habit.

What You Can Do Instead: Make a weekly or monthly budget for groceries and come up with a plan to prepare meals at home. This can even be done in advance so you can portion for the week. Likewise, it can be a good idea to seek out coupons. You can also get a coffee or cold brew maker and take your joe to go in a travel mug.

8. Spending Too Much on Clothes

Adding a ton of cute items to your online shopping cart can sometimes feel way too easy. Plus, with fresh designs coming out season after season, it can be difficult to resist the thought that you need that brand new winter coat – even when you have two perfectly good ones at home already!

What You Can Do Instead: Before you put down the plastic to purchase a new wardrobe, make sure to evaluate the one you have to see if you really need something new. It might just be an impulse that could pass if you give it a day or two. If you really do want to refresh your closet, take advantage of your local thrift store or consignment shop to find new-to-you clothes for a fraction of the cost. Bonus points for finding classic pieces that will stay fashionable for years to come.

9. Getting Locked Into a Pricey Cellphone Contract

Getting the hot new smartphone every year can be tempting — but it doesn’t come without a price. Some cellphone carriers might lure customers into expensive contracts with the promise of an upgrade to a shiny new device at a discount.

What You Can Do Instead: Compare your cellphone plan to a plan without a contract. This means you can use an unlocked phone, or a phone you already own and have paid off, in exchange for a lower monthly bill. Eventually, those savings will add up and the extra money in your pocket might just be worth forgoing a new device.

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.