In this economic climate, we are all looking for ways to cut our monthly expenses. But how can we stretch our dollars further without feeling deprived? More importantly, how can you save some money without having to waste your time. Following a few simple tips and tricks can go a long way when it comes to pinching pennies.
First and foremost – develop a budget and stick to it. Knowing where your money is going is the first step in cutting expenses. You can see where you are overpaying, where you can cut back, and where you can save when your monthly income and expenses are right in front of you. Use a piece of paper, a computer, or even your smart phone to help you keep track – whatever you are most comfortable with and will use on a regular basis. Once you have a clear picture of where your money coming in and going out, it becomes much simpler to find ways to cut back.
Next, take a look at your utility bills. Does the amount you pay each month fluctuate? These unpredictable payments can wreak havoc on your expenses. Check with the companies that supply your service to see if they have a budget plan option available. Many gas and electric companies will use your past usage to calculate a set monthly payment that doesn’t change. After a year, the actual usage is evaluated and your monthly payment is adjusted accordingly.
Now examine your cable, telephone, and internet bills. Do you have a land line as well as a cell phone? Do you absolutely need both? Can you go on a shared plan with friends or family members that don’t live you and split the bill? Are you actually watching all those channels in that cable package or would you be better off paying a subscription to Netflix or Hulu? As with any service, shop around for the best prices. Many companies will offer lower prices to keep your service with them, rather than lose you to their competitors.
Finally, take a hard look at your food budget. Are you eating out for lunch everyday? Try packing a lunch instead. Make coffee at home and take it with you rather than stopping off at Starbucks for a latte. Think ahead and plan meals out for the week. Having a plan using the groceries that are already in the house will prevent you from those “quick runs” to the supermarket and help keep your grocery budget under control. Buying groceries can get rather expensive, try coupons.answers.com to find some great deals for your budgeting needs!
Take a hard look at your monthly expenses. It’s probably much easier than you think to cut back and save some money. Saving money or managing your budget does not have to difficult. In fact, it can be quite simple.
What area of your simple budget do you save the most money?