If you find your monthly expenses are competing with your income too much for comfort, there are some steps you can take to rein it back in. If you’re someone who never seems to be able to save anything after paying your bills, there are ways to cut down and therefore start saving instead of spending all of your hard-earned pay. In most cases, it’s not how much you make, it’s how you spend it.
You may think this to be a daunting task, but it’s not as difficult as it seems. First, you’ll need to take a look at each and every monthly bill. For example, are you paying for more television channels or streaming services than you actually need? What about those apps on your phone? Take a thorough look and see if you are paying for services you don’t use or could do without. Are you over paying for car or home insurance? This is a highly competitive industry, as you can probably tell by all of the ads and commercials. Try shopping around to find lower premiums. Chances are the competition wants your business and will offer you a better deal to get it. If you don’t have time to shop around, try using a broker. Although it will entail an initial service fee, in the long run you’ll save money with cheaper rates and most brokers only charge an additional fee for new services, not renewals.
After you’ve scrutinized your monthly expenses, revise your budget based upon what you are able to cut down and put that amount into your savings. You may be surprised how every dollar adds up. Next, take a look at your day to day expenses. Are you spending too much on lunch every week when you could save money brown-bagging it? It may seem like a great deal to pay only $7 for a meal special at your local drive-through, but that $35 could buy enough groceries to make lunch for at least twice as long. That alone could add up to at least $70 a month in savings. This is where the devil is in the details. If you look at even your small expenses, like lunch, and find ways to cut back, you’ll be on your way to saving more than spending. Speaking of groceries, here’s another expenditure that can get out of control if you’re not careful. Try to shop the sales and avoid impulse buying. One trick to this is never go food shopping when you’re hungry. When that happens, everything looks good!
Lastly, try to avoid charging purchases as opposed to using cash or your debit card. It’s easy enough to whip out that card on every whim, but not as easy to pay the increased minimum plus interest when the bill comes. If you do use your credit card, set that money aside to include in your payment in order to keep your balances from skyrocketing out of control. Most credit cards will allow you to make extra payments, which is another way to keep your balances at a minimum.
Ann is a professional writer who brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.