An unfortunate truth in life is that there will be times when there doesn’t seem to be enough money. Whether you are devoting the majority of your income to paying off debt for the short term or you are adjusting to living on a single income so one parent can stay home with a new baby. There are numerous things you can do to still save money.
If you adjusting to a lower income or just happen to be on a lower income, make sure you take advantage of grants and benefits to help pay bills and ease the costs of living. In addition to taking advantage of benefits, try some to the below money saving tactics as well.
Cut the Cable: A study by the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cesan.nr0.htm) shows that the average Americans spends about $2,800 a year on entertainment. That translates to just over $200 per month. Considering that a cable bill can set you back close to $100 dollars per month, you could easily save $1200 a year by getting rid of the cable bill. Instead of paying for cable, get a monthly subscription to a DVD service (like Netflix) for less than $10 a month and hit up the library for books and movies. Better yet, head outside for some free outdoor activities like hiking or walking.
Eat at Home: You can save money, and keep your waist line in check by cooking your own meals at home and packing a lunch to work. One of the biggest killers to a house hold budget is food. Both in terms of the amount of groceries wasted each month, as well as the amount of money used eating out and purchasing daily items such as coffee.
Reconsider transportation: If you are really struggling with cash, consider selling your car and buying a bus pass or a bike. If this isn’t an option, possibly down grade your vehicle. In addition, make sure you have a maintenance budget set up for unexpected costs and review your insurance policy on an annual basis.
Switch Life Insurance Plans: Don’t get rid of your life insurance, as it provides a safety net for your family. However, if and when your circumstances change, make sure you update your insurance policy. In addition, you should review your policy on an annual basis to make sure you are on the best deal for you and your family. It’s funny how companies will do anything in terms of deals to get a new client and yet they neglect loyal customers.
Plan ahead and lower expectations: Christmas, birthdays, Halloween and school pictures happen every year. You know (at least approximately) when these events are going to take place which means you can start saving for them early. A $400 Christmas budget seems a lot less daunting when you save $40 a month for 10 months. Use envelopes or create separate accounts and set aside a little money each month so that you aren’t scrambling last minute to come up with the cash you need.
Additionally, start simplifying things. Instead of throwing a huge birthday party, consider a smaller party at home with a homemade cake. Play games, watch movies and enjoy time as a family, and you can save a lot of money.