Like many, you may be on a budget where you live paycheck to paycheck. You are not irresponsible in any matter concerning your money. However, you simply do not make enough to support you or your family’s lifestyle and save money. You wish things were better and are ready to make that wish come true. To help you do so, I have four things you can examine in order to save yourself some money.
The first step in finding a place to save money is to look at your budget. You need to have a clear understanding of how much money you have going out and how much money you are bringing in. When you do this, you will discover either one of two things. Either you (or your spouse) if you are married) need to start making more money, or you need to get rid of some bills.
If you are in a situation where you need to bring in more money, this may be a good thing. You may have been lazy and passed up a promotion. If this is the case, it is time to take that promotion. It could be that you have been working part time and now see that you should be working full time. Or, you may need a new and better paying job all together. Whatever the case may be, a need to bring in more money can actually challenge you to become greater and benefit you more than just financially.
On the other hand, you could be living outside of your means. You may need to move out of a luxurious home or apartment (if you rent) into a normal one. You may need to stop trying to wear high fashion designer clothing and focus on common store brands and clearance racks. Or, you could be spending too much on leisure activities and will have to sacrifice fun until you can get ahead in your budget.
Another area you can possibly cut costs in your monthly budget is in your automobile expenses. If you have a close friend and neighbor that works in the same company as you, you may want to consider carpooling. This can not only save the two of you money but increase your friendship levels. You will enjoy the conversations as you head to work and be glad to know you are both helping each other financially. You can trade off on who drives each week and agree to a weekly stipend for the driver. Altogether, you can cut your monthly gas or diesel expenditures in half.
Another way to save money on auto expenses is to drive a smaller car. If you are driving a big truck, consider trading it in. The smaller and more fuel efficient car will help you out on gas expenses as well as maintenance if you get a good car. Literally, you can cut your gas expenditures down up to 70% by switch from an SUV to a car.
The way you care for yourself is a big deal to you and I totally understand. However, it does not have to be an added expense and there are many ways you can save money.
If you have a gym membership, consider cancelling it. There are many exercises that you can do at home and lose weight or stay in shape just as much. Or, you can even build your own home gym piece by piece for the same amount of money you spend on the gym membership. However, once you have racked up the equipment needed for your home gym, you no longer need to spend money. You can work out at home at your convenience at no cost to you.
If you have hair, think of some cheaper ways to care for it. If you are a male, learn how to cut and style it yourself. Or, cut it off, go bald, and save money on haircuts. If you are a female, do not be afraid to get a hairstyle that you can maintain yourself. Learn some different ways to style a pony tail if you have long hair. If you have short hair, get creative and come up with a configuration that helps you not have to go to the beauty salon.
Last but not the least, the way you eat can be altered to leave you with more money on hand. There are many brands of food where if you switched over to the retail store brand, you would not really notice a difference in taste. You should really consider buying the store’s brand at least once to not only save money, but examine the tastes. You would be surprised to see that you may like some store brands more than your favorite brand.
Instead of purchasing pre-made drinks, consider mixing them yourself. Make your own juices by purchasing the fruits needed. Drink water instead of soda or other soft drinks for your lunch.
Consider eating less if you can. Rather than buying steaks, buy packs of lunch meat and bread for sandwiches. Instead of French fries get bags of chips. Instead of ice cream, enjoy some cereal. In the end, not only will your financial situation be healthier, you will find yourself much healthier as well.
Don’t forget to consider Budget Calendar for the Android and the iPhone, the best mobile app for your personal finances. www.budgetplanner.net
Personal Finance Examiner
Ryan D. Neely