It can be difficult to make ends meet sometimes. If you don’t want to advance and make more money than you spend, then it’s important to pay attention to your monthly expenditures and look for ways to spend less money. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Cable TV / Internet
We live in an age where there are so many ways to get the news and information we desire for free or a small fee. Making the switch to either a cable TV alternative or an internet based alternative is something you should consider. You can quickly cut at least $100 from your monthly expenses by making this one change. Learn more about cable alternatives here .
2. High Interest Credit Cards and Debt Payments
Be smart about credit cards. Pay them off every month so you don’t get into trouble with them later on down the road (and have to go through the trouble of bankruptcy). Find the lowest interest rate credit card you can, and make sure to pay off your balance each and every month. Also, consider paying off your debt in order of highest to lowest interest rate. For example, if you owe $10,000 on a car loan with 9% interest and $7000 on a student loan with 5% interest, pay off the student loan first because its a lower interest rate.
3. Cell Phone Bills
This is a tough one. If you want to save money on your cell phone bill, then consider getting rid of your home phone altogether . It’s unlikely that you’ll be making calls from home anymore so having a landline is no longer necessary (unless it’s for 911 reasons). There is also software you can download that will let you make all calls over your internet connection. This might save you as much as $75 a month depending on your plan.
4. Streaming TV
You should never pay for cable or satellite service when there are so many alternatives available to watch what you want to watch without having to deal with commercials and other distracting content in between the programs. Remember how I mentioned internet based watching earlier? Well, now there are so many more options out there to stream live television and even shows on demand over the internet for free or a small fee (usually less than $10).
5. Prepaid Cell Phone Plans
These are usually pretty good deals. You can get a pay as you go phone and put $100 worth of minutes on it for about $100. There is no contract, and if you don’t use all the minutes you’ve paid for, that’s okay because they don’t expire. These cell phone plans are great for those who aren’t heavy users since the per minute cost is usually less than what it costs to have a contract with one of the major carriers (and then there are hidden fees!).
6. Pay Off Debt Early
If you’ve got debt, try to pay it off as soon as possible. The sooner you do this, the better off you’ll be. The longer you wait to pay off your debt, the more money you’ll have to spend in interest payments. Don’t make this mistake!
If you’re the type of person that likes to shop around and get a deal, then try getting into couponing. You can find some pretty good deals on your groceries using coupons, and eventually you’ll start to see the benefits of buying cheaper brands. Coupon clipping is a great hobby, and it can get you some great deals on things you buy regularly!
8. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is another thing that will save you money in the long run because most bulk purchases are cheaper than smaller purchases even when you take the time saved by not shopping around into consideration. Try to buy things like toilet paper, paper towels, and cereal in bulk. You’ll save money.
9. Make a List
Before you go shopping, make a list of the things you need instead of just going in with no plan at all (or possibly going to the store when you’re already running low on something). This way you won’t be tempted to buy things that aren’t even on your list! Make a list of your monthly expenses. Every month, sit down and make a list of all your expenses. You can include things like rent or mortgage payments, food and gas expenses, insurance payments, cable TV or internet service fees, car maintenance fees, utilities fees (electricity), etc. You should also make a note of any extra money that you receive during the month such as bonuses or from inheritance. When all is said and done every month, you should have a pretty good idea about what is going into your budget each month.
10. Other Tips
Also consider adjusting your thermostat in the winter and spring as well as using less heat or air conditioning while you’re on vacation or asleep at night. Don’t be afraid to put on a jacket indoors and save some money. Also, take shorter showers and turn off the water while you lather up or shave. Also, when you’re done washing your hands, make sure to turn off the water instead of letting it run while you dry your hands on an old towel. All of these things add up!
While there are more tips to saving money than just these ten, these are some of the more common ones you’ll see around. The key to being frugal is to have a plan! Decide where you want to go, and stick with it. These tips can work for you, but ultimately it’s up to you! You have to do what it takes to set yourself up for success and don’t worry about what your neighbors have or what they may be doing or buying. Do what is right for you.