I get asked the question all the time: how do I stick to my budget? And I think that some people want to me come up with some space age new theory on how money will come out of the sky to bulk up the money you have to spend. The truth is…..if you need more money in your budget, you have to spend less. Yes, that’s right…I know it’s not what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth. You’re going to have to cut spending SOMEWHERE.
If you aren’t willing/able to go out and find more employment ( a second job ) then you must spend less. It sounds so harsh and is obviously easier said than done because if it was so easy, no one would be in debt. There are small ways to trim your budget…..but some of them you might not like to hear. It really just depends on how bad you want it. Trust me, I’m no saint, hell, if loosing weight was easier said that done, I’d be skinny already-so I know it’s hard, I do…….but the honest truth is no one can do it but you…just like no one can exercise FOR me-I have to get off my butt myself!
Ways To Trim Your Budget:
- Housing: downsize or more to a smaller more affordable home. I know this sucks to hear but it may be the only way.
- Homeowners Insurance: trim the fat from your policy by contacting three different companies and asking them to give you the best rates for your insurance coverage and then ask to raise your deductibles which will help cut some of the costs. The difference in deductible costs you would pay if you ever had to file a claim would more than likely be offset by the amount you have saved from paying the lower premiums year after year.
Take another look at your utilities:
- Telephone bill-shop around for the best rates.
- Electricity bill-keep your thermostat at 68-70 degrees, close all the vents in the unused rooms, change out the light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs and last longer
- Water bill- don’t do half loads of laundry, turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth or washing your hands
- Food bill- use coupons, watch the store sales and special offers, price match when possible of the bigger ticket prices, plan your meals in advance without a plan you’ll wing it and end up spending more money, never trust the electric scanner, don’t go to the store when you’re hungry, bring a calculator to keep track of your total, cut back on the paper products you use, avoid prepared foods, buy generic or store brands, buy your food in the bulk when possible, stay out of convenience stores, leave your children at home when you shop. (just so you know…I suck at this part like WHOAH!)
- Auto: do NOT buy a new car, the cheapest car to drive is the one your already driving, pay cash for your car when possible, when negotiating the price of the car, don’t include your old car as a trade it, sell it out right you’ll make more money. Know what price you want to pay BEFORE you go to the dealer and be willing to walk away if you don’t get it. Keeping the car you currently have in good condition is a great way to cut your budget on future repairs. Maintain your own vehicle.
- Debt: cut up the cards, burn them, bury them. Force yourself to use checks or cash.
- Entertainment: plan vacations on off peak seasons.
- Clothing: buy items that are on sale, don’t get caught up with the “name brands”, buy seasonal clothing during off season, don’t buy dry cleaning fabrics, shop at factory outlets when possible, shop at consignment shops.
- Medical: make preventative maintenance an priority, try generic drugs.
Those are just a few thing you could do…I’m sure you’re hamster wheels are already spinning and you’re just so pumped to get started <insert sarcasm>!! We’ll discuss what percentage should go into what category within your budget tomorrow! 🙂