These are hard times for many Americans. With layoffs, foreclosures, personal and business bankruptcies and mounting debt, we live in uncertain times. However, there is always hope and a way that can be made out of no way. Regardless of your current financial situation, there are ways to find extra money to improve your plight. It could be a huge improvement or small, but at least it will be progress. Even when it appears as if there is no more room to save, there is always something you can get rid of, reduce, or find a substitute for. Continue to read. Below are five steps to help you reduce your budget to find extra money to pay down debt, save, and help others in need.
#1 – Utilities
If you’re not in a room, turn off the lights and television. Cook larger meals 2-3 days a week instead of every day to cut back on utility cost. Use your dishwasher, dryer, and washer only when you have a full load. Use blinds and curtains on windows to keep out heat in summer and keep in heat in winter. Use ceiling fans instead running the air conditioner. Turn down the hot water heater a few degrees, and turn it off while on vacation to cut cost.
#2 – Food
Bring your own snacks when running errands, visiting family, friends, and doing activities with children. Cook more and eat out less. Not only will money be saved, but you will eat healthier. Use coupons from the newspaper and online for groceries and restaurants. Find restaurants in your areas where kids eat free. Eat out when kids can eat free, if you must go out.
#3 – Phone
Get rid of your landline if not needed. Use your cell phone for long distance calls. Get rid of all the unnecessary phone features that you do not need. Get a tracfone! It’s a pay-as-you-go cell phone that cost a one-time fee of $10-$20. You pay to put minutes on the phone as you need them. The best part, there is no monthly fee or contract.
#4 – Insurance
If your car is older and paid for, consider dropping collision insurance all together. Also, consider raising your deductible on your car, home, and health insurance to reduce your monthly cost. Reduce your spending and use the extra money to improve your financial situation, immediately.
#5 – Cable
Is cable a must? A cable bill is not a necessity. Matter of fact, it is a luxury, especially if you cannot afford it. Having cable is a privilege that some just cannot afford. Paying $40, $70, $90, or $120 monthly to watch a tube adds up. Imagine this; get basic cable for $20 instead of paying $70 a month. Just that one change will save $600 a year.
You really can reduce your spending and find extra money to sustain your household, payoff debt, and save. Determine what are real needs and wants. Take care of your needs, first. Then make a decision to reduce your expenses today by using alternatives, cutting back, and eliminating things that just are not necessary and doesn’t make spending sense.