Does it feel like your finances getting out of control? If so, you are far from alone. Bills, insurance and mortgages all start adding up fast. It seems like normal, daily life requires more and more money than ever before. Can you regain control of your financial situation without compromising your quality of life? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Being financially responsible does not start with limiting your big expenses – rather it begins with the small things you do on a daily basis. Finding a way to cut your smaller expenses makes a huge impact on the bigger picture. Let’s take a look at a few tips you can use to right your sinking financial ship.
Food and Groceries
Start by thinking about what you spend money on frequently. Groceries are probably one thing that comes to mind. Sure, you can use couponing to save a lot of money, but that requires time and commitment to make it work. Think more about where you shop – many local grocery stores charge prices up to 20% higher bigger competitors. Sure it is nice to support the local economy, but when you are in a financial pinch certain sacrifices must be made. Additionally, figure out what your most expensive items are and look for alternatives.
Buying fruits and vegetables while they are in season helps save some money, as does stockpiling items without expiration dates when they are on sale (like canned foods, toilet paper etc…) Feeling really ambitious? Grow your own household garden. Home grown foods are the healthiest for you and your family and the cheapest on your pocketbook
Going out to eat is enjoyable and gets you out of the kitchen. Unfortunately it also costs more than cooking at home. You do not have to cut out eating away from home entirely, but should just do it responsibly. Look for deals like happy hour or lunch specials. Maybe some of your local restaurants let children eat free (this can cut your bill in half!).
A huge section of your monthly budget comes in the transportation area. The average American spends about $2000 a year on gasoline alone – not to mention maintenance costs on your vehicles. If you live in a bicycle friendly municipality, consider biking to work or school. Doing your daily commute via bike saves a lot of energy costs, is good for your health and beneficial to the environment. That’s three birds with one stone.
You might be asking yourself already how you can save money through shaving. Think of it this way, shaving is an unavoidable activity many of us do on a daily basis. Razor blades need to be frequently replaced, and good safety razors are not cheap. Buying replacements in the store can get costly; fortunately there are some great alternative services that will send out razors by mail to subscribers for a great price.
Take advantage of Online Shopping
You can buy just about anything online these days and often times it comes at a cheaper price than other in store alternatives. Additionally, many businesses offer free shipping which makes online shopping a good way to save yourself a few bucks.
Control the Temperature
Reducing your thermostat’s setting by just a few degrees can hundreds of dollars over just one winter. Wearing an extra layer and sleeping with a blanket has never hurt anyone, and your pocketbook will indeed thank you. During the summer, take the same approach with your air conditioning – or just run some energy efficient box or window fans in your primary rooms to keep the air circulating and cool.