Does it sometimes feel like money is just flying out of your wallet? Do you spend, spend, spend, losing track of saving and conserving. It’s easy to do in our busy lives. Many of us loss sight of our how much we are really spending and every now and then we need a reminder of ways to trim down our cost of living, ways to keep that cash from flying out of your wallet. Check out these six easy ways to cut down on your monthly spending:
Review your Bills
Every six months or so, you should examine all your household bills and see if there have been any big changes and look for ways you can save. For example, I recently went through my bills and saw that my cable bill seemed really high. I gave them a call to see what could be done and they gave me $15 off per month for the next year. That was a ridiculously easy way for my family to save $180 this year.
Do Some Trimming
When you review your bills, see what items you can cut down on and where you can trim; having a budget handy (or making one) will be very helpful. Perhaps you don’t really need that magazine subscription or DVD service. Maybe you don’t need call waiting on your phone or voice mail. Maybe you can join a gym that is less expensive. I just recently changed gyms; I was going to one that was farther away from my house, and switched to a closer one that will allow me to save $45 a month. That’s $540 a year difference! Very significant.
You don’t have to go totally crazy and become one of those “Extreme Couponers” with their binders of coupons and massive “stockpiles.” You can merely engage in couponing in moderation and save money. But only clip coupons for things your family will actually use and/or needs. In my neck of the woods, I sometimes shop at Safeway and use their website and take advantage of their Just for U digital coupons and special offers. Sometimes store will even offer free things. Recently we were given a clamshell of tiny tomatoes and a box of crackers, and really, who doesn’t love free stuff?
Check Your Gas, Electrical and Car Usage
As winter approaches, most of us will be turning on our heaters. And since it will be getting darker earlier, we’ll be using more electricity to keep our homes lit. With that there will be many of us who forget to turn off the lights when we leave home or exit a room, and times when keep the heat on even when no one is in the house. It’s a little thing, but you can really cut down on your gas and electric bills if you keep an eye on things. As for car usage, to save a little cash, I walk when I can. Not only do I save money on gas, but also on parking meters, which cost about $3.50 per hour where I live. Plus, I get some good exercise in by walking.
Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse
You can save a whole lot of money by recycling, reclaiming and reusing items. Instead of buying brand new furniture, or a new car, or even brand new clothes, go to your local resale shop, eBay or Craigslist and buy your goods in used condition, at a far cheaper price.
There are a whole lot of little ways you can save money with a little creativity. For example, instead of buying gift wrap, you can use simple white paper and have your kids color on them with cute drawings. Instead of buying greeting cards, make them. Instead of buying your lunch out, make something at home. Instead of buying Halloween decorations, craft them yourself. Yes, with a little ingenuity, you can save a whole lot of money.
Do you have any ways you and your family save money?