These days more than ever everyone is trying to find ways to cut back and trim their expenses. Whether you are expecting a new baby or planning to retire within the next few years, the most painful part about adjusting to your new lifestyle is often changing your spending habits. Because we are creatures of habit new spending habits may take a long time to get used to, but once you can accomplish this, the rewards are endless.
Start in the Fridge
If you want a “quick fix” you should start by looking in your refrigerator. If you use what’s in there more you can save yourself a bundle almost immediately. First, bring a lunch to work. So many of us are in the habit of grabbing something at a cafeteria or fast food joint instead of making a sandwich or bringing something from home for lunch. While this in itself is keeping the local businesses going, your wallet is suffering the most. You can also try having more meals at home. While a meal out once in a while is not too bad for your budget, eating out or ordering in more than a few times a month can add up to the tune of hundreds of dollars every month. You would be in for a big surprise if you tracked your eating out expenses for a month.
Turn It into a Game
Turn your food shopping into a game. Challenge yourself to see how much money you can save each week. Set aside a sufficient amount for the groceries needed and then see how far under this amount you can achieve. Get that newspaper, clip those coupons and check the stores and the sales that are going on. There is a lot of competition going on right now – take advantage of it. Be careful though not to waste precious gas and time running from store to store. Find the stores where you will get the biggest bang for your buck and shop at those.
Keep to the List
One of the most important things to remember before going out to the store is to have a grocery list of the items you need and stick to the list. You can so much time and money by avoiding all those isles and items you don’t need to see and be tempted by. Usually, if you go out without a plan you are likely to pick up items that you could have done without. Also try and plan your meals ahead because this will reduce waste. Whatever you spend under your allotted amount, put in a jar and save it to see how it can pile up. You might even want to save it up for a special purchase. This way it is not coming out of any other money. And make sure you don’t do your grocery shopping when you are hungry!
Reduce Your Utility Bills
Your utility bills are places where a lot of money can be saved. It can be easily achieved by simply turning off lights when you are not using them, using the dishwasher only when it is full, lowering the thermostat, or buying a programmable one. Programmable thermostats allow for regulation of the temperature in your home and can reduce your bills greatly. The same can be said for air conditioning. Using these tips will help to lower your utilities a great deal over the year.
Your TV and Cell Phone Bills
Another way to save is to reduce your TV and cell phone bills. It seems like there are endless channels available on cable today. However, most premium channels replay the same movies so look into your current package to see what can be removed. As far as cell phones go, if you have minutes left over each month, chances are pretty good that you are over paying.
Achieving Peace of Mind
Cutting back requires a lot of determination and willpower. Adjusting our spending habits is not always easy, but when approaching a life change, it may be necessary. The peace of mind and wallet you gain will be well worth it.
Household Budget Manual
Budget and Personal Finance Ebooks
Success Magazine : What Achievers Read
Books by Dave Ramsey
The Difference: How Anyone Can Prosper in Even The Toughest Times