How did you do working getting all your money divided out into buckets? Were you able to capture every dollar you spend? Probably not, but you should be able to see where the majority of your money is going. I not a financial expert, but I would like to share some ways I have found to save money and still be able to get have a great lifestyle. Now let’s take a look at some areas where you can shave some money off your budget.
1. Impulse buying
One important thing is to stop spending money on the little impulse buys you make, such as a drink at the convenience store or fast food restaurant for a soda. How about that extra coffee you get on your way to work? If you can cut $10 out of your budget on these items a week, you will save $40 a month or $520 a year. If you really enjoy a good cup of hot coffee from that great coffee chain based in Seattle, ask for gift cards for items like this. This makes your coffee FREE and you still get to enjoy a great cup of coffee.
2. Entertainment Expenses
This depends on your family size and how often you go to some type of entertainment. Look to see if there is an alternative that is less expensive. Like going to the movies, see if there is a $1 movie or matinee in your area. You can still enjoy a movie for a much reduced cost. Evaluate all your options to see if there are also some FREE things you can do as a family. Parks are great and very inexpensive.
3. Going Out to Eat
This one is one that many people don’t realize how much they spend on eating out. This should be considered a treat. Spend your money on something worth eating, not always fast food. One way to stop getting fast food all the time is to have ready made food in your freezer or use a slow cooker. Try to make and have a few freezer meals cooked and ready in your freezer one weekend. These are great for when you are sick or just don’t feel like cooking that night, you will have something ready to go and not stop by to get some fast food before you get home. Also start something in the morning before you leave for work and let it cook all day in the slow cooker, you will have a nice warm meal when you get home. These are usually healthier options as well. You may just find being frugal will help you lose weight too!
Now start trying to implement a few of these changes this week. See if you can start cutting back on a few areas. Examine your priorities and find out where you really want your money to go. If you are in a place where a flat tire would put you into debt, stop by next week where I will discuss how to start savings and what is a good amount to have in your savings account next week. You may be surprised.