Regain control of your living expenses with these tips
Cutting your living expenses is important — not just during tough economic times but at all times. Whether you need to cut costs due to job loss or to save for that future retirement, you’ll find these tips will help you save big.
1. Track your spending
Before you begin cutting your living expenses, you first have to know what they are. More money than you think ‘leaks’ out during the month. You must stop this flow by tracking your expenses and learning where, how, and why you are spending money.
To do this, keep receipts for everything… everything you buy during the month. Don’t overlook anything including the snacks you buy the kids on the way home from school to your morning latte. Keep a detailed record of every day. Cut a great deal from your average living expenses by doing this and stop the flow of frivolous spending.
2. Cut on food costs
Food is one of your largest monthly living expenses. The best way to cut costs with your food budget is by eating at home. Dinner out should become a treat. Pack lunches, skip the fast food and lunch out with your coworkers.
Make one trip and one trip only to the grocery store each week. Before you leave home, sit down, make a menu for the entire week based on what the stores have on sale. Make your shopping list, stick to it, and buy everything in one trip. Every time you make an extra trip to the grocery store, you spend extra money.
4. Cut costs at home
Your biggest expense in your home is your utility bill. Cut your utility bill and cut your living expenses. Use these tips:
— Get in the habit of turning of not only turning off your computer, but unplug it. Electronics continue to use electricity even when plugged in.
— Close off unused rooms in your home and keep doors to closets and pantries closed.
— Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes.
— Line dry clothes when possible.
— Plan baking days when you can take advantage of the preheated oven.
— Use timers to turn appliances, heating and cooling off during times when no one is at home.
5. Cut interest rates
If you’re like many people, you have credit card debt. Paying this debt off should be your top priority, but in the mean time, shop around. Check different credit card issuers and get the lowest interest rate possible. If possible, combine low interest rates with cards that also give rewards for double savings.
When times get tough, get tough right along with them. Follow these tips, and save money around the house, on your grocery bill, and with your credit card debt. It all adds up to lower living expenses.