Many families and singles alike have found themselves in a position where the income doesn’t add up to the monthly expenses. Often, it happens without you even noticing, that is until you receive a bill and your account shows you don’t have enough to pay it. Taking on a mortgage and then adding a car payment along with a few credit cards can tighten the strings on any budget. There are several ways, however, to reduce your expenses and save your good credit score range without giving up on your quality of life.
The first order of business is to write down everything you need to spend in the month. List your house bills, loans, credit cards, estimated food, gas and other essentials. Once you have this list you can begin the process of examining each bill. Unbelievably most people can come up with a savings of a couple hundred a month from the house bills alone.
For instance, your cable bill, do you need all the extra channels, probably not. Contact the cable company and express your desire to reduce your monthly bill. Most times, you’ll find that they are more than happy to save you a few dollars rather than lose your business completely. Next, move onto your credit cards. If you have more than 2-3 in your wallet consider closing the rest. If you only have a couple and your credit score is still intact, you can call them to try to reduce the interest rate. You can also save money on your utilities with simple adjustments such as switching to energy-saving light bulbs, turning lights out when not in use and by lowering the heat at night before you go to bed.
When is the last time you examined the cost of your weekly food shopping trips? This is another area that you can reduce the expense by making minor changes. First, always make a list before heading out and then stick to it. Your local supermarket is in business to get you to spend more. They often set up a few displays with attractive signs that get you to buy more than you normally would. If you have your list and stick to it, you won’t be as tempted to take the bait. Along with your list, bring coupons. You can use many online sites but be sure to print only the ones that apply to your list.
The only way a household budget really works is if you are willing to stay the course. Understanding the difference between needs and wants goes a long way to helping you achieve success. For instance, a big-ticket item, like a television, is a want. This is something that you should never purchase on a credit card, but rather from saved monies. Doing it this way you benefit in multiple ways. First, you won’t receive a bill with interest and second, you’ll have the self-satisfaction of knowing you saved to purchase. When you change to this practice, you are more likely to buy savvy and take care that it is something you really want.