Let’s face it; a large number of human beings simply can’t go without their daily (or occasional) latte. But your afternoon cuppa is often the first line item on your list of budget cuts.
When sharpening that budget ax, individuals and families may go straight for the little things, such as newspaper and magazine subscriptions or movie tickets. What would be the result of cutting, or reducing, larger expenses? Could they rescue their favorite cup of joe or the Sunday newspaper? Focusing on reducing the largest expenses could do just that.
1. Consider Downgrading
For many, a large chunk of income goes into owning and maintaining a home. Consider selling the house, if possible, and moving into smaller and less expensive accommodations, such as a condominium or apartment. Not only can this save some money, but think of all the free time associated with no yard to mow and no emergency repairs to make.
2. Revisit Banking and Credit Costs
Negotiate bank fees with your current bank or start shopping around to find checking and savings products with no fees. Call each credit card company and ask about reduced interest rates.
3. Utility Check
Consumers spend a lot of money on utilities, including electric and telephone. Tackle the largest expense first, often the electric bill, and begin to look for ways to reduce the expense. Often, utility companies will offer customers home energy audits to identify ways to cut back. Take advantage of these programs to save as much as $100 a year. Negotiate rates with telephone companies and consider bundling services, such as home phone, internet and cable TV, if it saves money.
4. Other Money Saving Tips
Investigate the largest expenses, such as food and clothing, and begin to make changes to the purchasing habits surrounding them. Look for ways to reduce the cost of food and other essentials. Consider joining a warehouse club and seek out coupons for commonly purchased items. Take this idea and apply it to everything. Get in tune with common sale times for specific items. Stock up on winter clothing for the following season when items go on clearance at the end of the current season. Do the same for summer clothing.
Living a frugal existence doesn’t always translate into living a boring existence. No need to panic when confronted with losing that morning latte or other favorite treat. Take some initiative and make choices now that will ensure the budget remains intact, while the latte keeps flowing.
Photo credit: Gail