Money and a Plan Make for Money in the Bank

18
April

In today’s tough economic climate, penny pinching has taken on a whole new meaning. Most people are monitoring every nickel and dime spent while making their dollar stretch as far as possible. Tough times call for tough measures and getting down to the basics of budgeting may be the bottom line for saving money.

First, a budget needs to be created or updated. Monthly expenses should be analyzed to create a budget that fits the individual’s needs. Begin with utilities, rent/mortgage payments, and any other pre-determined expenditures. After adding up these costs, factor in money for gas/public transportation and food (including groceries and dining out). Determine how much money is left once these necessities have been paid and decide what luxuries are top priority. Allow a designated amount for luxury items that are nearly necessities themselves and put the rest in the bank. If monthly income does not allow for luxuries or money to save, the budget should be revisited.

Some bills cannot be adjusted, but many can. For starters, lower the thermostat when leaving the house or going to bed. A five degree change in temperature can lead to more change in the bank. Refinancing that mortgage may be another area to consider. Utilities that do not necessarily fall into the necessity bracket, such as cable/satellite service, should be evaluated. Often one phone call can lower the monthly bill from the service provider. Unplugging charging devices for items such as cell phones can reduce monthly utility costs as well as washing clothes in cold water instead of hot. Even a difference of $12 a month adds up to a $144 savings a year. Small changes quickly add up to big benefits.

Food should not break the budget either. Limiting the amount of dining out can considerably lower the amount of money needed for food consumption. Eating at home can be better for overall health as well. Shopping for groceries every two weeks, instead of every week, can extend the dollar as the more often the store is frequented, the more likely the consumer is to make a purchase. Not only will the total purchase be cheaper, but less money for gas will be needed since two less trips to the store will be made each month.

Clipping coupons is another great way to keep more money where it belongs. Coupons can be found in newspapers and online. Registering at a site like coupons.com allows members to access special coupons each month, which can be conveniently printed from home and used on the next shopping trip. Utilizing the coupons with weekly specials can significantly decrease final price and maximize savings at checkout. Be careful with coupons, as some fall into the trap of making an unnecessary purchase simply because there is a coupon for the product. Only purchase items already on the shopping list. Plan ahead too.

Keep track of regularly purchased items and their prices. Track these prices over a three month period and only purchase when they are at their rock bottom price. At the rock bottom price, stock up and see an even greater savings in the long run.

Some people may not realize how much money is wasted from each pay check. Realizing this may extend the life of each dollar earned and enhance the brain’s ability to save money. While outside factors often control how much money is coming in, inside factors have the final say of how much money is going out. The key to saving money is through smart spending. Knowing how much money is coming in, how much is going out and most importantly where it is going are essentials of a financially sound mind.

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

Email  • Google + • Twitter

Comments are closed.