Let’s face it, none of us are made of money, and these are hard times, with the unemployment rate still way up. Most of us would love to slash our monthly budgets, but it’s hard to know how to go about it. Here are some ideas that will help you not just reduce your household budget but cut it in half.
You have to be willing to make some sacrifices, but it really is possible to lower your monthly bills by that much, as long as you don’t have any unanticipated costs coming up, like surgery or stays at alcohol rehab treatment centers.
Cut the Cords
A fast way to save money is to eliminate your cable and high-speed internet subscriptions. This may sound like an extreme measure – after all, who doesn’t like kicking back by watching the latest episode of Scandal on TV with your laptop open to Facebook? But the truth is that you don’t really need either anymore.
You can watch virtually any show, sometimes on a short or long delay, via network web sites or streaming services. Or catch up on a full season on DVD. And these days, smartphones have made desktop computers obsolete. If you need internet service for your laptop, pop down to the local coffee shop or grocery store; it’s available for free just about everywhere these days.
Slash Your Grocery Bills
First, ask yourself if you’re actually following a budget. In most cases the answer is no, and that can be a real problem. If you’re not planning out exactly what you’re going to spend at the store each week, you’re wasting money. You need a list that you don’t deviate from.
Cut coupons for everything on your list. Hit up the internet to find store deals and coupons for the brands you shop for most frequently. Don’t buy anything at full price, and don’t buy anything that you don’t absolutely need.
Eat more meatless meals; it’s cheaper to cook with beans and rice than it is with meat and potatoes. And don’t be afraid to buy off-brand. It’s almost always cheaper, and you’ll never notice the difference in taste.
Examine Your Insurance Policies
Have you ever considered raising your deductible to get a lower rate? You’ll pay less out of pocket, though you’re gambling that you won’t need to call that insurance policy into action, which can be nerve-wracking.
Be honest with your agent and say you’re checking out prices elsewhere. That could lead her to offer you a discounted rate to keep your business. And try to wring out every money-saving possibility, such as lower auto insurance because you work at home without a daily commute.