The beginning of the year marks a time in which many people are looking to shrink their budget. They want to save more, spend less and find a way to save on existing expenses. Many people want to shrink their grocery budget so they coupon. They want to shrink their gas budget, so they buy a more fuel efficient car. There are plenty of options available to you when it’s time to shrink your budget. Here are three you might not have considered.
Realistically, you’re probably paying entirely too much for your cell phone plan. Check out your past 6 months worth of bills and see if you’re overpaying. For example, you might pay $20 per month for unlimited text messages, yet you only use 500 a month, which is included free in your base plan. Your base plan might be too much for your needs as well, which means you can save even more. Eliminate what you don’t need to shrink your budget.
Instead of financing a vehicle and paying hundreds of dollars each month to drive it, consider paying cash. If you can’t afford to pay cash and get away without any car payments at the moment, look for more affordable used vehicles that are two or three years old to save on your monthly payment. Additionally, place a big down payment on the vehicle to save further and continue to save for a few years until the vehicle is paid off and you can trade it in toward a newer car, using cash to pay for the rest of it. You’ll be able to do this from that point forward, saving significantly on vehicle costs.
Your utility budget probably changes drastically throughout the year. For example, here in Florida our electric bill alone is almost $100 per month less expensive in the winter months. Why? Because the days are lovely and we don’t use our air or heat. We open windows when the temperatures are great. Other ways you can save on your utilities include turning the thermostat up during the summer and down during the winter. Use the windows when it’s possible and unplug your appliances that aren’t in use – especially when you travel.
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