Every family is faced with the same struggle every month. How do we save more money and reduce wasteful spending? Lowering your monthly expenses each month can enhance your quality of life in a number of ways. First off, as Americans we are all faced with a very high standard of living and live by the motto of “keeping up with the Jones’s.”
The first step is to change your mindset. This is the hardest part. We are conditioned to spend spend spend! The most important first step is to change our way of being. Train yourself via your mind to believe that frugality is important and the key to a happier and more financially fruitful lifestyle. Once you have convinced yourself to change your spending habits now the technical effort can begin.
Let’s begin. Start by writing down on a piece of paper a list of your monthly net income and monthly expenses. Then, begin to assess how you can pare down those expenses. If you are paying some bills late and are being billed excess late charges then set up automatic drafts to be deducted from your checking account to eliminate those wasteful charges. Secondly, reevaluate your cell phone plan. Do you have too many minutes that you aren’t using but paying for? Call your cell phone carrier and instruct them to back test your last three months of bills to see what you can cut out. For example, international charges, phone insurance, thousands of unnecessary unlimited minutes or text messaging. Do the same with your cable bill. Reducing those featured channels to a basic plan can save you hundreds of dollars. Next, analyze your car insurance. Call your insurance provider, (if you have a good driving record), and increase your deductible to lower your premium. Signing up for an online defensive driving course can reduce your insurance bill as well. Evaluate your home owners and life insurance. Perhaps you were overcharged when you first signed up and now it is time to seek out a cheaper competitor who can still offer comparable services? Think about trying to refinance your auto loan to a lower interest rate, especially if you have a decent credit score.
Lastly, cut down on your grocery shopping list by eliminating expensive less healthy sugary products and snacks. They tend to be the most expensive items in the supermarket. Stop shopping until you drop and start saving to thrive.