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Adjusting Your Budget for Life Changes

By Jacques | DEBT FREE LIVING

 

Today more than ever people are trying to find ways to cut back and trim their expenses. Whether you are expecting a new addition to the family or expecting to retire in the coming months, the hardest part about adjusting is often changing your habits. Because we are creatures of habit it may take some getting used to, but once accomplished the rewards are endless.

If you are into the “quick fix” you need look no further than your refrigerator, as by using its contents more you can save yourself a bundle almost immediately. First, bring your lunch to work. Too many of us are in the habit of grabbing something at the local outlet versus making a sandwich or bringing some soup for lunch. While this in itself is keeping the local businesses running, your pocket book is suffering. You may also want to enjoy more meals at home. While a meal out once in a while is not harmful, eating out or ordering in more than a couple of times a month can add up.

Approach your food shopping as if it was a game. See how much money you can save. Set aside an amount ample for the supplies needed and then see how far under you can achieve. Get that Sunday paper, clip those coupons and do check the stores and the sales that are going on. There is a lot of competition going on right now – use it to your advantage.

The most important thing to remember before heading out is to compile a list of the items needed and stick to the list. More often than not, if you go out without a direction you are likely to pick up items that you could have done without. Also try and plan your meals ahead as this will reduce waste. Whatever you spend under your allotted amount, put in a jar and save it until you have saved enough for the item you wanted. This way it is not coming out of any other money.

Utilities are another example of places where money can be saved. It’s easily achieved by simply turning off lights when not in use, using the dishwasher once it is full, lowering the thermostat, or buying a programmable one. Programmable thermostats allow for regulation of your thermostat and lower bills. The same can be said for air conditioning. Using these tips will help to lower your utilities over the year.

Another way to save is to reduce your cable and cell phone bill. It seems like there are endless channels available on cable today. However, most premium channels replay the same movies so look into your current package to see what can be removed. As far as cell phones go, if you have minutes left over each month, chances are pretty good that you are over paying.

Cutting back requires a lot of determination and sheer will. Adjusting our habits is not always easy, but when approaching a life change, it may be necessary.

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