One of my fans asked where they could cut back in the budget to save more money as they weren’t putting any emergency savings money away. This actually got me thinking about our budget. What if I had to cut money in our budget and what were the first categories I would look at.
Clearly we can’t make any changes to the “Fixed Costs” in the budget. Fixed costs are costs that are the same each payment. So the only other option is to look at the “Variable Costs” and see where we could make adjustments. Sometimes the top reasons people go into debt are simply because they are not budgeting and not being mindful of where their money is being spent.
This task perhaps may be overwhelming for some yet we continue to get overrun with excuses and reasons why they simply can’t do it. They justify each expense and then give up working towards their goal of saving or paying down debt. You have to be motivated and willing to go without sometimes to reach a goal.
Jen Peacock a Facebook Fan says “Makes me angry and then I usually give up, I need motivation!”
Well I’m there (Mr.CBB) to test,to guide,to get them thinking and to have them attack their finances like they would if I handed them one of my chocolate fudgy brownies.
In most cases no one is going to light a fire under your arse so you need to take the reigns and make these changes. There are always other alternatives, sometimes free alternatives if you take a close look. Even your neighbours might benefit your budget keep an eye out for the handy man up the street.
I came up with the following ways I would cut back on our budget to save money:
- Groceries- I had to visit this category in 2012 as we were spending upwards of $500 a month for 2 people. We were using coupons and stockpiling but at the same time spending far more than we needed to. You have to ask yourself when enough is enough because even if you are getting good deals you may be spending more than you will ever need.
- I think we have around 100 Jugs of laundry soap. Do we really need any more? Or enough bars of soap to last a life time. Taxes add up, so if you don’t need anymore- Don’t BUY it! Simple.
- Cable/Internet/Cell/Home Phone– I examined our internet usage and realized we didn’t need the high-speed package as we simply weren’t using what we were paying for. You can bartar with your communications company to lower your bill or simply cancel if it’s too much for your budget. You will survive, and this is a big area where people spend a chunk of money each year. We spend around $2000 and that’s with the best deals I could negotiate.
- Like one of our readers JoAnne M. Hurst says, “I cancelled cable tv in September, I don’t have a cell phone and never have. I watch movies and tv shows through my computer.
- Clothes- This was an easy one for me as you can simply go to second-hand shops like Value Village or search Kijiji or better still Freecycle. There are many people willing to work together on freecycle to help each other out. You would be amazed at how much money you can save in the budget by being thrifty.
- Pay Down Debt- The easiest way to free up money is to get rid of your debts as soon as possible. Once you rid of them you now have more money to divide to other categories. In most cases people are trimming their budget simply to pay off this debt. If you are not then you are costing yourself more money in interest by not vesting an interest in this category whilst trimming others.
- Bring a Lunch to School or Work- If I was the type of person that ate out for lunch everyday and picked up a Cafe Mocha in the mornings I would stop this. Although I don’t do this many people tend to overlook the small stuff. This cost adds up.
- One Facebook Fan Lisa Stockwell says “We figured out in 1 week (7 days) we spent over $40 just at Timmies! That’s disgusting! You do the math… yep, that’s over $2k a year wasted on coffee!
I also coupon as much as I can and hunt for freebies online. Tonight I found out how to get my son the new glasses he needs… for only the cost of SHIPPING! I saved myself about $80!
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