When you review your budget and realize you are spending more money than you’re bringing in, you have two options. Your choices are to find a way to make more money or to work out a way to spend less. Although increasing your income may be not be feasible, finding some pad in your monthly expenses can be as easy as reviewing your list of expenditures and making a few adjustments.
1. Check your cable or satellite television bill.
No one is suggesting that you have to give up cable channels entirely, although dropping cable would make a huge difference in your monthly budget. Instead, consider removing a few extra services you subscribe to. Do you really need HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime? Just cutting a couple of movie channels can save you as much as $250 each year.
2. Adjust the thermostat in your home.
By allowing your home to be a couple of degrees warmer in the summer and a couple of degrees colder in the winter, you can cut some of the expensive heating and cooling costs that have been plaguing homeowners so much these past few years.
3. Review your phone bill.
There are often extra charges hiding there for services that you don’t even use. Call waiting, long distance calling plans, and caller ID service charges can really add up. In fact, many people don’t even use their regular phone line anymore and just rely on their cell phone for all their calling needs.
4. Evaluate the items you are purchasing at the grocery store.
Certainly, if your family really enjoys name-branded cereal more than generic-branded cereal, you should purchase your regular box of Frosted Flakes. You’ll probably find, however, that your family couldn’t care less about the brand of ketchup or bread that you purchase. These little savings can quickly cut your grocery bill down to a more manageable size.
Budget cuts like these are great ways to get your budget under control without feeling like you’ve deprived yourself too much. Alone, none of these little sacrifices will save your family’s finances, but together these changes will really help you find some extra cash in your monthly budget.
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