11 Easy Ways to Cut Your Spending Without Feeling It
by Scott Bilker
clear from the
DebtSmart Survey Results: Cutting Spending vs. More Income that most people believe that cutting
spending is the faster way to reduce debt. Of course, this is certainly
true to some extent. My position is that there are three main points
to be addressed when reducing debt, specifically: (1) Getting
organized financially; (2) Becoming more efficient with your current
debt and spending; (3) Generating more income.
As for number (1), getting organized financially,
means knowing how much you spend and where you spend it. Try writing down
all your expenses for the month. Everything from your mortgage payment to that
soda you bought at the gas station. This will help you see your spending
habits, and will help you to implement the changes you need. Furthermore,
you may want to document your finances
finance software or an Excel spreadsheet. Keeping track of your spending can
motivate you to save and use your money in smarter ways.
Here are some suggestions to expand on number (2), specifically
as it applies to spending.
1) SHOP ONLINE
If you have to make a
large purchase; for example, computer, water heater, etc. ALWAYS
check out prices online. Don't be tempted to get it at the local
store without taking a look at competing prices.
Always stay on the lookout
to get future gifts at today's discounts. Half-price or clearance
sales run year round. If
you see a good sale on say, leather wallets, and there are people on
your list who could use one, pick up a few as gifts.
High quality gift, low cost. Store the items in a gift-bin, keep
track of what's in there, and before you know it, you'll have all
the holiday/birthday gifts you need.
3) AUTO REPAIRS
If you need a new
part for your car, check out the availability of that part at the
local junkyard. I have repaired many vehicles with
"pre-owned" parts with great success!
4) LEAKY FAUCET
If you have a
leaking hot water faucet, be sure to fix this immediately! It's truly
money going down the drain. Not because of the water that's being
wasted, but because of the cost to heat that water.
5) BALANCE YOUR ACCOUNTS
balance your checking account. This simple, okay, maybe not so
simple, exercise is worth your time to ensure that you don't
accidentally bounce any checks. Bounced check fees can cost
around $35, not to mention potential late fees, etc.
6) CLOTHING NETWORK
If you have young
children, then you know how quickly they grow out of their clothes. We always
pass our children's clothing to our friends whose kids are just a
little younger. We also have friends that give us their kids'
clothes. This works so well!
7) INTERNET AUCTIONS
Buy stuff at
eBay.com! You can save so much money, it's incredible. I just
purchased a cordless phone, with caller ID (hands-free phone), for
only $35 with shipping included. This phone would cost $100 at the
If you want to see a
movie, do it during the day. Movies are so expensive! Even the
matinee price is getting up there, but it's a big savings! It's also
much less crowded.
9) HUNGRY SHOPPER
Always be sure to
eat before going grocery shopping. I'm sure you know what I
When people think of a
vacation, they think of a far away tropical island. This of course
means air fare, cruise fare, hotel accommodations, etc. But have you
explored all the sites in your vicinity? There maybe a lot to do and
see all within a 2-4 hour's drive from your home. Stay a night at a
Bed and Breakfast, cabin/cottage, or even a campground. Then drive
to the next attraction. Why pay thousands when there may be something great to do
just a few hours away? See my article, My
family vacation for $32 per person, per day!
PACK A LUNCH
Maybe not every day, but at least a few times a week.
It may take a little more time in the morning, but with lunches
ranging from $5-10 a pop, you'll save a lot and probably eat