Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Personal Finance: Tightening Your Belt

With the recession drawing itself out and no sign of a full recovery insight, individuals everywhere are finding themselves in a position where they need to cut personal spending. Perhaps you were laid off from your job, and are currently unemployed. Maybe your investments in the stock market have been losing money. Or it’s possible that you have a job and healthy investments, but that neither is returning as much as they used to.

In this sense, for whatever reason, it is important for many of us to cut spending. While it usually isn’t too difficult to forgo the purchase of an expensive car for a cheaper one, or to trade the planned vacation to Guam in exchange for a road trip, it’s more challenging to cut expenses that we already have and are used to. Here are a few ideas of things to cut:

Your Cell Phone Bill
Do you really need to own the hottest new phone with an unlimited data plan? For most of us, the answer is a pretty definitive “no.” Instead of being weighed down by expensive contracts, then you may be better served buying a Prepaid Cell Phone. Less flashy,certainly, but it definitely provide excellent service and a savings as well.

Your Transportation Costs
If you’re like most Americans, you spend over $100 per month filling up your tank with gas. When factoring in the cost of other repairs and maintenance, then a car becomes even more expensive. Unless we live in a big city it’s hard for many of us to completely trash the car, but we can still cut down on its use by walking and taking public transportation whenever possible. And, when it’s nice outside, your body and your budget will probably thank you in the long run for investing in a bike.

Your Food Costs
Many people eat out at restaurants and fast food establishments largely outof convenience. We don’t know what to make for dinner or we didn’t pack anything for lunch, so we find ourselves heading over to the near estestablishment and paying $10 for something we could have made for $3 at home. The solution to this issue: adequate planning. Before making a shopping trip, plan out all your meals for the next couple weeks, and then buy food accordingly. It’s a bit of a hassle upfront, but you’ll find that the added discipline iswell worth it in the long run.

These are just few ideas of how to get started cutting your budget. It’simportant to realize that cuts can come in nearly every facet of your life. All it takes is a realization of a potential cut – and a willingness to carry it out – in order to start making those financially beneficial lifestyle changes.

This is a guest post.


Felicia said...

Love the advice. We used to eat out A LOT and then realized how much it was actually costing us. Scary!

We have scaled back a lot in that area and it has helped tremendously.

Mom Fashion World said...

Thanks for the advice, Mommy!
Can't you believe, it's been a year na wala akong cellphone?! I had been paying $50/month at di ko naman nagagamit so I decided not to have a phone. Di ko naman kailangan kasi may landline kami. I am using my iPod touch and connect it to wifi. II'm praying lang na pag nagbyahe ako lalo na sa gabi, wag naman ako masiraan ng kotse, kundi patay ako.



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