This post contains affiliate links.
Seems like everyone is trying to find ways to cut their expenses and try to save some money each month to stretch out their paychecks more and more. People are looking for ways to cut cost in any way possible from buying cheaper groceries, cheaper houses, cars and even shopping for cheap insurance.
Before you can find ways to cut costs, you need a bottom line on all of your income vs expenses and the best way to tabulate this is with an excel spreadsheet. Even if you use websites like Mint.com which are great, they take a lot of time to add in account numbers and they don’t factor in non-bill expenses fast enough, instead relying on trends.
- Take a spreadsheet, document all your incomes for a month
- Then document all your paper bills (student loans, credit cards, mortgage, utilities, cable, internet…etc)
- Document your flexible expenses (look at your bank statements and add up how much you spend on food/groceries the last 3 months and average it)
- Do the same for your gasoline expenses
Now you should have how much you have coming in, and how much you have going out.
If you are fortunate, then you have more money coming in than going out and this means you can put more of it toward paying down debt, or toward savings. If you are not so lucky, then you have to cut expenses.
Ways to do this involve cutting back on television services (cut out premium channels, or if you have boxes in 3 rooms, cut down to 1 or 2 rooms)
Go out to eat less and if you do, make price a factor (eg. no more than $100 per month in eating out or something like that)
Many people say sell things from the garage that you don’t need, and this supplies maybe a small one time influx of funds, this is best used to payoff a small debt or put right into savings or you might be tempted to spend it.
Good luck managing your bills folks, in this economy it is harder than ever for the average person.