It’s been awhile since I did a budgeting post but with the holidays coming I figured we all need to tighten up our spending and figure out what steps to cutting back to save money we should begin taking. In my family, we are in a season of being tight financially with my husband switching jobs, we had to buy a used car and other things coming up right now so figuring out our finances is a top priority for me.
With us having Netflix and Hulu having regular cable is no longer necessary. I’m a big tv watcher so I thought this would be real hard but with streaming it’s becoming less and less important to actually have cable. We even got a Fire Stick a few months ago and it makes it so easy to have all our streaming services connected to our TV and we can move it room to room.
find the best cell phone plan
Paying for cell phones can get really expensive. Last year we realized we were paying way too much for what we were getting and the price kept going up every few months. Ridiculous!
So we shopped around and changed providers at the beginning of this year and even after adding a third phone for our daughter we are paying a lot less than we had been with the previous company. So check out what you are paying and shop around to the other cell providers and see if you can get a better deal. It can save you a lot each month.
Monitor monthly subscriptions to things
I don’t know if I’m the only person who does this but I have this bad habit of signing up for things that have a monthly fee and not paying attention to how much those little monthly charges add up to a lot of money each month. On their own =$5 or $8 or $10 isn’t very much but many of those charges added together ends up being a lot.
So every few months or so I go through my bank statements and check out what I’m paying for monthly and decide am I really using it and do I need it. Then if I don’t I cancel it and if I do I keep it. Sometimes I do use a service but I can get a smaller plan with less in it for cheaper. Always check that stuff out and make sure you are getting your money’s worth on stuff
prioritize your spending
There needs to be a certain amount of hierarchy to your spending with some things being nonnegotiable and more important than other purchases. There are set bills that are not a choice to pay like rent, utilities, car payment, gas for your car, groceries, etc.
Other than that though there are just some purchases that are going to be more important than others and you are going to have to make having the money for those things a higher priority. I’m talking about vet appointments for or school lunch fees.
Then stuff like making sure you plan ahead in time for Christmas and Birthdays. Things that you know will be coming up but don’t happen all the time. All these things need to be the priority over spending money on opposed to the fun stuff like clothes, Target, dinners out, etc.
Related Post: 7 Tips for saving Money this Christmas
only shop with a list
We use to spend so much money on groceries. Then end up wasting a ton of the food we bought because we either didn’t really need it or we bought too much. Once I started making a list and using it not just when I go to the grocery store but also at places like Target. I started only getting what I needed.
I use to buy a lot on impulse and not really have any plan for what I was buying. So now I come up with the meals I want to make that week and create a list of what I need. I don’t always stick to that plan perfectly but I do a pretty good job and it really helps.
Stop and think before you spend
How often do you buy something on impulse? I bet it is pretty often if you are like most people. That is why we all have too much stuff. We toss things in our carts or order something online without really thinking it through. Do we need this? Where will it go? Will I love it or will end up as clutter?
As I spend this year learning how to get better at getting rid of things I have become even more aware of how much junk we end up buying. So I’ve made a big effort to buy things less impulsively for myself and my family. Really thinking through purchases and asking for things we need as gifts instead of just wants.
Doing this has helped us spend a lot less money. We basically stopped those big shopping trips to Target and now go with our list and mostly just get what we need. I make no claims to being perfect and we overspend now and then but if you compare this year to previous years we are doing much better.
be open to others about what you are doing .
If you find it too hard to cut back these money wasters on your own, I get it I struggle with being responsible with money a lot. Especially when times are a little better and you start thinking to yourself oh I can afford it.
That’s when it really helps to share with others that your cutting back to save money for the future or to pay off debt. People will understand, the people who care about you want you to succeed and do well in life so let them know that you can’t do as many events out and that you won’t be shopping as much.
You only have to go into as many details as your comfortable sharing with certain people. I think we get uncomfortable talking about money and sharing our struggles. We shouldn’t though because we all have them. We all struggle with different things. If money is your struggle know that I understand and am going through a rough patch with money so I get it and no judgements from me.
I want to know what ways you’ve tried cutting back to save money. What do you wish you knew more about when it comes to money and budgeting. I’m working hard on my own budget and it’s giving me plenty of post ideas but I want to know what my readers want. So leave a comment and let me know.