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03.04.2020 / Budgeting « Back to all articles

How to Cut Back on These 5 Common Items in Your Budget
Budgets - Charts and Graphs with Calculator

 

Most people have a budget of some kind.  Some may have a bigger budget than others, but almost everyone is tied to a monthly spending cap.  Even for someone who has taken the time to make a budget, there are still more ways to “trim the fat.”  There are some common items in almost every budget that can be trimmed, leaving even more money left over at the end of the month.

 

Eating Out

In recent years, eating out has become a part of life.  With hectic schedules, eating out seems to be a popular solution to the issue of time.  However, eating out can often cost 4 or 5 times more than if that same meal was made at home.  When factoring in tips, parking, and taxes, when a family of 4 eats out even twice per week, the amount can add up quickly.

Instead, try making pre-planned meals, such as preparing several servings of the family’s favorite crock pot dish and placing it into the freezer.  When a hectic day is on the schedule, throw that meal into the pot in the morning and there will be a warm dinner waiting for the family when they get home. 

 

Monthly & Annual Subscriptions

Monthly subscriptions, such as Netflix, YouTube Red, or any movie channel are usually pretty inexpensive. However, the problem arises when there are several subscriptions because they tend to add up.  Make sure that even the single-digit amounts are accounted for in the budget. 

While looking for these sneaky monthly amounts, look into annual payments, as well.  This may involve a little time reviewing past bank statements to find them all, but if car insurance or TV subscriptions are billed annually, prepare for it rather than be slammed with a surprise larger bill all at once.

 

Clothing, Haircuts & More

Self-care and grooming may not take a huge amount out of the budget every month, but when a haircut, some new shoes, and the need to replace all the empty shampoo bottles falls on the same month, it can add up quickly. 

Budget a certain amount for clothing each month that can roll over into the next month so that you can plan around what you have rather than impulse buying.  Instead of shopping at expensive department stores, look for name brand items at consignment shops.   

If you have not included soap, perfume, deodorant and the like in the grocery budget, perhaps you need to add another line item to the budget.  Items such as shampoo, toilet paper, and paper towels can be expensive to purchase, so try buying them in bulk after budgeting for them.

 

Car Maintenance

Car bills are arguably one of the most inconvenient bills to pay, but they are non-negotiable and expensive.  Set aside a little savings each month for maintenance and you’ll be prepared when the alternator goes out or a new set of tires needs to be purchased.  But, gas is not included in car maintenance and should be included in the monthly budget.

 

Gifts

Gifts are rarely included in anyone’s budget, but birthdays and anniversaries and other miscellaneous holidays come every month.  Setting a fixed amount aside allows you to keep the costs under control – and will help you remember special birthdays.  Gifts do not need to be an extravagant amount, but it will let you plan properly and not overspend when these occasions arise.

Even when the budget is created, printed and color-coded, the balance at the end of the pay period is never exactly what it ought to be.  Numbers don’t lie, but just remember unexpected price increases or expenses will always make a budget flexible.  Be willing to put some savings aside for those times when the budget flexes more than expected.

 

09.21.2020 / Borrowing

Requesting Payment Extensions Amid COVID-19
The 2020 pandemic has made even people who have never missed a bill payment start to wonder how to make ends meet. As…

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03.04.2020 / Budgeting « Back to all articles

How to Cut Back on These 5 Common Items in Your Budget
Budgets - Charts and Graphs with Calculator

 

Most people have a budget of some kind.  Some may have a bigger budget than others, but almost everyone is tied to a monthly spending cap.  Even for someone who has taken the time to make a budget, there are still more ways to “trim the fat.”  There are some common items in almost every budget that can be trimmed, leaving even more money left over at the end of the month.

 

Eating Out

In recent years, eating out has become a part of life.  With hectic schedules, eating out seems to be a popular solution to the issue of time.  However, eating out can often cost 4 or 5 times more than if that same meal was made at home.  When factoring in tips, parking, and taxes, when a family of 4 eats out even twice per week, the amount can add up quickly.

Instead, try making pre-planned meals, such as preparing several servings of the family’s favorite crock pot dish and placing it into the freezer.  When a hectic day is on the schedule, throw that meal into the pot in the morning and there will be a warm dinner waiting for the family when they get home. 

 

Monthly & Annual Subscriptions

Monthly subscriptions, such as Netflix, YouTube Red, or any movie channel are usually pretty inexpensive. However, the problem arises when there are several subscriptions because they tend to add up.  Make sure that even the single-digit amounts are accounted for in the budget. 

While looking for these sneaky monthly amounts, look into annual payments, as well.  This may involve a little time reviewing past bank statements to find them all, but if car insurance or TV subscriptions are billed annually, prepare for it rather than be slammed with a surprise larger bill all at once.

 

Clothing, Haircuts & More

Self-care and grooming may not take a huge amount out of the budget every month, but when a haircut, some new shoes, and the need to replace all the empty shampoo bottles falls on the same month, it can add up quickly. 

Budget a certain amount for clothing each month that can roll over into the next month so that you can plan around what you have rather than impulse buying.  Instead of shopping at expensive department stores, look for name brand items at consignment shops.   

If you have not included soap, perfume, deodorant and the like in the grocery budget, perhaps you need to add another line item to the budget.  Items such as shampoo, toilet paper, and paper towels can be expensive to purchase, so try buying them in bulk after budgeting for them.

 

Car Maintenance

Car bills are arguably one of the most inconvenient bills to pay, but they are non-negotiable and expensive.  Set aside a little savings each month for maintenance and you’ll be prepared when the alternator goes out or a new set of tires needs to be purchased.  But, gas is not included in car maintenance and should be included in the monthly budget.

 

Gifts

Gifts are rarely included in anyone’s budget, but birthdays and anniversaries and other miscellaneous holidays come every month.  Setting a fixed amount aside allows you to keep the costs under control – and will help you remember special birthdays.  Gifts do not need to be an extravagant amount, but it will let you plan properly and not overspend when these occasions arise.

Even when the budget is created, printed and color-coded, the balance at the end of the pay period is never exactly what it ought to be.  Numbers don’t lie, but just remember unexpected price increases or expenses will always make a budget flexible.  Be willing to put some savings aside for those times when the budget flexes more than expected.

 

Need a
Loan?

Loans from $120 to $15,000. Get funded as soon as today!

09.21.2020 / Borrowing

Requesting Payment Extensions Amid COVID-19
The 2020 pandemic has made even people who have never missed a bill payment start to wonder how to make ends meet. As…