Budgeting and life planning are an important part of maintaining security and financial health for the long haul. No matter where you are on your journey, it’s not too late to start managing money better. If it’s been a struggle to keep control of your spending in the past, you likely have some painful money bruises hanging around. No worries, even making small changes can have a dramatic impact on your savings, credit, and expendable income. Here are a few of my top ways to trim your monthly outgo.
Trim Your Monthly Outgo #1: Have a Goal
It could be a brand new outfit, a college education for your child or something more extravagant like a dream vacation that has you squirming to save money. No matter what it is, it’s important to keep the goal at the forefront of your finances. Also, make sure that your goals are achievable and broken down into smaller goals. Write them down, and have them on display so you are reminded of them daily. If it’s a large goal, you might also connect with a financial planner to help you create a plan.
Trim Your Monthly Outgo #2: Keep Track of Spending
The more you track your regular spending, the more control you’ll have over your budget. Knowing precisely where your money is going is an excellent way to identify where you are overspending. And, the more you understand your spending habits, the easier it is to change them. Pay attention to where you spend, and use some of the best budgeting apps to keep track of it all.
Trim Your Monthly Outgo #3: Negotiate When You Can
Not all places where you spend money will negotiate prices, but some will. From buying a house to your weekly farmer’s market shopping, there are opportunities to buy at a lower price. Even credit card and account repayments can be negotiated, especially if you have some older ones.
Also, always carefully analyze your internet and phone service provider contracts for add-on fees. Consider changing these if you can for a more cost-effective option. It behooves you to get confident with haggling and creating deals that make sense for you and the vendors you buy from.
Trim Your Monthly Outgo #4: Look for Cheaper Alternatives
Cheaper alternatives for most of what you buy are out there. I recommend prioritizing things you are willing to spend more money on. This way, you aren’t giving up your favorite brands all the time. This is where a budget helps to keep you in line. Even your monthly essentials could be costing you less money. Look at all of your bills, such as utilities, car maintenance, and food. Can you cut some corners with any or all of these things? And what about insurance? Look for online sources like Insurance Geeks that offer quotes.
Trying to change any habit can take time. Be patient with your attempts to spend less money. Do what you can and be consistent. Before you know it, you will have created a completely different money story for yourself and your family.