How much income would you like to earn per month? What kind of lifestyle would you like to live? This article will cover, How To Cut Spending and Boost Income.
These questions are important because they help you decide where to focus your time and energy.
When your monthly expenses are greater than your income, you must rein in your spending and stop using your credit cards. The same is true if you’re just barely getting by each month if you’re paying only the minimum due on your credit cards, or if you have little or nothing in savings.
Finding ways to increase income may also be essential, especially if you’ve cut your budget to the bare bones and you’re still sliding backward, just treading water, or paying for every unexpected expense with a credit card. You may also want to consider working at another job or working more hours at your current job.
How To Cut Spending and Boost Income
Although every idea in this probably doesn’t apply to you, the advice offered here may help trigger other ideas that do make sense for your particular situation.
The following sections offer a treasure trove of ideas for spending less, organized by the category of everyday expenses: housing, utilities, food, transportation, and so on. Some of the ideas are small and simple but yield big benefits over time, especially when done in combination with other money-saving suggestions.
Don’t reject any cost-cutting ideas right off the bat, even if implementing them means major changes in your lifestyle and a lot of sacrifices. Be open to anything and everything; try to focus less on what you’re giving up and more on where spending less will help get you in the end.
Looking for good deals
Although you should always try to buy things when they’re on sale, you shouldn’t buy an item just because it’s discounted. Instead, make purchases based on whether you truly need an item. If you scan emails from your favorite stores looking for good deals, you’re bound to be tempted to buy things you don’t really
need. Keep this in mind: That item that looks like such a good deal today may get marked down even more in a week or two.
If you can’t resist a sale, you may have a spending problem.
Spending less on your housing
Housing is probably the single biggest item in your budget, especially if you are a homeowner and take into account the cost of maintenance, repairs, insurance, and taxes. You can rein in your housing costs in many ways.
- If you’re close to the end of your lease, find a cheaper place to live. If you’ve got time left on your lease, read your lease agreement to find out how much it costs to break it so you can move out early
- Move in with your parents or other relatives while you work on improving your finances.
- Look into mortgage refinancing to lower your monthly payments
- Rent out an extra room in your home
- Lease your home to someone else and move into cheaper digs
Lowering your utility bills
The cost of heating and cooling a home always seems to go up, Consider these suggestions for bringing
down these costs:
- Ask whether your local utility company offers free energy audits
- Find out whether your utility offers an energy-saving program
- Make your home more energy efficient
Eating for less
One of the easiest expenses to reduce is the amount you spend on food. Reducing your grocery bill may mean eating more homemade foods and fewer prepackaged items, which have some added bonuses: You’ll be eating healthier, and you’ll probably shed a pound or two!
- Minimize your trips to the grocery store
- Minimize your use of prepared foods and convenience items
- Purchase groceries at warehouse stores, discount houses, and buying clubs
- Reserve dining out for weekends
Paying less for transportation
After the cost of housing, the cost of getting from place to place may be your second-biggest monthly expense. You may already have found ways to trim your transportation budget since the cost of a tank of gas has been rising.
- Use public transportation, ride your bike, walk, or carpool to work
- Pump your own gas and wash your own car
- Find a reliable mechanic who won’t charge you an arm and a leg every time you bring your vehicle to the repair shop
Having fun for less
Reducing your budget doesn’t mean that you and your family have to eliminate fun from your lives. It means cutting out the frills and taking time to find affordable ways to have a good time.
- Curl up with a good book. Use your public library instead of buying books, or swap books with your friends
- Commune with nature. Go for a hike, ride your bike, have a picnic in the park, or go fishing
- Take advantage of free events in your community
Looking good for less
When you’re rolling in dough, you can afford to spend a bundle on salons, spas, personal trainers, and so on. Those are all luxuries you can’t afford right now.
- Eliminate expensive cosmetics
- Minimize your use of dry cleaning, and wash and iron your own shirts, blouses, and pants
- If you belong to a health club and your membership is about to expire, find a less-expensive alternative
Dressing for less
With a little planning and ingenuity, you and the rest of your family members can look like fashion plates without paying top dollar. The key is to plan ahead, eliminate impulse buying, and maybe rethink where you shop.
- Shop only when you truly need clothes, not for fun or out of boredom
- Check out thrift shops, nearly-new stores, and yard sales
- Buy on sale whenever possible, and shop at discount stores
What happens when you cut spending?
Cutting your budget can speed up the completion of other financial objectives. Extra money in your budget can make a significant impact when saving for a vacation, paying for a down payment on a home, or beginning to invest.
Ways to cut spending
Check if you’re leaking money via unused subscriptions & payments
1. Stop spending so much on food
2. Minimize the use of a credit card
3. Avoid temptation – don’t go shopping frequently
4. Take a packed lunch to work
5. Stop wasting food
Ways to increase income
1. Let your friends know you’re in the market for a better-paying job
2. Visit job search websites
2. Read the employment listings in your local newspapers
4. Attend job fairs
5. Considering freelancing
How to save money on a low income fast?
Consider taking action on the tips that stand out below:
1. Build a budget that works for you
2. Lower your housing costs
3. Eliminate your debt
4. Be more mindful about food spending
5. Automate your savings goals
6. Find free or affordable entertainment
7. Go to the library
8. Try the cash envelope method
Reducing your phone costs
Over the past decade or so, the amount of money you spend to stay in touch has probably increased. Cell phones are ubiquitous, and phone companies offer a plethora of extras that are nice but unnecessary. Therefore, reducing the amount you spend on your phone service each month may not be much of a challenge, and those reductions should have little or no real impact on your lifestyle.
- Shop around for the best deal on phone service
- Make sure your calling plan matches the way you use your phone
- Consider a family plan for your cell phone service if multiple people in your household have wireless phones
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Also, read: Improve Your Relationship With Money