It seems that everyone today is feeling the pinch of a tighter budget.
There’s no need to panic or feel helpless when you’re faced with less money filling your bank account.
In fact, there are some simple strategies to help you streamline your costs to fit your new lifestyle.
Know exactly where the money is going
Many people don’t have a real grasp on how much money they or their partner are contributing to the household each month.
Even fewer keep track of where they’re spending it. All those stops at the coffee shop and last-minute take out dinners add up. Find your excess, and eliminate those expenses first.
The best way to do that is by keeping some form of tracking on this. A budget is going to be the first start, even if it is just a rough version at first.
Once that is complete keeping a detailed ledger of where your money is going in each section.
After the first month, you will be able to adjust that newly formed budget and decide where you are spending in excess. You can even keep track of these expenditures on your phone with apps like Mint.com.
Assess entertainment costs
It’s important to have a good time. You work hard, and you need to blow off some steam from time to time.
But entertainment expenses that fuel your television, cable, computer, gaming systems and portable devices add up, and that is just at home.
Social entertainment bills can also have a large impact on the wallet.Think about what you use most often and what you can’t live without. You may find that you can even double-up and use one device for two or more sources of entertainment.
Stock your freezer with homemade meals
Even if you aren’t an avid home cook, you can make simple casseroles or one-dish meals to stock your freezer.
These types of meals often start with inexpensive ingredients such as pasta, and are a great way to use up vegetables that you may otherwise find yourself tossing.
Another benefit: a ready-made freezer meal will help you avoid those last-minute take out dinner costs, and they are infinitely more healthy.
Food can be a common drain for personal budgets because a minor lunch trip doesn’t seem big when you look at it daily, however, if you look at it on a monthly basis those trips to McDonald’s or the gas station is going to add up.
The good news is that with careful planning they could be completely eliminated, just by planning what you are going to eat through the week.
Cut costs wherever possible
Each bill should go under evaluation to make sure you are getting the best rates available. You can bundle internet, phone and cable with one company.
Furthermore you can find energy savings on the utility bill by using Vivint home security services.
These services create a home automation service that gives you energy-efficient thermostats that you can control from your phone. These savings will add up each month to free up your budget.
Don’t neglect regular maintenance of big-ticket items
Once you’ve made a large purchase, keep up with regular maintenance and protection plans. If you’ve just bought a new car, schedule regular tune up appointments.
When you purchase expensive items for your home, consider Vivint security to protect the valuables you’ve worked so hard to afford.
Maintaining your lifestyle on a budget can be achieved with a little planning. Best of all, you may find that you don’t miss all the “extras” that used to eat up your hard-earned savings.