The recession has made getting raises or better-paying jobs very difficult. However, reducing your debt is a priority. Nowadays, the easiest way to get extra money for bills is to steal a little away from your neglectful financial habits. Interestingly enough, this method is effective for even the most money strapped individuals. Personal spending cuts require intense examination, financial planning and sacrifice, but with the goals of reducing debt and financial freedom in front of you, it’s worth it.
Before you do anything else
Track all expenses- First; you need to know how much money you are wasting and where. Be exact when you practice this financial habit. Save every receipt, regardless of size and record it in a spreadsheet. Seeing where your money is going will motivate you alone to save.
Cutting back on Food
Pack a lunch- The temptation is always great to go to one of those trendy lunch spots. Subway and McDonald’s are fast and easy, but be disciplined with your budget in terms of eating out. Packing lunches with food you buy at the grocery store is a great financial habit to practice and can save you a lot of money each month.
Skip the Starbucks or the Dunkin Donuts- Coffee is even easier to purchase daily than lunch, but it can cost between $2.00-5.00 per day. Investing this money in coffee mug instead, and brewing your own coffee at home, is a financial habit that can save more money than you’d ever image.
Use a daily discount program- If you must go out for lunch or dinner; use a discount program like, Groupon or LivingSocial. These programs give 50 percent off discounts at tons of great places. Also, once a week, you can purchase $25.00 gift certificates from Restaurant.com for $3.00, what a great financial saver on the things you like to do.
A more cost-effective way to entertain
Dinner and drinks at home- Get into the financial habit of planning nights in rather than nights out. Get together with friends or your significant other and hit the grocery store to save money on food at a restaurant. You can create a great and healthy meal for much less money. In terms of drinks, it’s simple math. Would you rather spend $8.00 on a glass of wine or $15.00 on an entire bottle?
Ditch the box- You’re probably wasting money on satellite as well. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can watch TV on all major and many cable network web sites. You can also use websites like Hulu.com to keep up with television shows. For sports, check out ESPN3 for college football games.
Rent Movies- Netflix’s online catalogue is growing and is a lot cheaper than their regular catalogue. Both present a much greater savings than spending money on going to the movies.