I don’t know about you, but most people I talk to are worried about money. Either they don’t feel confident handling money, they feel like they should do a better job with their money, or most often, they feel like there is not quite enough money left at the end of their pay period.
Most money problems can usually be solved by just paying attention! Make a budget and then stick to it. It doesn’t have to be a huge fancy budget. Just writing how much you have coming in, and what your regular expenses are, and keeping up with it from month to month will clarify things for you, so you’ll notice where leakage is, and where you can tighten the belt.
If you haven’t ever made a budget, again, it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can go onto my website, www.adultinglikeaboss.net and download the simple budget I have there for free under “freebies.” It’s super easy to use, and is a good way to get started if this is new to you.
But once you’ve made your budget, you might see that the reason you’re having problems each month paying your bills and having some left over is that there just really isn’t enough money!
If you don’t have enough money, you’re going to have to do one of two things. You will have to either increase the money coming in or reduce the money going out. I’m going to give you ten ideas for both.
So let’s talk first about some quick ways you can reduce the money going out.
- Coffee – Starbucks is expensive! Try a coffee station at home
- Eating Out – This will KILL your budget! Plan, shop, and prepare at home
- Shopping Comparisons – The next few times you go to the grocery store, try different stores and note the prices of items you buy regularly. And shop used – Craigslist and Let Go, for items you may need.
- Clothes – If you’re itching for something new – try thrifting, resale or consignment shops, or have a clothes swap with friends
- Fixing things – Don’t assume that anything that tears or breaks needs throwing out and replacing. Try fixing it yourself.
- Car – Keeping repairs, oil changes, tire rotations, etc. up to date with save in the long run.
- Entertainment – Instead of paying to go to a movie or concert, look for free or community events. Host a game or movie night at home.
- Insurance – Shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal on insurance for your car, home, and even health, dental and vision insurance.
- Cell Phone, Cable and Internet Providers – Talk with your provider to see about cutting expenses. Only pay for what you are using.
- Living Expense – Can you live in a place that’s less expensive? Live with roommates? Rent a room rather than an apartment or house?
The good thing about these ten ideas is that most of them can be carried out immediately and you’ll feel the difference in your money right away. You may feel the pinch, but at the end of the pay period, when you still have a little money left over, you’ll be glad you did!
[See Part 2 about increasing income in the next article!]