What if you could make a few small changes in your personal budget and see a big difference each month?
Maybe there are a few items in your spending plan that you could adjust or cut completely. Doing so can jump-start the process of saving for your emergency fund or chipping away at your debt snowball.
Here are five simple ways you can trim your budget.
1. Review your insurance policies
Your coverage and rates can change based on the stage of life you’re in. If your child is old enough to have their own car insurance, have them get it. Or, if you have a cash value policy that you can ditch in favor of term life, do it. And don’t forget to check with a professional to see if you have the best options for insurance.
2. Cut your grocery spending
Clipping coupons or buying generic brands may be obvious, but let’s get creative here. Cut your food budget by $25 this month and move that money to another category in your budget. That may mean letting go of a bag of chips and a half gallon of ice cream before checking out each week, but it takes less time than cutting coupons! Do you think you could survive by sacrificing two nonessential items this month? Try slashing another $5 or $10 from your grocery allowance next month to see what extras are eating away at your overall budget. You might be surprised!
3. Revisit your mobile plans
You may not use as much of your service plan as you think. Do you have extra minutes left over each month? Maybe you only surf the web when connected to Wi-Fi? Consider cutting back on parts of your service that you don’t need but are still being charged for. If you can spend half the money for half the data usage and not notice a difference, then you’re paying too much. You can also look into other carriers that allow customers to pay for only what they use. Explore your options!
4. Drop your gym membership
With the advent of online workouts, you don’t even have to leave your house to break a sweat. There are plenty of free workout apps to pick from, and even daily YouTube videos to follow. You can stream a workout at your convenience and experience what it’s like to have a personal trainer—without the high price tag. Mix it up with a few outdoor runs to prevent getting bored. Plus, it’s way cheaper than that $60 you’ve been paying to not use your gym membership.
5. Discover restaurant deals
Who doesn’t enjoy going out to eat? There’s the delicious food, the relaxing atmosphere and no cleanup! But eating out often and at full price can wreck your budget. Consider dining out on certain days of the week when restaurants offer specials, or hit up happy hour. Your hard earned dollars will go further when you keep your eyes peeled for a deal.
Remember, you know your money better than anyone. Take a closer look at how you spend it. You may discover you can get rid of something in your budget you don’t need or use anymore and free up money to go toward your Baby Steps. But you’ll only be able to discover that extra cash if you are on top of your money situation. So take a look!
Improve your budget even more by taking it on the go with EveryDollar! This free app allows you to adjust and track your budget across devices so you can make changes anytime you see an opportunity to save.