Re-evaluating your budget and trimming the fat every so often is a great way to make sure you are putting as much toward your financial goals as possible.
If you are looking over your budget and considering making some spending cuts to help yourself get out of debt or reach some other financial goal, here are 3 things you should look at cutting first to make sure you aren’t wasting money.
Ok, hear me out on this one. We all need food and it’s definitely cheaper and healthier to eat at home than it is to go out to eat, but that doesn’t mean your grocery budget can’t be cut down. Chances are that you’ve given in to the slippery-slope of spending too much on groceries because food is a “need” and not a “want”.
As I said, food is definitely a need. But if you are regularly spending part of your grocery money on chips, soda, and other junk food, it might be time to cut your grocery budget by at least a few dollars each month.
Some extreme savers recommend that you cut spending on gasoline by simply riding your bike, walking, or taking public transit to go everywhere you need. It’s a great idea, but it’s not one that works in my rural hometown. Here things are quite spread out and public transit is non-existant. I could ride my bike to a few places I need to go, but it’s still not very practical for my job and lifestyle. Instead, I cut down on my gasoline spending by making my trips count.
For example, the office where I work full-time is across town from where I live. The grocery store is also on that side of town. So to make the most of my time and gasoline money I make sure to go to the grocery store while I’m already on that side of town for work or other errands. I rarely make an extra trip just to go to the store.
How much you should spend on entertainment each month is a tricky question as it is highly sensitive to your family size and your location. But for the most part, we are spending too much on entertainment and not taking full advantage of cheaper, or free, options.
Especially as summer approaches, there are lots of free or low-cost entertainment options for people of all ages and families of all sizes. Public libraries offer lots of summer programs for adults and kids, and many even own a large collection of movies you can rent for free (as long as you don’t get any late charges for keeping them too long). Additionally, movie theatres usually offer children’s matinee movies on summer afternoons for free or very cheap. They sometimes even provide an inexpensive popcorn and drink special.
Cutting your budget in these 3 areas doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit and not enjoy your life. Instead it’s about re-evaluating your budget and spending mindfully based on your financial goals.
What other things can you think of that might be wasting money in your monthly budget?- Kayla