Recently the economy has been struggling, and unemployment is high. Families and single parents are thinking about ways to save money anyway they can. Between house payments, car payments, student loan debt, or daycare, there is a recognized struggle among families to make ends meet. At times it can seem impossible to pay off bills, and saving money may seem an unrealized dream, but here are some tips for saving money.
Start by creating a budget. Consider income brought home every month and review all bills, separating essentials from wants. Follow the Dave Ramsey school of advice, create a budget, set money aside by category, and stick within that budget.
Set aside an emergency fund. Determine how much is needed for a broken down dryer or a plumbing emergency. This will leave wiggle room for budgeting, and keep the focus on paying down debt.
People tend to charge more than they can spend. Credit cards can become a black hole. Consider how much more an item will cost with an additional 12% interest tacked on before purchasing that item. For existing debt, consumers can contact their credit card companies and ask them to reduce the interest rate on their balance.
Start saving coupons. With a little time and effort amazing deals can be found on a variety of items that would normally be cost prohibitive for a household. Grocery shopping alone can add up quickly when shopping for a family. Finding the steals whenever possible can impact the budget in positive ways. Stick to the grocery list when at the store, and do not stray into unnecessary purchases. Impulse spending can become costly.
Take part in community events. Rather than spending $50 buying soda, popcorn, and a movie ticket, find out what’s happening in the neighborhood. Volunteer, check out a free concert, meet new people at an event. Saving money feels good and spending time in the community even better.
Find the nearest library and get a card. Free books and movies are a cheap way to find entertainment. Few people realize that you can now check out items via your kindle or other device, for free. From the comfort of your own home you can browse, reserve, or check out items and instantly start reading.
Spend less time eating out. Buying fast food, eating at fancy restaurants, or sipping gourmet coffee is expensive. Try homemade alternatives that can be just as tasty, and half the cost.
Creating a budget, cutting up the credit cards and spending more time in the community at free events can assist with saving money. Making an impact toward debt is both rewarding and relieving. Worrying less about money makes it easier to spend time with the family. Budgeting and saving creates opportunities down the road for individuals and families.