A critical part of maintaining financial health is keeping your spending on budget. At the beginning of this month, we made budgets. Now, let’s take them out and give them another look with an eye to cutting costs.
You can cut costs by eliminating expenses or by reducing what you pay for them. The first is pretty obvious. You can cancel the subscriptions to magazines you no longer read or the membership to the gym that you haven’t visited in years. But you can’t eliminate all your expenses.
That’s where reducing costs comes into play. For some services, you can entertain bids to find the best option. I do that with my homeowner’s insurance every few years. I invite a few companies to bid for my business and I choose the one that offers the best deal. You might be able to get a cheaper cell phone or Internet plan by calling. I got a cheaper cable plan (saving $40 a month) by getting rid of channels I didn’t watch. You can make an effort to reduce your utility costs by turning off lights and turning the heat and the air conditioning down. You can take leftovers to work instead of buying lunch and cook at home instead of going out. You can borrow books and DVDs from the library and cancel streaming services. You can delay non-essential clothing purchases and purchase the clothes you do need at thrift stores.
Each of these things individually may not seem like much, but when you add them together, they can result in more than a hundred dollars a month in savings.