Cut Costs? You Can Trim More!
We all want to save money. You may have set a budget and, despite following it, feeling like you are not getting as much mileage as you might like to out of your money.
Have you sliced and diced adequately? Maybe it is time to go back over your budget and see if you have really trimmed to the max.
Two major line items in your budget that likely draw expense are transportation and entertainment. Here is how to trim the fat even further in these cost centres:
Gas is expensive. So is maintenance and upkeep of an automobile. Don’t forget about parking. And the list of costs goes on and on.
By changing the way you get from point A to point B, you could seriously shave some money from your spending. If possible for your commute, consider walking, biking or blading. Another option is carpooling, which will shave down gas and parking costs.
For your own vehicle, shop around for gas. There are various search sites that will feed you information about gas stations with the cheapest prices in your city. Now, of course it makes no financial sense to drive across town to save money on gas, but you might get lucky with some nearby.
Make sure your tire pressure is good. Too much or too little air can mean that you are not efficiently burning gas.
Hunt down discounts and team buying deals on car maintenance and for things like oil changes (which seem to be abundantly and frequently available). If you are handy and have space, do your own oil changes.
This area may already be pretty trim- as this is often the first cost centre to go. But you still need to have fun, right? The level of fun can quickly be eroded if this source of spending is keeping you from really trimming your budget!
Some areas to revisit with a fine-toothed budgetary comb:
Do you subscribe to magazines or newspapers home delivery? Cancel those. Read them online. An online subscription is often more cost effective. Visit your local library to read your favourite magazines for free.
Do you have cable? What channels do you really need? By reducing to more basic packages, you can seriously reduce this cost centre. Better yet, call your cable company and try to swing a deal (they are competing for your business, and are often authorized to offer customers discounts on the spot). The deal gets sweeter if you are willing to bundle services like cable, phone and internet.
Where do you go “out”? Are you a fan of trying out new restaurants? Are you a movie buff? If you are spending money on outings like these, and feel that you can’t live without these treats, become a serial couponer as a diner. Become very familiar with things like entertainment books, 2-for-1 deals and so on. Subscribe to your favourite restaurants online, and you will get sent additional savings.
When going to the movies, pick matinee times over prime time to really save on ticket prices. Skip the snack bar altogether. Do you really need a barrel of popcorn? One thing is for sure, you don’t need to pay the ridiculous price for it!