Trim The Fat From Your Budget! 4 Ways to Painlessly Reduce Expenses

In order to kick start your finances for the new year, you should start with one small, easy financial goal. Just to get you on track and gain momentum and motivation. Whether your goal is to pay off debt, your mortgage, or saving for a big item like a trip or a replacement car, you need more money than you currently have. And one great way to get more money is to check for areas of your budget where you are wasting money.

It will not always be obvious. When you throw leftovers, you are throwing money away. But when you pay your electric bill? Well, you may be able to get a better deal on your utilities or broadband bundle. And overpaying is just as wasteful as throwing food.

Let's start looking for areas where you can cut the fat in your budget.

 

Car

  • Do you need a car? Really? I bought my first car at 29 and made do for almost three decades with public transportation, car rentals, taxis, sharing cars with friends... In many cities, it is totally feasible without affecting too much your lifestyle. With the money saved from maintenance, insurance, gas, parking space... you can easily afford to rent a vehicle when you need one.
  • Can you work from home a day per week, or commute?
  • Can you walk or cycle more? Good for both your health and your wallet.
  • Do you pay the minimum amount on insurance for the coverage you need?
  • Do you need two cars?
  • Housing

    • Can you refinance your mortgage to a lower rate or ask your landlord to freeze rents this year?
  • Are your utility bills as low as possible or are you wasting energy? Here is a guide to negotiating your bills.
  • Do you need cable?
  • Do you turn off the lights when you leave a room?
  • Can you switch to a better deal for broadband / Netflix / utilities?
  • Is your house properly insulated?
  • Could you dry your clothes outside?
  • Do you need a cleaning lady?
  • Groceries

    • Are you eating everything you buy?
  • Could you switch to the store's brand?
  • Do you eat meat with every meal?
  • Could you reduce meat, dairy and alcohol consumption, even temporarily?
  • Have you gone through your stockpile for products about to go bad?
  • Do you use coupons?
  • Personal

    • Can you do without new clothes for some time?
  • Can you ask a friend to cut your hair, or do your own manicure?
  • Can you find a free course instead of a paid one?
  • Can you get your books from the library instead of buying them?
  • By making sure that you are getting the best deal on everything that you buy, or every monthly expense, and that you buy only what you need, you can cut a lot of fat out of your monthly expenses. And that is a lot of extra money to put towards your 2013 money goals.

     

    This post appeared first on Reach Financial Independence as part of a series to kick start your finances in the New Year. Click to read more...