If money is tight, you may have already scaled back your lifestyle to try to free up cash. In fact, you may think that there is no possible way to reduce spending more than the steps that you have already taken. Many people have cracks in their budget that they are not aware of. When you know where to look for these cracks, you may be able to locate more opportunities to reduce spending going forward.
Your Utilities Expenses
You may already limit your use of electricity, water, and gas through behavioral or lifestyle changes. However, there may be an opportunity to save even more money on utility expenses. For example, you can reseal doors and windows, close your blinds and service your HVAC system to reduce heating and cooling costs. You may also invest in low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads to save money on your water expense. If you live in an area that allows you to choose service providers, consider shopping around to find a lower rate.
Paying off your car loan may have been a monumental event because it freed up a few hundred dollars per month in your budget. However, an older car may require more maintenance work and be in the shop frequently for repairs. It may also not be as fuel efficient as a newer car. There are financial benefits associated with owning a newer vehicle that is under warranty. Analyze all current costs of vehicle ownership and usage as a first step, and compare this against the cost of buying and owning a new vehicle. To shop around, search the internet for something like ‘new ford cars for sale’ or ‘new cars on sale’ and compare prices.
Your Credit Cards
Many people use credit cards at least periodically. This may be to splurge here and there, to cover a few expenses when you run short on funds for the month and more. Be aware that credit cards cost you a tremendous amount of money each time you use them. This is because you will be charged interest on any balances each month. The interest rate on some accounts exceed 20 percent, and this charge is applied regularly until the debt is paid in full.
You can now see that there may be additional ways to reduce spending that you have not yet considered. Now is a great time to analyze your budget and to explore each of these line items more closely. Some opportunities to reduce spending may take more time and energy to benefit from, but the effort may be worthwhile in the long run.