1. First and most importantly, set up a budget plan. To see where you can save, you have to first see where you’re spending. Write out each expense that you have, along with your income. My favorite way of seeing my budget is by creating a spreadsheet, then you can add to it and it will automatically calculate your totals for you! You can use Excel, and if you don’t have Microsoft and don’t want to pay for it you can use Open Office, it’s free and it works just as well.
2. See what you can completely eliminate. In my opinion, the easiest expense to cut out for our family was cable. We never used it, because we always just watched Netflix or Hulu. And both of those total about $15.00 per month!
3. Pay for what you can in cash. I prefer to pay for most of my variable expenses in cash, like date night/dining out, any allowances you give yourself to spend, and most importantly…GROCERIES! I had NO idea how much I spent in groceries each month, and it seemed if I was using a credit card that I wasn’t seeing exactly how much was being spent. So I give myself a set amount of cash every two weeks, and I don’t let myself go over, unless it’s an emergency of course. I have separate envelopes in my wallet for each category so I can make sure I’m staying organized. [Read More]