Do you have a pile of unread magazines sitting around your house? Not only should you not renew that magazine, but you should give their subscription department a call and try to cancel for a refund. You never know until you ask— they might even give you the prorated amount back. An app like TrueBill can even review your purchase history to find forgotten subscriptions and other recurring charges, and help you cancel or renegotiate them for a cheaper rate. Eating a healthy breakfast fills you up with energy for the day while also curbing your desire for a big, expensive lunch.
Meanwhile, breakfast can be very healthy, quick, and inexpensive. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning is often the one thing that keeps me from running out to eat an expensive lunch later in the day. We live in a neighborhood with dozens of families with young children. Because of that, there are a lot of parents out there willing to swap babysitting nights with us, saving us the money of hiring one for an evening out. A few families even take this to incredible extremes. Try to find another set of parents or two that you trust, and swap nights of babysitting with them.
Many people feel as if leftovers are just inferior rehashes of regular meals. My favorite technique? Chaining — using the leftovers as a basis for an all-new dish. If you have a regular urge to buy clothes, go through everything that you have and see what you might find. Take the clothes buried in your dresser and pull them to the top. Instead of going out to eat at work, take your own lunch — if not every day, then at least a couple of times a week.
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With some thoughtful preparation and just a few minutes of time , you can create something quite enjoyable for your brown bag lunch — and save a fistful of cash each time you do. If you have five pants, seven shirts, and seven ties that all go together, you basically have an endless number of options already. This is exactly what I do in order to minimize clothing purchases and still look professional — I just mix and remix what I wear by using timeless, simple pieces that go well together.
Then, pay attention to what they tell you.
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They might have some personal insights for your situation that will really help. At the very least, they might understand your situation better. Years ago, it was far more difficult to find ways to fix everyday items we have in our homes. But today, it should be a piece of cake. You can find online tutorials and videos that show you how to fix almost anything, and all for free. Learning a new skill never hurts either. Nowadays, I keep a small notebook with me to jot down ideas so that I never forget anything important. Often, having some extra freezer space allows you to buy in bulk and pay lower prices overall.
Even better, you can store lots of meals prepared in advance, enabling you to just go home and pop something homemade and cheap in the oven. Read this post if you need help determining whether a deep freezer is worth it. If you live in a truly expensive area, take some time to decide if the extra expense is really worth it.
You may find that a move could mean the difference between having plenty of money and barely scraping by. My town has several wonderful parks, free basketball and tennis courts, free disc golf, trails, and lots of other stuff just there waiting to be used. All you have to do is discover it.
Ask the attendant inside if they have a tire air gauge you can borrow most of them do, both in urban and rural settings , then stop over by the air pump. Check your tires, then use the pump to fill them up to where they should be. Gardening can be an inexpensive hobby if you have a yard. I like planting a bunch of tomato plants, keeping them cared for, then enjoying the huge flood of tomatoes at the end of each summer. We like to eat them fresh, can them, and make tomato juice, sauce, paste, ketchup, pasta sauce, and pizza sauce.
Most communities have a ton of free events, although you may not know about them at the time. When I lived in a larger city, I bought an annual transit pass that actually paid for itself after less than two months of use compared to using an automobile.
This may not be a popular idea, but it works if you have a simple hairstyle. I cut my own hair with a pair of clippers , for example. Just put a garbage bag over the bathroom sink, bust out the clippers and scissors, and get it done. With a bit of practice, you can make it look good, too. If you live near anyone you work with, you might both be able to benefit by carpooling to work. Doing so could save money and wear and tear on both of your vehicles. You can just dump in your ingredients before work, put it on simmer, and dinner is done when you get home.
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Maintaining your home can also keep it in better shape and improve the value of your property over time. For example, we buy trash bags, laundry detergent, and diapers in the largest packages we can find. This cuts down on their cost per usage by quite a bit and, over the long haul, adds up to significant savings.
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When you think of tracking your expenses , what comes to mind? Most people only track their spending for a couple of weeks so that they can see where their money is actually going. Other people only track certain types of expenses, like where they spend their cash. Tracking your spending can be as easy or as hard as you make it, but when you're trying to get on top of your money and debts, the pay off for doing so is huge! If this is your first time tracking your expenses, or if you're getting back to it because your situation has changed, below are a few helpful tips and tools to help you get started.
However, if you've got a lot of bills you're trying to manage, we're happy to help you get started. Every day our Counsellors help their clients figure out their expenses and budget.
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We're experts at it, so contact us for a free appointment and we'll share our best help with you too! Tracking where your money is going is the process of writing down what you spend.
You may use a little notebook to do this, a spreadsheet , an app on your phone or tablet, or other software programs. When you first start tracking expenses, you might be tempted to jot down what you should be spending.
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Even tracking your spending for a month is great, be proud of yourself and incorporate what you learned into your monthly budget. Life can be unpredictable, so if your circumstances do change, go back to tracking for another few weeks to get your spending in line with your new level of expenses or income. Where do you start? The key things to remember is keep it simple, go easy on yourself and ask for help if you need it. Old habits are hard to break! We have two different tools for you to chose from to track your spending. You can download our Excel Monthly Tracking Worksheet.
You could group all entertainment spending in one category or, if you love to shop for books, could have a separate line item in your budget. Once you've got your categories broken out, set your desired spending limit for each one. Base these numbers off what you found when tracking spending. This should be a line item in your budget with a set amount of extra money each month available in case you go over in another spending category or have a surprise bill show up.
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