Cutting expenses is becoming more and more of a necessity in these uncertain economic times. If you find yourself struggling in your finances, then you’ve probably developed your own methods for reduced spending. However if you’re trying to cut costs and still find yourself overspending, consider these four methods to consider for living a more thrifty lifestyle.
Before you consider anything else, draw up a budget. Look at your finances: what money you have right now, what money you can expect to have in the near future, and what money you. Estimate a figure that you can reasonably adhere to every month and stick to that number. If you can, try to keep your expenses below your set limit so you can have start saving a small amount every month. If you have a clear budget then you’ll be less likely to indulge yourself with unnecessary expenses because you’ll know exactly where your finances stand.
Cook Instead of Eating at a Restaurant
Cooking is an easy way to cut costs. A meal at an average restaurant might set you back $12-$15, whereas you could spend the same amount on a meal that could last you an entire week. Go to the store and purchase groceries to cook a big meal that you can eat over time. Pasta, lasagna, quiche, and soup are just a few of the dishes that could last throughout the week as lunch or dinner alternatives. If you spend daily money on coffee drinks, prepare your own coffee before you go to work to save on that small expense that adds up over time.
Use Your Credit Card Only In Emergencies
If you have a credit card, resist the urge to use it freely in tough financial circumstances. While credit cards can certainly help you build credit and stay responsible in your finances, people often use it as a crutch for random expenses. Restrict your credit card use to items that you absolutely have to cover: gas for your car, overdue bills, or groceries. The less you use your credit card the smaller your bill will be at the end of the month.
Plan free activities
Oftentimes people spend too much money when they attend events that wind up costing them lots of money: going to concerts, seeing a movie in theaters, checking out a local bar, etc. Do yourself a favor and plan some free activities. You could plan a bike ride or a hike; you could visit a museum or search the web for free events happening in your city. I should emphasize the last example: free events happen all the time in every city, and often times they feature complimentary appetizers and beverages. Remember that you don’t have to drop a penny for entertainment.