Tips For Reducing Your Daily Expenses

Posted by on September 6, 2008 at 2:04 am

Reducing your daily expenses is no easy task, but if you take a look at your spending and apply some discipline to your life, you’ll be saving money in no time. Here’s some tips for controlling your day-to-day spending:

ANALYZE WHAT YOU SPEND. Sit down with a notebook and calculator and figure where your money goes every day. Be real with yourself. Don’t underestimate the little thing you spend money on. Every cent needs to be accounted for.

LOOK FOR LUXURY ITEMS YOU CAN DO WITHOUT. Once you’ve broken down your spending, the first thing to do is look for luxury items you don’t really need. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to make yourself miserable, but if you want to get your daily expenses down, you need to make some tough decisions. Could you do without that Starbuck coffee? Could you bring lunch to work? Could you rent a DVD instead of going out to the theater? These are some of the tough decisions you’ll have to make.

TRIM 10% OFF YOUR BIGGEST EXPENSES. Find out what your biggest expenses are, then figure out a way to trim 10% off of them. For instance, if you spend $50 on gas a week, find a way to spend $45. Maybe you ride your bike to work a day or two. Maybe you walk to the grocery store. Maybe you car pool with a co-worker a few days. If you spend $100 eating out every week, make that $90. Find a cheaper restaurant. Pass on desert. These little decisions will add up to big savings.

DEVELOP A BUDGET. Living on a budget is not realistic for most of us. Unforeseen expense arise on a daily basis. But it doesn’t hurt to have a plan. Develop a budget and try your best to stick to it. Factor in $50 a week of unforeseen expenses. If you don’t have any one week, roll that $50 into next week. Eventually your car will break down and you’ll need $200, but if you have that money saved up already, the expense won’t hurt as much.

EACH DOLLAR COUNTS. As mentioned above, every dollar counts. So find ways to shave a dollar here or there off your daily expenses. Buy a generic product or two. Find a cheaper hair salon. Stay in on a Friday instead of going out for a drink. Everyone can find ways to cut a few dollars off their expenses.

GIVE YOURSELF AN ALLOWANCE. If all else fails, give yourself an allowance. No one wants to live on a self-imposed allowance, but if you need it as a last resort, take action. Start the week with X amount of money in your wallet, and don’t let yourself spend any more than that. It sounds unrealistic at first, but you’d be surprised how quickly you’ll adjust to having a set amount of money each week.

Everyone can tighten up their budget in one way or another. It’s not easy, but if you’re disciplined with yourself, you’ll see your saving account grow like you never thought possible.

by Sean Curtis

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