While lowes build and grow may be a thing of the past, that doesn’t mean that you have to be outdated when it comes to your expenses as well. As a matter of fact, keeping up with your personal finance is something that should be done regularly and monitored as you pay bills every month. While, sure, you want to make sure you have more money essentially coming in than going out, but continuing to free up money is key, especially if you want to give yourself a cushion by building up an adequate emergency fund of a few months’ worth of expenses, not to mention saving for your retirement when you do finally decide to walk away from work, it will take careful review of every expense throughout the month.
Going Out to Eat
Sure, it’s nice to have someone cook, serve you, not to mention clean up after you, but that certainly does come at a price, even more so if you’re not talking about going to a diner and out for a nice restaurant on the town. If you can go grocery and prepare your meals at home, whether that is breakfast on the go, packing your lunch at work, or doing meal prep to plan out your meals for the week, even programming your coffee pot to have your coffee brewed by the time you are ready to leave for work, every little bit helps.
Coupons are Not Out of Style
While you are thinking about going grocery shopping, you may remember the days of the Sunday paper where you could lay out the sale papers and clip coupons. Those days may be over, as subscriptions are on the steep decline, that doesn’t mean that coupons are dead. If you check the grocery store’s website, you can load digital coupons to your shopper’s rewards card. Just because you don’t get the paper delivered anymore doesn’t mean you can’t check the mailbox just about every day for some sort of mailed coupon. There really shouldn’t be any reason to pay full price for anything.
Cut the Cable Cord
Sometimes shaving off some expenses mean you have to make the tough choices and getting rid of cable may be one of them. Sure, you may have spent the better part of your life as you remember, with cable, but if you actually think about how many of the channels you actually watch, let alone live cable TV that is not on DVR, it may be time to rely solely on a streaming service, of which, let’s face it, you’re probably paying for one anyways. If you do cut the cord and are worried about local channels, you can get an HD antenna for around $20 that will still let you pick up local channels in crystal clear HD.
Credit Card Interest
Probably the biggest expense you might need to cut, or at least first anyways, is credit card interest. If you are not able to pay off the full statement balance by the due date, then interest on the card will begin to be changed, which depending on the card, could be around 16%, so the higher the balance, the less you will be able to chip away at the balance, especially if you’re only trying to make the minimum payment. In order to get out (and stay out) or debt, try and make the largest payment you can afford each month until it’s finally gone!
Don’t Forget to Find the Best Price
We live in a time now, that even though all of the social media can be annoying at times, online shopping is probably the best part about being glued to our phones and computers. It used to be that we’d have to drive all over town in order to find the best price, wasting gas, not to mention your entire day, but now you can jump from website to website in a matter of seconds, making sure you get the absolute best price before you make a purchase. The best part it, it’s probably with free shipping, so you don’t even have to leave the house to fight crowds and traffic.
Stay on Top of Your Home
The more you can keep up on the regular maintenance, the better you can keep your home running efficiently to make sure the furnace/air conditioner are running at their peak. Not only programming the thermostat to account for when you’re not at home, it can be a good idea to check around doors and windows to see if caulk is needed to seal up any drafts.