The cost of living is rising. It is almost impossible for most families to be supported by a single income today. Accordign to USA Today, people rarely save for anything more immediate than retirement. Of the 2,016 adults surveyed, 34% had no savings beyond retirement funds, while some did not even have that. There was a similar survey conducted on Bankrate.com, which found that more than a quarter of adults have no emergency savings, meaning no readily available money beyond that allotted for regular expenses.
Thomas Nitzsche, a financial educator at ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, was asked about methods of getting spending under control, he replied that many people need to make an itemized budget in order to know how and where they are spending their money. He and Gail Cunningham of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling gave this advice on how to trim your budget:
- Use cash. It turns out that people who use cash to pay for daily expenses instead of a card usually end up spending about 20% less money. Most of this is due to an increased awareness of a transaction when money is physical.
- Keep track of your spending. Usually people try to resist this only by keeping a record do you see all of the frivolous sinks for your cash forces you to evaluate and change your ways.
- Try saving money in multiple areas of your budget. If you try to cut small amounts from wide areas where you spend, you mitigate the effect of those cuts.
- Put the amount of money you save when buying something on sale into your savings account. Too many people end up spending the money they save with a great deal on other trifles. Instead, put that money into your savings account.
- Ask for discounts. People of all walks of life and from all sorts of backgrounds often qualify for discounts that are not always advertised. Ask whether you qualify and put the extra money you keep into your savings.
- Cut your rent. Rather than feeling as though you need your own place, try renting a room in somebody else’s. This is a great way to save money and to meet new friends.
- Stop spending so much on food. Going out for every meal is a huge drain on the bank account. Try using online services to find what places are having deals, or better yet, cook for yourself!
- Make sure that you are paying the best price for costs like home repairs. Get at least three quotes for each job and make sure that whoever you use has a good reputation so you can avoid trouble down the road.
- Look for travel deals. You can stay at four star hotels for $50 a night, or rent a car for under $10 a day. Be flexible with your plans and hunt for the best deals and you can save even while vacationing.