Not Enough Money for the Month?
Racking up payday loan after payday loan should tell you something about your budget—it’s stretched to an over-capacity and that you are spending your money on things or services you can probably live without. Couple an over-stretched budget with an under-capacity imagination, and you have what you have—a lot of stress over something you can probably do something about. Why the imagination? Because, if all you can see are bills, upon bills, upon more bills, then you are not using your imagination to its full capacity for finding creative ways to remedy your situation.
First, you more than likely have some budget busters that are destroying your peace of mind. These are the “gotta have it” items, that in retrospect, you didn’t need. Items such as a bigger house (with the bigger mortgage payment), a brand spanking new car (with the big payment spanking you), and all the electronic gizmos and gadgets that you don’t need. How to get out of the trap? Stay tuned…
Budget Saver #1—Food Expenses
Probably the biggest drain on anyone’s finances is the expenses related to food, especially when you have at least one teenager in the house (Girls or guys—they both eat a lot!) There are some ways to cut down on how much you spend on food without sacrificing the good stuff or even changing what you eat. In fact, the only thing you really need to change is how you prepare your food.
What do I mean by that? Well, have you ever bought the convenience foods in the store? Stuff like pancake mixes, flavored syrups, premade breakfasts…things like that. Have you ever noticed how much they cost per serving? No? Well, let me give you an example: Say you buy pancake mix on a regular basis for $2.35 per box. Now say that you use at least half a box per batch, which comes out to $1.18 per batch. That isn’t bad, but what if I tell you that I use a pancake mix that comes out to maybe $.50 per batch? Would you be interested? The only thing I do differently is that I make my own pancake mix from scratch and I store them in zipper-type bags. Then I label them, and store them in the cupboard until I need them.
Also, when you make your convenience foods from scratch, you know what goes in there, and you can therefore control the ingredients your family consumes. This makes your mixes healthier and cheaper in the long run. Another thing that you may want to change is to buy generic brands over brand name foods. There isn’t much difference in taste, and all you are paying for is the advertising and label, which may require a payday loan to afford. Save a few bucks here and there by getting generic food. You’ll end up saving enough money to start a savings account!
Budget Saver #2—Utilities
This is the next biggest drain on your budget. But if you make the appropriate changes, such as better insulation and energy saving appliances, you will be able to slash your monthly bills and add to your savings account. Another thing—in the winter, if your windows are losing a lot of heat, putting up plastic on your windows will help to reduce your heating costs by at least one-third. Space heaters work wonders as well.
Budget Saver #3—Auto
Auto insurance, maintenance and gas—not to mention car payments—really take a toll on your budget. The best thing to do, first of all, is to shop around for cheaper auto insurance. Then, when you do find a cheaper company, only get the liability coverage. Of course, if you do not own your car outright yet, you will need to get the comprehensive, unfortunately. However, if you shop around, you can find the cheaper premiums.
There are also ways to cut down on your car maintenance costs. Commercials today are popping up where you can pay a certain amount each month, and they will pay for any and all maintenance costs. Might be something worth checking into. Gas…the most fickle price of them all when it comes to your auto costs. If you have to commute a long distance to get to work, there are things you can do to cut down on these costs. Car pooling, move closer, or try getting your boss to agree to let you work from home. All of these ideas can help you slash the amount of money you paying for gas each month. Besides, getting a payday loan just to buy gas to get to work may not be such a great plan.
Best Budget Saver Tip!
The best budget saver tip I can give you is that you DO NOT have to have the latest gadget or fashion to hit the market right now. You also do not need to live in the newest or flashiest house, or drive the newest model of vehicle. Take my advice—wait until you can reasonably afford it…