Constant analysis and adjustment of your finances is something you should be doing monthly, if not weekly. Another thing you should be doing is giving your finances a little spring cleaning. Over the year, you start adding more and more expenses and start falling into routines of spending more money on things that are a luxury and not a necessity. Instead of tracking your expenses, eliminate some of them so you have more wiggle room in 2016.
- Enjoy Movies at Home. The price of going to the movie theater has gotten very expensive. The ticket, popcorn and a drink could have you paying almost twenty dollars per person. Skip the movies and stop by Redbox for a dollar movie, or subscribe to Netflix for an affordable option.
- Get Crafty. Instead of buying presents from the store every time someone has a birthday. Get creative and make their gift at home. You can make baked goods, candles, soaps, bath salts or food mixes, to name a few. Even just making a hand made card will save you five dollars each time.
- Buy Generic. For items you buy regularly, opt for the generic brand.
- Skip the Takeout. Not only is constant takeout a bad idea for your wallet, but it is a bad idea for your health. Meal planning and cooking at home will save you so much money. If you do want to splurge and eat some of your favorite Chinese food, make it a monthly thing.
- Utilize Free Events. Instead of spending money on your entertainment, attend the free events in your community.
- Practice the Thirty Day Rule. Before making any big purchases, wait a month until you decide to buy. By waiting, the instant gratification urge may subside and will give you more time to weigh the options.
- Negotiate Credit Card Rates. If you have been diligent about making your credit card payments then you can check in with your credit card company and ask for a reduced rate. This can be repeated every 6 months. You even have the option to transfer your balance to a 0% card.
- Stop Collecting and Start Selling. There was a time when everyone assumed Beanie Babies would be a great investment. If you are still holding on to collections of questionable value like this, then you should probably stop buying and start selling.
- Be Energy Wise. Saving on your electric bill each month will add up to a lot of savings over the year. Even small changes like unplugging electronics that are not in use and switching to Energy Star products and appliances. The state offers rebates when you swap out your appliances for energy efficient ones.
- Invite Friends Over Instead of Going Out. Instead of going out with your friends and dipping into your food and entertainment budget too much, host a potluck and game night.
These money saving tips can go on and on. Start evaluating your finances and do some spring cleaning today.
– By Stephen Reynolds, Editor @sreynoldswrites