Financial planning can ease potential family stress and save lots of money in the process. Even though budgeting can be stressful, when I set a goal of saving close to $500 a month, it almost seemed undoable. For example, I am a typical impulse buyer. If a piece of candy or gum is calling out to me, when standing in line, I will grab it. But after looking over my family's spending habits for an entire month, I found a few different ways that we were able to make that goal a reality.
We cut out our satellite bill.
By switching to Netflix (which is only $8/month), we save $70 on our monthly satellite bill for shows we can watch on demand otherwise. For Internet service, we saved by going through a different company, and only paying $40 a month instead of paying for an entire package. Now we have the Internet and our favorite shows and movies through Netflix, and have completely cut out our full satellite package of $70 a month.
We set a monthly cash allowance.
Right now, it is around $50 a month. By doing this, we will not be overspending on items that we don't need. There are a lot of activities we can do as a family on this budget and we won't go overboard by spending money we don't have. So we will be saving up to $100 a month by sticking with this allowance.
We shop at the second hand stores and garage sales.
We saved $30 on the lamps in our living room, because we only paid $5 each for the pair instead of the regular price in the major department store, because we purchased them at our local Goodwill store. On average, we can save over $60 in one trip on clothes and other household items by purchasing them secondhand.
We created a gas budget.
I consider this one the most important ways we save. By setting up a budget for gasoline, we save over $100 a month because we only spend money for gas when we absolutely need it. We are also able to help save this money for gasoline by doing such things as carpooling.
After very close money management, our family can save upwards of $500 a month by simply not making impulse purchases. I know it sounds crazy, but a few extra dollars spent, every time you run into a store, can add up to hundreds of dollars a month.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.
- Banking & Budgeting