Learn ways to save money when living within a budget. Discover ways you may not be aware of that will get you cash back or even FREE products.
Living Within A Budget When Money Is Tight
Everybody always wants to save money. However some of us need to watch our "spending's" more than others. Times get tough for everyone sometime in their lives. That's why setting a budget can make the difference in being able to eat or not.
This page is to bring awareness of things you can do to save money. Please Read "Tips On How To Save Money" for greater details and more information.
First off, do you have a budget? More importantly, do you know what a budget is? I know that might seem like an insulting question but many people don't quite grasp the concept. Living within a budget requires your understanding of a budget.
Calculating Your Budget
"Intake and Output" Sounds kind of like automotive talk or maybe mechanical, but it's the same principle. You will only get out what you put in, so put nothing in, get nothing out.
You need to take your total income after taxes. Base everything off what you have on hand. To calculate your budget, you will then need to know how much you spend in between paychecks or at least in a months time.
Example: Your paycheck is $$2800 a month. Between rent, food, gas and utilities; you spend $2900 in a month, you are a $100 over budget. If you spend $2700 a month to live, you are under budget but not putting much back per month for a cushion.
A budget for living has to be balanced to where you are paying you bills but also putting some money back for emergencies. Nothing last forever and everything breaks, so cost incur.
Look at all your expenditures and see if there is anyway to cut those cost down. Also take a look at what you spend on non-necessities, We all need a break from time to time but there are things you can do without or spend less money on.
What Are You Spending On Food?
There are the basics we all buy to make our breakfast, lunch and dinners per week, but what else are you buying? Unfortunately we all get tired of eating the same thing all the time. If we didn't, we could save big on foods.
It is best to buy in bulk when you can, so if you are a Costco or Sam's member, you can save by buying larger amounts. Always try and use coupons or reward card deals. The most important thing for savings on food is to plan your meals for each week.
How Much Are You Spending On Cable?
Cable is two things for homes and businesses. You have the "Internet" which comes in on Cable and then you have "Cable TV". Having the Internet is a must these days, although there are ways to access it for free.
For "Cable TV", there are streaming methods to eliminate the high prices of a cable Provider. Cable companies must have their heads up their butts much like AT&T with the Landline services. They want to charge you through the nose when cheaper is so available.
If you have internet access in your home, going with a Roku or an Amazon Fire Stick can save you plenty. There is no monthly fees, just the cost of the device. From there you can pay for Hulu, Netflix or Sling. Hulu is best for catching a TV Show one day behind. However to get CBS shows, you now have to get CBS All Access for streaming.
If your average Internet bill is around $55 per month. Hulu's basic is $7.99 per month. Netflix is 8.99 per month. Sling is $25 a month and CBS All Access is $5.99 a month. Read "My Blog Post" for more details and options.
The point is, you can save money by getting one or two of these services added to you internet bill will come out far less than the whole cable TV and Internet package from a cable provider.
Review Your Contracts, Service Agreements And Warranties
All your insurances, automotive, home, health and life, can often be obtained cheaper by going through one company. However shopping around for the best rates would be the best start. I have seen people save up to as much as $400 a month by shopping around and switching all to one company.
Make sure you are getting the best deal for your warranties. Many automotive 3rd party warranties are not worth the money. When you dive into the small print, you will find it doesn't cover the full cost of things. Or it either doesn't cover the big expenses like an engine or transmission or even worse, doesn't cover the smaller things that are normal to go out.
Appliances are also among these games. You have to consider the money you spend per month on a warranty plan, would not be better to be put back for the emergency fund. Factory warranties are usually great, but these plans they sell you after your initial warranty runs out should be given careful consideration.
In case you are wondering what Telephony is. That is any device used for communication, usually dealing with telephones, "Landlines" in homes are almost phased out. This is due to phone companies such as AT&T wanting to charge you more than what a cell phone is per month with limited to no options.
If you have a "Landline" with basic service, your bill is probably between $45 and $55 per month. Check with a cell phone provider, they now offer a type "Land Line" for as little as $10 a month after purchasing a $20 device.
Going with VoIP phones that can be provided by your cable company can be a savings but really review the contract before committing.
The most common method today is just getting rid of a home "Landline" and just sticking with a mobile phone, You get more features than a "Landline" for less cost.
Take Advantage Of Free
The world has become more of a marketing theme more than ever. With that, comes free trials, or giving stuff away for free to get your attention in hopes you will buy something. You will want to be careful and not get locked in on any deals that you can't afford, but take advantage of freebies when the opportunity is there.
There are many things like libraries, state parks and scenic routes you can take for free just to get out. Almost every state is full of walking and hiking trails. Might cost you for the stuff to make a picnic but scenic parks are free as well.
You should take advantage of the complimentary breads, chips and salsa at restaurants. If you have kids, always look for nights kids get to eat for free. Many restaurants also offer free deals for those with birthdays. To keep your cost down on your meals, drink water. Not only is it free, it is better for you as well.
Saving Money With Credit Cards
Credit Cards are dangerous in themselves, they usually lead to high debt. However they can be used to save money or even get cash back.
By purchasing everything with a cash back credit card you can earn money each year. If you were to pay all your bills with a cash back card, let's say $3000 a month, you could earn around $360 per year. If you plan on signing up for a credit card, check and see what type of sign up bonus they are offering. Bonuses like cash back, 0% interest, free hotel stays, to even getting airline points.
Car Rental Insurance
Many people are unaware of car rental insurance provided by their credit cards. Next time you need to rent a car, check with your credit card holder to see if that is a benefit. That will save you money to decline car rental insurance.
Price Protection And Warranty Benefits
Your credit card may come with the "Price Protection Benefit". This means that if you buy an item and the next day the price drops, your card holder will adjust the price. There may be forms to fill out but this can save you money.
It is also worth finding out if your card provides extended warranty coverage. Buying extended warranties can get expensive, but some cards offer that as a bonus. This will help with appliances greatly.
Retail Credit Card Benefits
Retail store cards usually have higher interest rates, but they also come with any perks. They are always offering low to no interest on certain days or products. Some have a rewards program so you can build up discounts or even cash back on future purchases.
Keeping The Card Balance To Zero
It isn't easy, but if you can keep your balances to nothing, you are not paying interest fees. By paying your credit cards off each month, you will save money in interest and service fees. Remember, you are using the card as a tool to save money, not put yourself into debt. This is why they are so dangerous to use.
Transfer Balances To Reduce Interest Rates
It is basically a card game, but if you do have a credit card balance, switching to another card holder offering 0% Interest can be a smart move. Credit Card Companies are always trying to get what you owe switched to them. You can switch from a high interest to a low or no interest and save hundreds annually.