As the Lenten season kicks to full gear, devout individuals all over the world are getting ready for their yearly fasts. Regardless of your religion, or lack of, your wallet can definitely benefit from a fiscal fast. If you have been looking for ways to cut your spending, then below are completely doable ways to give your wallet that extra padded look.
1. Take a look at the way you currently spend.
Before you can make sensible cuts, you need to evaluate the way that you presently spend your money. Go back to basics by listing down your expenditures, and then classifying them between needs and wants.
Of course, your debt payments will go towards the “needs” category. For those items which you have a problem categorizing, ask yourself this age-old question: Is it something which you cannot live without? Will you stop existing simply because you cancelled your cable or your subscription to Netflix? The answer to that one shouldn’t be that difficult.
2. Get rid of redundancies.
When corporations want to cut their costs, they implement rationalization plans to get rid of inefficiencies. In fact, the reason for why companies reach the decision to make lay-offs and retrenchments is because they have found positions within their organization which perform redundant tasks. In your household, while the organization is so much smaller, you may still see redundancies which are literally costing you money.
Take for example your cable and Netflix subscriptions. If you maintain both, then it’s definitely time for you to give up either one. Both subscriptions have the same goal, and that is to serve you up with entertainment. Since it becomes very difficult for you to watch a movie on Netflix while viewing a paid television channel at the same time, you will definitely be underutilizing both.
So why not pick out which of the two you enjoy more and then cancel the other one? Other services that lead to redundancy include your landline and your cellular phone plan, or paying for data plan on your cellular phone when you have wi-fi connection.
3. Examine your essential expenditures.
Yes, food is important, and it is something which you cannot live without. However, just because that is the case does not mean you shouldn’t scrutinize how your money gets spent for food. You may classify food as essential but is it really necessary for you to eat in a sit-down restaurant twice a week? If you spend around $10 for every single time you eat out, and you do that twice a week, then that becomes a cool $80 in just one month.
Skip the restaurants, brown bag to work, and then take your savings with you during your next trip to the grocery. You’ll get a bigger bang for your buck that way.
Gasoline and transportation costs are also classified as necessary expenditures. However, with the price of gasoline and the increasing cost to commute, ask yourself if you really need to use your car or hail a cab for your next trip? If you’ve already parked somewhere in the downtown area and you need to purchase something from a store two blocks away, try walking instead.
If parking space is a problem in your area, then all the more that you should you consider walking than risk having to drive in circles and wasting gas in the process. You can always commute, too.
4. Pinch pennies and save for a rainy day.
As Nick Scali on twitter puts it, with money being very difficult to come by, every penny saved is really a penny earned. Try the tips above, and you can squeeze more life out of your savings account rather than living pay check to pay check.
Kent Farell, the writer, is a registered financial planner. His blogs center around financial management and investment. He also shares intelligent articles about investing, financial management and lease financing.