There is a show on television called “Extreme Couponing” with the concept that if you clip coupons you can save an extreme amount of money. When I say extreme, I mean almost free. Most of the “couponers” have shelves full of food and groceries in the garage or pantry with savings amounting to thousands of dollars.
Do not underestimate the time it takes to organize, cut out coupons and plan for a shopping visit to a specific food store. I mean this is close to a full-time job or in the least a full-time hobby. Some do it for the thrill of getting a bargain, and some do it out of necessity. According to the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the estimates to feed a family of four for a month costs between $801 and $1,217. And this does not include eating out!
But, it brings to light that there are savings out there if you just pay attention.
One of the questions that we ask when we have when a meeting with clients for the first time is
how much money do you spend monthly?
Most people are unaware or underestimate the actual amount that they are spending monthly and the actual answer is usually surprising to them. The monthly bills are paid and the acknowledgment of what is available at the end of the month is obvious, but determining your spending habits is crucial to establishing a financial plan and preparing for the future.
Is there a way to cut your spending now to increase savings?
Establishing a monthly budget is the first step to determine where you are spending. And with this information, you can take a look at where you may be able to save.
Here are some tips on cutting your spending:
- Are you going out to restaurants frequently? Setting up a schedule for the amount of times per week you eat out can seriously impact your dining expenses.
- Do you need the premium package for your cable? Are you watching all of those channels? Most cable carriers will lower your cost with a phone call inquiring about changing carriers.
- Are you paying a high amount for your insurance? Maybe it’s time to get a new quote from a different insurer.
- Have you forgotten about subscriptions that you no longer use? Certain companies will automatically renew your subscription and charge your credit card. Carefully review your credit card charges and call to cancel those that you no longer use.
- Some simple tasks that you spend money on can be easily completed in a few hours…wash your car, clean your house or iron those shirts. It’s surprising how much money can be saved on some of these simple tasks that you have gotten out of the habit of doing.
- Take some time to surf the internet for savings. Check out Group On or email announcements on sales and specials. It may surprise you that some of the services that you are currently using may offer additional savings with the click of a button.
Educating yourself on how you are spending your money can aid you for your financial future. And saving more is always a good feeling!
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