Crunching the Budget: Ways to Save on Things You Need

Posted August 17, 2015 by in Lifestyle

When things are really tight financially or you simply want to get a grip on your finances, one of the first things you should consider is saving money. By cutting back on things you don’t need like eating out, cable services, and shopping, you can ultimately have more money to put into the things that you do need or want long term. Be that as it may, affording the things that you DO need can still be quite a hassle.

So how do you save money when your necessary expenses are still breaking your pockets? Here are some ideas on how you can crunch your budget even further while still affording the things you need:

Rent/Mortgage

Whether you own a home or rent a place, being able to afford it each month is necessary. There are ways however that you can cut down on the overall costs of housing:

Refinance – for homeowners, the option to refinance can often save you a decent amount of money. Essentially you’re looking to find a mortgage provider that will offer you a better interest rate on your mortgage. Consumers Advocate.org has many reviews of providers to compare.The lower the interest rate, the less you pay monthly. Of course you’ll need decent credit to be approved for a lower interest rate, but this option could save you a reasonable amount of cash.

Negotiate – renters are able to negotiate their rent if they believe they’re paying too much. If you’re nearing the end of your lease, check out the going rate for rental properties in the area. If your rate is way over the average, consider negotiating a lesser amount. If you’re a good tenant, your landlord may be willing to come down on the cost.

Pay on Time –  the last option for saving on your housing costs is to pay in a timely fashion. Whether you own or rent your home, there are fees that are incurred for late payments. Late fees and added interest rates can really add up at the end of the year.

Utilities

Another monthly expense that you can’t afford to be without is your utilities. Here are some ways to cut the costs.

Ask for an Audit or Inspection – Sometimes we consume a lot more of our utilities than necessary. High energy and water consumption could easily put a dent in the budget. So the best way to save money would be to ask for an audit or inspection. Having experts such as an electrician and plumber come out to the home to check for areas of high consumption can be a great way to cut back and save. Based on the findings you can make improvements that might include insulating the home better or fixing a leaking pipe that will save you money in the long run.

Switch Providers – While this may not be an option for your water and sewage providers, it can be an option for your energy provider. Many states now have the option to choose who their energy service provider will be, and depending on the service provider you choose you could end up saving a great deal of money. Websites such as LocalElectricityCompanies.com can make it easy for you to review the providers in the area and make the most informed decision.

Shopping Expenses

Shopping expenses are another thing that sometimes we can’t live without. For instance, having clothes (necessities), and food are important. Saving in those areas is also rather simplistic. Consider some of the following:

Groceries – When shopping for the groceries there are two key ways to save. The first option is to use coupons. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Extreme Couponing, you’ll know exactly what I mean. You could save anywhere from a few pennies to even having your total order paid in full on coupons. Begin collecting and using them as much as possible. The other option for saving on groceries is building a stockpile. Having a surplus of food on hand allows you to buy less throughout the month.

Clothes – When you need clothes (not want them) there’s no way around going to buy them. However, you can still save on your clothes shopping. Here are two ways to do this. The first option would be to purchase your clothes second hand. Many second hand shops have some great finds that are a lot less money than going to the store. If second hand is not an option for you, or you can’t find what you want there, there is also the option to shop off-season. By purchasing winter clothes in the summer and summer clothes in the winter you could save as much as 75% on clothes shopping.

If you’re looking for ways to crunch your budget to sustain a better quality of life, consider these options listed above. By evaluating these areas and following this tips you can save a reasonable amount of money on things you need which can help you to save for things that you really want.