Saturday, June 9, 2007

Learn to do without.

One of the best ways I’ve found to get an edge on finances is keeping myself consistently under budget. I do this by learning to do without. For example, there was a time when I would drink 3 fancy shmancy coffee drinks a day. Each one would cost me $2.00 so I was spending $6.00 a day just on coffee. That’s $42 a week, $128 a month.

And that’s just a cup of coffee.

Do you go out to eat with your spouse once a week? Going out every other week could save you $60 a month.

Do you buy name brand groceries? Trying some generic products could save you $10-$40 a week on shopping.

One big expense that saves people when they go without is alcohol. Depending on what you drink, you could save anywhere from $14-$200 a month by not buying alcoholic drinks, or even cutting consumption in half.

So how does one find out what they can cut?

This goes back to Knowing what you Spend. Save your receipts and really take a count of what you buy, what you use, and what just sits there. Does someone buy a magazine from the supermarket counter every month? It may be cheaper to get a subscription. I personally buy tools I don’t need and probably won’t use, but by making a rule that all tool purchases are a two-party decision, my wife and I save money by doing without.

I am interested in learning what other people have been able to do without, reuse, save money on, etc. If you have a good tip, post it in the comments below.

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