Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ways to add money to your budget

I wrote down a list of ways I have 'found' money within my budget. Basically by cutting costs, shopping differently, and overall making different choices, you can find more money in your budget. Here is a list - I know there are many more -

1. Cell phone - change your plan, remove unused lines (with Sprint you can do *2 and say credit for drop call 20 times per month saving you $10 on your bill each month!)

2. Land line- If you still have a land line, do you use it? Do you have features 'bundled' together? do you use them? It might be cheaper to remove some features you don't use.

3. Cable - remove premium channels or cancel all together

4. Haircuts - Beauty schools in my area charged any where from $5-$10, sure beats the $50 I used to pay

5. Insurance - home and auto - have you shopped rates lately? looked at coverage?

6. Limit eating out

7. Take your lunch to work

8. Coupons! (see my other posts)

9. Utilities- Does your electric company offer budget billing?

10. Yardsales

11. Sell on ebay or craigslist

12. Rent movies instead of going to the movies

13. Shop at the grocery store once a week vs. running in when you need 1 thing. When I did that, I would always walk out with much more than I anticipated on buying.

14. Cut out daily trips to the gas station/ vending machine etc.. Its the little things, when added up, that make the biggest impact on the budget

15. Carpool

16. Gym memberships or misc memberships - are you using them? if not-- cancel!!!

17. Call your credit card companies to get your interest rates reduce, threaten to go to the competition and see what they can do for you

18. Have a clothing swap with friends

19. Have a dinner swap with friends (everyone brings something and then you can 'swap' and take leftovers home)

This is just a small listing of the ways you can cut expenses out of your budget. Once you start doing some of these, you will be surprised how quickly it all adds up!

Monday, December 3, 2007

You can give by saving - or save to give

I'm always on the look out for a good deal. No matter what. I read a lot of freebie forums and chat rooms and find out what kind of deals people are getting. Because I want in on it!

I stockpile a lot of the normal things like toothpaste, shampoo etc.. I buy this stuff for next to nothing when I am doing my weekly shopping. The trick to that is to find it on sale, use a coupon, and keep it on hand so you are not forced to buy something and pay full price just because you need it.

I have so many coupons and I'm always signing up for more. Even if I know i'm not going to use the item, i'll get the coupon and try to find a good deal. I do this especially with pet food. A lot of times you can find these items and pay very little - then turn around and donate it to your local animal shelter. The volunteers there love it because you are giving them much needed supplies. It makes you feel good doing a good deed, and on top of it all - you didn't pay very much for the item! Its a win win for everyone.

I also donate my overstock of items to our local food pantry when my storage supply has become over run. It makes me feel good giving to those who are less fortunate and I'm doing my part by paying it forward. Only I know that I didn't break the bank to do a good deed.

It really doesnt take that much more effort to start to add a few of these types of items to your cart the next time your out. By watching the sale ads and matching it with coupons you will be surprised how quickly it adds up. Once I have a couple of bags full - I go ahead and drop off the donation.

I have done this for years and I hope after reading this you will consider doing the same. Even small steps can help out those less fortunate.