Friday, May 17, 2013

Financial Friday - Reducing Expenses

Fridays are dedicated to Financial Matters. At the beginning of the year I decided to take the money horse by the reigns buckling down to pay off debt and save for retirement. Every Friday I share a part of what I learned and implemented, whether the outcome was positive or negative, and what I’ve learned.

Reducing Expenses
After putting a budget into place, I looked at reducing my expenses. This was in an effort to help save money and contribute more to debt.

The very first complete reduction was canceling my landline. I was one of the few that had held on to the landline. I just wanted to make sure that all quirks were worked out with cell phones and that time I might need to call 911. This effort saved me $40.

The next place I looked at saving was my television entertainment. We had satellite services for three TVs, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. I called my local cable company and had them install cable television for the same three TVs and cancelled Netflix because they had a premium service (included for free) with the same features. I really would like to go to just internet based television, but my family is not quite ready for that. This overall has saved me about $40.

The next step that I knew would take some time before I saw complete savings was with my grocery budget. However, I knew I would save quite a bit if  I started menu planning which would help reduce the number of times we ate out. We were eating out more as a convenience and lack of planning, so I returned to making a menu. I complete a menu monthly, but may or may not do my shopping once or twice a month. I have been successful the last several months, to buy the majority of my items on the first pay check and then just using the second allotted amount for groceries for fresh produce, milk, and bread. This has been a lot easier than I thought, just took a few months to start seeing the savings.

There is a lot of information out on the internet about reducing expenses. Just type in frugal living and grocery saving tips and you can develop a plan for yourself. You can go quite extreme frugal living or just be conservative on where you spend your money. I don’t use extreme couponing and refuse to purchase a paper for coupons as there are quite a few you can tag on your grocery rewards cards or print out. I have had fun seeing what savings I can get overall. 

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