6 Ways to Cut Down Your Spending

by Dual Income No Kids on June 22, 2009 · 0 comments

Since I’m on a budget and enjoy discussing finance, today’s posting is a discussion of ways to save money by cutting your spending. My wife and I have come up with some of these. Other tips come from Jane Bryant Quinn’s Making The Most of Your Money.

Without further ado, here are some ways to painlessly cut your budget.

1) Drink Office Coffee: Many offices have communal coffee brewing, this is usually free. Free is much better than dropping $1.80 at Starbucks.

2) Go to the Library: Libraries are totally stuffed with free entertainment. You can get books and CDs and DVDs for no money at all. For example, you might not think it, but the DC library had a great collection of classic operas. For the cost of quick drive, its well worth a trip to get your free entertainment.

3) Go Shopping with a List: The main idea here is if you shop with a list, you’re far less likely to impulse purchase or buy things you won’t ever use. My wife and I are totally guilty of this. We often go shopping with only a general idea of what we need. That said, shopping with a list is a proven way to cut your expenses.

4) Focus on Inexpensive Entertainment: Try to find cheap restaurants, museums, or zoos. There are usually plenty of these opportunities to be found. Try looking in your local weekly paper. If you can’t find anything inexpensive to do, try staying home and curling up with a good book instead of going out.

5) Go Vegetarian: A few years back a woman changed her name from Karin to goveg.com to promote vegetarianism – I’m not suggesting another so drastic. At the same time, typically meatless meals are less expensive than meals with meat. Think about it, beef and chicken are usually more expensive than beans and rice. While you probably need the protein found in meat, you could try skipping a couple of meat meals or substituting something else (e.g. mushrooms instead of mean in pasta sauce) in place of meat.

6) Ease off on Alcohol and Tobacco: Too much alcohol and tobacco can be harmful to your health. More importantly, if you smoke and drink less, you’ll save on life insurance, doctors bills, breath sweeteners, dry cleaning bills and incidentals like ash trays and wine glasses. If you must drink consider getting less expensive wine or beer.

These suggestions are good because you can actually do them without drastically changing your lifestyle. This is important. If you want to build wealth, you first need to save the cash to invest with. In order to effectively save, what you do has to work within the context of your daily activities. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to move to less expensive housing if it increased your commuting costs by taking you further away from your employment. So, these are painless changes you can can work on within the context of your lifestyle.

If you’re interested in more ideas, The Simple Dollar has a very excellent list on saving money tips. Also, you might pick up a copy of Jane Bryant Quinn’s Making the Most Of Your Money. Its available on Amazon for twenty bucks.

Best,

James

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