How to Cut Back on Spending
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How to Cut Back on Spending

Posted on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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To help out we've come up with a few areas where you could probably cut back and actually save some money. One of the most effective ways to save some extra dough for your holiday shopping is to cut back on the those small pleasures in life. Yes, we know this may be hard to do, but keep in mind it will be better for your budget in the long run! To help out we’ve come up with a few areas where you could probably cut back and actually save some money.

How to Cut Back on Spending

1. Entertainment Services (Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, Spotify, Redbox, etc.)

As much as we enjoy binge watching every episode of How I Met Your Mother or listening to Miley’s new album, entertainment services can really eat up your family’s budget. We realize entertainment services like Netflix or Hulu Plus seem to cost only a small amount monthly, but every penny counts. Also, these costs especially add up when you have multiple memberships. We’re not saying that your home has to be a no-fun or no-entertainment zone, but we are suggesting there are other options. Instead of paying for entertainment services why don’t you check out your local library? Seriously. Libraries these days aren’t just for books (even though books are also a great way to entertain yourself) . In fact, you can rent popular movies, tv series, and cds without paying a penny! And if libraries don’t work for you try arranging a movie and book swap with your closest friends! This way you can experience new-to-you entertainment without a due date!

2. Coffee and Restaurant Expenses

Love getting coffee at your Starbucks or purchasing your lunch from the cafeteria? We’re sorry to say, but coffee purchases and restaurant spending are another big area where you can afford to cut back. Studies have shown that brewing your coffee at home, on average, can save you around $775 per year, so imagine what cutting back can do for you for the next few months. Furthermore, packing your lunch or eating at home can save you a bundle too. If your family really does need a dinner out be sure to find the best possible deal for the meal. Check out our restaurant coupons section to save at your favorite restaurants. Also keep in mind that there are always free coffee and free food offers from popular restaurants and coffeehouses on Freecoupons.com, so keep checking our website to stay informed!

3. Spending Freeze on All Things Retail

Do you “need” that new pair of boots or top from Old Navy? If you’re like us we use the term “need” loosely. It’s time to make do with what you already have. It’s tempting to give in to that great sale at JcPenney or Macy’s, but it’s also nice to have enough to spread the holiday cheer. Instead of purchasing a new top or jeans try repairing the ones you have if there are rips or tears. We realize that not everyone is a sewing extraordinaire so we recommend checking out the “10 Clothing Fixes That Everyone Should Know” on About.com. And if you’re itching to try something new try arranging a clothing swap with friends of a similar size for new-to-you fashion. All your new finds will need is a quick wash in the machine and you’ll be good to go!

 

These three tips are just a simple and easy start for your family’s budget. There are easily more things you could do, but the main message of all these cutting back techniques is to distinguish between what you need versus what you want, and to spend less on the what you want category.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.