20 Ways To Trim Your Budget And Survive Hard Times Ahead

PinExt 20 Ways To Trim Your Budget And Survive Hard Times Ahead

neon scissors 20 Ways To Trim Your Budget And Survive Hard Times Ahead Most people agree that there are some hard times ahead.  The recession is going to take its toll on the economy.  It is a good time to trim your budget and hunker down financially.

“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.” 
~ Harry S. Truman

Unfortunately, we do not have a crystal ball to tell us exactly what the hard times ahead will look like.  We don’t know whether the recession will impact us a little or a lot.  However, it is likely it will have some affect on our finances. 

This is why I’m,suggesting everyone trim your budget and be prepared.  I’d rather be accused of crying wolf than find out the worse when it’s too late for people to prepare.

20 ways to trim your budget starting today!

Let’s get to budgeting and trimming the fat!  Come on.  This won’t hurt as much as you think.  Plus, if things get ugly, it will feel really good to know you took action to prepare and protect your family.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

1.  Liquidate the luxuries

Look at your monthly budget and determine where your money is going.  Chances are you have some luxuries that you are either making payments on or that cost you money in maintenance.  For me, I sold a boat, Seadoo, camping trailer and a hot tub.  Stay with me here, I promise this gets easier!

2.  Quit the gym

Yes, I understand that exercise is important, but does staying fit really require a gym membership?  It is possible to exercise at home or even outdoors.  Radical, I know, but sometimes you have to take drastic steps!

3.  Sell the Lexus!

Okay, even if it isn’t a Lexus, you might consider selling it.   What is your monthly payment on your vehicle?  What percentage of your monthly income goes toward making this payment?  What?  You are making more than one car payment!  Oh my gosh.  Sell the expensive cars and pay cash for some basic, dependable transportation.

4.  Turn down the heat

There are a ton of ways to reduce your monthly heating bill.  It just takes a little forethought and proactive effort.  Utility payments are important, but they don’t have to break the bank. 

5.  Cut some coupons

Couponing is a great way to save some money.  Every little bit helps.  There are even some easy ways to take the pain out of using coupons.  Remember, coupons aren’t just for groceries.  There are great coupons available to save on a wide-array of purchases.

6.  Turn off your home phone

We are all so mobile these days.  It seems almost every family member has a cell phone.  If this is the case at your house, then you might consider dumping your home phone.  This can save $50 to $100 per month!

7.  Reduce spending on the grocery bill

Groceries often take a big bite out of our budget.  It might be time to cut back on the grocery bill.  Believe it or not, you can still eat well while saving a few dollars along the way.

8.  Buy clothing at secondhand stores

I know that this one is going to be hard for some of you to do, but clothes are one item that can be purchased very cheaply when they are slightly used.  You can get name brand clothing for a fraction of mall prices at consignment stores.

9.  Grow some of your food

I understand that most of us are city dwellers nowadays.  However, it is possible to plant a small garden in your backyard.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are yummy and very healthy.

10.  Check books out from the library

I love the library.  I think it is one of the greatest institutions in America.  The library can also save you a lot of money if you read frequently.  Stop buying and just borrow!

11.  Use hand-me-downs

Parents are notorious for overspending on their newborns.  I’m a big believer in using hand-me-downs.  If this is your first child, then ask around your family.  It is likely that someone else has just what you need.

12.  Slash the cable TV bill

Do you really need all those channels?  Take a look at what you are spending every month to watch television.  You will probably be surprised and appalled.

13.  Stop going to so many restaurants

Eating out has got to be a big chunk of where a lot of our money goes.  I am amazed at how packed the parking lots are at many restaurants in the middle of the week.  It is time to make some frugal meals at home.

14.  Refinance your mortgage

Check the interest rate on your mortgage and determine if now is a good time to refinance.  We refinanced our home a few years back and shaved quite a bit off the monthly payment.

15.  Pay off your debt

It is awesome being debt-free during hard times.  It relieves so much of the pressure.  In fact, you can even take advantage of the situation by paying cash for all the bargains being offered both at retail stores and in the stock market.

16.  Get a new insurance quote

Visit an independent insurance agent and get competitive quotes on your homeowner and auto insurance.  You might be surprised how much you can save this way.

17.  Take a sack lunch

Again, eating out at restaurants is expensive.  Packing a sack lunch at least a couple of days a week can save you quite a bit over a month or year.

18.  Examine your vices

Do you have an expensive habit?  It might be smoking or could be Starbucks.  It varies from person-to-person.  These things usually cost $3 to $4 a pop, but they add up fast.  Now might be a good time to quit.

19.  Buy frugal gifts

I know that when you are giving a gift that you want to do something nice.  However, there are ways to give nice gifts and be frugal at the same time.  Explore the options!

20.  Shop hard for a good deal on your next vacation

I love to travel, but why pay more than you have to?  The Internet offers a ton of great resources that will help you get the best deal possible on your next trip.

Survive hard times with a finely tuned budget

I think it is time to get lean and mean with our budgets.  If you follow this guide, you should be able to reduce your monthly spending considerably.  This will give you the best chance to survive any hard times ahead with the least amount of suffering.

What other ways have you trimmed your budget?

Photo by russelljsmith

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PinExt 20 Ways To Trim Your Budget And Survive Hard Times Ahead

27 thoughts on “20 Ways To Trim Your Budget And Survive Hard Times Ahead

  1. These seem like some effective tips for saving money in this tough economy. I wanted to write a follow-up discussing a key route to specifically wireless savings through the website http://www.fixmycellbill.com (by a company called Validas) that on average currently saves T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and US Cellular customers 22 percent, equating to $482 annually, off their cell bills. I personally save $230 per year through Validas and I have been so impressed with these results that I recently took a job with the company.

    In terms of how it actually works, Validas analyzes your online cell bill for free and calculates how much money you could be saving. It turns out that eight of ten wireless customers are paying more than they need to for their plans. Validas fixes these discrepancies by tailoring a customer’s plan to fit their specific needs. If you choose, Validas provides your personalized cell bill adjustment report that is emailed, for five bucks, to your wireless provider in industry specific format so you can actually implement Validas’s cash saving changes. If Validas can save you more than $5 on your bill, this obviously provides a very cost effective solution.

    Validas is rapidly gaining a reputation as the preeminent advocate for the wireless customer. Check out a feature about the company on The Big Idea with CNBC’s Donny Deutsch at http://www.cnbc.com/id/22782456/. Any cell subscriber who wants to cut costs should consider Validas. It’s free to consult and you only stand to save.

    Happy holidays and good luck to everyone trying to reduce their bills.

    Dylan

  2. Great tips!

    I’m a bit of a frugal fanatic so I’m always looking for ways to trim my budget.

    One tip that saves a bunch of money at the grocery store is to buy generic brand items. There’s no need to buy name-brand because the generic stuff is just as good, and even better in some cases. And the same goes for cleaning products, beauty products, etc.

    Also, I turn the heat way down in the house at night and then just use a space heater to keep my bedroom warm. This small action really saves a lot on my heating bill.

    Thanks again for the great tips!

    ~ Jason

    Read Jason from Money Theory´s latest article – Should real world subjects be taught more in schools?

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  8. Yes, you can save the money this way, but who are we fooling here?

    If everyone were to follow these, just imagine how many jobs will be lost due to less consumers, not to mention altered supply and demand chain. It is a vicious cycle really, you think you save the money, but in the long run you are ruining the overall economy around you.

    The only way to ensure coming back out of a crashing economy is for the government to fix the country’s industry. For the time being, this situation might turn similar to the one as it was decades ago – food for coupons, not money – this seems like the only solution.

  9. @Anton – I’m sorry, but I completely disagree with you. The economy will not collapse if we become more responsible with our incomes. In fact, it would be better for it if we spent less than we earn and had some savings. Our country has prospered during times when Americans were more financially conservative. In the short-run, some businesses, that are not well-run, might fail. However, their fate was probably inevitable anyway. Less consumerism will just hasten the fall.

    The current economic meltdown proves that an over-inflated economy running on shaky credit and overspending is not viable. We are now paying the price for our sins. It is time for personal responsibility to reign! Don’t count on the government to bail you out! That is a dangerous way to think. Government coupons and bailouts are not a solution, they are only a band-aid! One that might or might not heal the wound.

    Become a part of the real solution by taking it upon yourself to use and save your money wisely!

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  11. Great tips! I have been thinking about planning a garden. The Obama’s are planning on putting a garden in! Wow..way to think green!
    I will be having ideas like this soon at revive your life dot com. Keep info like this coming! We gotta save $$ in these economic times.

    Read Jake´s latest article – How to Become a Better Boss

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  16. I think your article was really a solid kick off to a potential series of articles about this topic. Most people pretend to understand what they are preaching about when it comes to this topic and in reality, very few people actually get it. You seem to grasp it though, so I think you need to start writing more. Thank you!

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