Pages

Blog Archive

Search

Loading...

Blog Archive

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

PYP on the news!

Friday, May 7, 2010

4 Tips For Staying On Budget

Many families find themselves living in debt each month and wondering how they can get back in budget. Bills pile up, the cost of living increases, and the income coming in never seems to be enough. Fortunately, there are ways to decrease monthly debt and keep the family finances on track. With these four simple tips, any family can reduce their spending and stay on budget.

Create a Budget and Stick to it.
It is very hard to stay on budget if you do not have one mapped out. Sit down and create a list of all of your family's monthly expenses. Separate them by those you have to pay, such as rent or car payments, and those you can live without. Include any debts you have, even if you are not currently paying on them. As your family spending comes under control, you will have extra money each month that can be used to pay off these debts. The fewer outstanding debts you have, the better your finances will be.

Go through the list of non-necessary monthly bills and see where you can cut it down. There may be many things that you do not want to give up, but in the interest of getting back on budget something will have to give. This can mean cutting down your cable package to a smaller one, or learning to live without cable TV altogether. Look for things you do not use, such as a rarely used gym membership, and things that can be downgraded to low cost options.

Slash the Credit Cards

Many people live on their credit cards, racking up debt each month that is difficult to pay off. Instead of relying on credit to pay for things each month, stick with good, old-fashioned cash. If you have more than one credit card, cancel any cards that you do not owe payments on. The fewer credit cards you have, the less likely you will be go over your monthly budget.

Keep at least one credit card set aside for emergencies. It can be difficult at first for those who are used to having credit at their disposal, but avoiding the credit card traps is the best way to reduce debt and stick with a budget.

Make Conscious Decisions About Purchases

Before you buy anything, stop and ask yourself if you really need it. Too many people get sucked into marketing and feel they have to buy the latest, newest thing. Before you spend any money, ask yourself why you are making the purchase and if you really need it. How often will you use it, can you use something else that you already have, and are there cheaper ways to get the same results are all questions you need to consider.

If you find something that you truly think you need to buy, first look for low cost alternatives. Online sources, such as Freecycle and Craigslist, are great ways to find many items you could buy for free or for a fraction of the new cost. When trying to stick with a tight budget, having ways to spend less money are very important tools to know.

Re-plan the Menu
Grocery costs can be one of a family's biggest budget problems. It seems that the price of food increases each month. Luckily, there are ways to reduce grocery costs as well. Choose to eat less meat each week as a way to both make meals healthier and cost less. Many dishes can be served without meat, such as spaghetti and burritos. Other dishes, such as chili, can taste just as good with beans instead of meat.

Cutting out junk foods is another way to reduce food costs. Soda, potato chips, and boxed foods can burn a hole in a grocery budget without providing any nutritional value in exchange. Many boxed meals can also be made homemade for less per meal than the cost of the packaged foods. A bag of macaroni noodles and a block of cheese can create several mac&cheese dishes for the same cost as one boxed meal.

Use the free shopping lists at www.PinchingYourPennies.com to help you plan your grocery shopping trip before you go. Know what you'll be buying, what coupons you'll need, and have a plan of attack before ever entering the store.

As costs, and debt, continue to rise it can be difficult to stick with a family budget. However, creating a budget and making an effort to stick with it will help you solve your family money problems each month. By ditching your credit card spending and dropping monthly costs to a minimum, you can increase the money that you have left over each month. Using these simple tricks, any family can stay on budget and repair their money woes.

2 comments:

Veronica said...

Great advice! My only disagreement with your counsel is canceling cards that you do not have a balance on. Doing this will change your credit limit credit to credit balance ratio which is something that creditors look at when applying for loans. Best thing to do is put your card in a safe place and forget about. That can also be risky because if you do not use a card for a long period of time the credit card company will cancel it for you. And there goes your emergency cushion. My thoughts are pay down your balances. Get out of debt completely, it will feel so great! Then buy one thing on your credit card a month and pay it off that day, you can now do that with online accounts. That way you keep your account current and have a great history of paying off your balances.

Andrew and Heidi Hardy said...

Actually, it is okay to get rid of your cards as long as you keep the one you've had the longest.

Followers

PYP Forums State Forums Coupons 101 Register Contact PYP on Facebook Real Mom Kitchen blog

Welcome to PYP - The BEST source for original grocery deals and information. We don't just recirculate second-hand deals from around the blogosphere - PYP is where it all starts! We have oodles of insider info, fabulous deals, ROCKIN' forums, and comprehensive shopping lists created by volunteers and staff. Look around and see what we have for you!