For the first time in years, I didn’t really make any New Year’s Resolutions. I want to be better as far as overall health and finances, but didn’t set a definitive goal for 2012.
The biggest thing for us has been trying to survive on one income. I’ve probably looked at our budget almost everyday of the new year. I am always looking for ways to cut back so we don’t get into financial trouble. Here are some things that I’ve done to ‘find’ more money:
– Small, monthly memberships add up quickly. ESPN Insider, Weight Watchers, Entertainment Weekly, local newspaper, Netflix, etc sell us on less than $20 a month memberships, but that can make a big difference. We don’t have a lot of these, but cutting them saved a few dollars.
– Cable downgrade. We have a contract with our cable provider so we can’t drop our service totally, but we can downgrade to their lowest package. This saves us $15 a month.
– Coffee and Sodas – If you buy one grande drink at Starbucks a week that is $15-$20 a month! If you drink one 20 ounce soda a day during the work week that is $25-$30 a month!
– Stop eating out so much! If I cut out a $8 fast food lunch out a week that is $32 a month. Just think if you are eating at Panera Bread twice a week that is probably $60-$80 a month you are spending on those meals.
– Coupons – We have started paying attention to all those mailouts we get from dozens of places. This month we will probably save close to $100 because of coupons.
– Insurance – For us there is no greater savings than making changes in our insurance. We are shopping for health insurance for Jennifer and Mercedes hoping to cut $100-$200 a month out of our budget. We could cut $90 without changing much benefits.
Just a few small changes in your habits can add up to significant amounts of money over a month or two.