Financial Friday – Small Cuts, Big Savings

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.

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