There are many reasons why people try to cut back on their monthly expenses and live more frugally; maybe you are saving for a large purchase, would rather spend your money on other things, need to make sacrifices to make ends meet, or simply want to reject consumerism. Whatever the reason, you have decided to live on a budget to put more money in your pocket.
After you have minimized your entertainment budget, changed to a lower interest credit card, and eliminated all unnecessary expenditures you may be out of ideas. Many of us are capable of living on much less than we imagine, but extreme frugality can become problematic and stressful.
Debt is one of the biggest obstacles that keeps people from getting ahead and saving. Staying on top of your finances and avoiding borrowing is the key in getting ahead. If you find yourself facing a financial crisis that requires money, look to benefits and grants before taking out an unsecure loan or credit card. This can help keep you out of debt, which means you can start to save quicker.
Here are a few other creative solutions that can help you efficiently manage and maximize the effectiveness of your budget and get on with saving.
1. More Affordable Housing
Moving to a new city is the most extreme measure you can take in finding more affordable housing, but the fact is that the cost of living in a big city is much more expensive than a small town. Property value and taxes are much higher which drives up the prices of nearly everything else. Now you don?t need to move across the country to save money, but maybe you should explore cheaper areas near your current location. Smaller towns and suburbs of large cities have significantly lower living expenses as long as you have access to public transport.
2. Find a Roommate
Although you may prefer to live alone, finding a roommate will literally cut your monthly expenditures in half. This may be a big sacrifice of your privacy and other personal preferences, but if you need to save money, it?s a great option. Living with friends can be tricky, but if you choose someone you don?t know be sure to conduct a background check and that their security deposit clears before they move in.
3. Go to the Library
Today?s libraries offer much more than just books; they spend large amounts of money maintaining online databases and purchasing computers that allow patrons to access the internet. Living without internet may seem unimaginable, but it is one way to eliminate a large monthly bill. If you have a phone plan, you will still be able to access your email but you can rely on the library for more intensive research.
4. Switch from Cable
If you decide that internet is a necessity, you can cancel your monthly cable subscription instead. This is a huge expense averaging between $50-100 each month. Instead, you can subscribe to websites like Netflix or Hulu that give you online access to your favorite TV shows and movies. Although you may have to wait to watch the latest episodes, paying a low membership fee will have a huge impact on your budget.
5. Start a Garden
This idea may not be viable for every person depending on the climate where you live, but if you invest the time to care for a garden, you will have fresh produce on hand. This plan is by no means ?fool proof,? but it can help curb how much you spend on produce in the long run.
Focus on growing the more expensive items, such as tomatoes and peppers. It is estimated that a 100 square foot garden will double your investment in a year and provide a healthy boost to your diet.