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Your Financial Life
By David Dorion / Mar 6, 2015

5 Personal Budgeting Tips

5_Bill_Cutting_Tips

Bills aren’t fun. Yet, they are a fact of life that, in some cases, we deal with on a daily basis. Of course there’s more to bill paying than just spending less or budgeting. To minimize your bills and personal expenses, you may also need to make major adjustments to your daily life. Below are five suggestions that, along with budgeting, could significantly reduce your day-to-day spending.

Invest in a cookbook, not a menu.

Probably the most effective way to cut bills is to eat out less. And while food prices aren’t exactly cheap, eating at home is still far less expensive if you include the tip. Instead of picking up a menu, consider picking up a cookbook. Find recipes for meals you might like, and maybe afterward, treat yourself to a homemade dessert. Cooking can be rewarding and fun, not to mention much easier on your wallet.

Leave the driving to someone else.

Whether by bus or train, public transit can be a huge cost cutter for a number of reasons, the first of which is fuel, not to mention wear and tear on your vehicle and parking fees.

Other advantages to public transportation include potentially arriving to your destination more quickly in congested urban areas, less bumper-to-bumper stress, as well as the ability to do something other than grinding rush-hour gears, such as reading, sending emails and texts, or even catching a few winks.

Another perk to riding public transportation may lie in your employer. See if they offer employee stipends for taking public transportation, which can potentially save you even more money and help your personal transportation budget.

Cut the cable.

When was the last time you watched every channel available to your television? The next time you switch on the set, make note of where you hover your channel-surfing interests—or if you surf at all.

If you watch only sports, sure, keep your provider’s sports package. But if you’re not watching theatrical movies on a daily or even semi-daily basis, drop the movie package.

Cut the power.

Did you know that no matter if you live in a house, condominium or apartment, your power usage is being monitored minute-by-minute by a power meter?

If you want to beat that power meter’s spinning disk at its own revolving game, try cutting down the A/C in the warm season and turn on a fan or open some windows and doors instead. The air might not be as cold, but it will be fresh, not to mention, free.

The same goes for the cold months. Grab a hoodie or sweater instead of making a centrally heated sweatbox of your homestead.

Monitor your daily expenses.

Make a conscious effort to ask for receipts for all of your daily expenditures, then, at the end of the day, look them over. You may find that the latte you bought, or that late-afternoon chocolate chip cookie, can add up to quite a bit by the week’s end, and based on that, might not seem so necessary day-to-day, at least not on a cost-effective basis.

Of course, there’s no telling from one person to the next how much they’ll save if they take these budgeting measures. But with decreasing your dining out, your driving, limiting your entertainment to what you are truly entertained by, as well as mitigating your power consumption and nonessential staples, your daily savings can add up to a significant amount in no time.

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