how to find extra money in your budget

Budget101 Discussion List Archives General Budget & Finance how to find extra money in your budget

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    • #272640

      It is a strange phenomenon that many have not only witnessed, but experienced in their own lives. You are about to purchase your first new car and you sit at the dealership signing paper after paper wondering where in the world that three, four or five hundred dollar car payment is going to come from. Maybe you and your spouse are expecting your first child and have tormented yourselves with the fact that you will need to have a lot of extra money for diapers, food, clothes, education funds and the like for that new baby.

      Or perhaps your spouse has been laid off and you are terrified that your lunches and dinners will now consist solely of ramen noodles and water until your spouse can secure a new job. Suddenly, though, in all three of these situations, you balance your checkbook and things are fine. You are still able to have dinner out a few times a week and money isn’t as tight as you thought it would be.

      What happened? Where did all the extra money come from? You were sure your budget would be a little tighter.

      It is true when they say that necessity breeds innovation. Somehow, subconsciously, you have tightened your own budget in different ways to make way for newer expenses. You may be thinking to yourself, “Well, this all sounds great, but I’d rather not sit and wait to get pregnant or get a pink slip before I start fixing my budget!” Then read on and learn about some ways you can find that elusive extra money in your budget now.

      All Those Small Things DO Add Up

      How many of us get that cup of coffee in the morning on the way to work? If we go to the high-end coffee places, that cup of coffee or mocha may run anywhere from $1.50 to $4.00. Even if we visit the local gas station, that cup of coffee will still run you a buck.

      Say we do that five times a week, four weeks a month. That is twenty coffees and anywhere from $20 to $80 a month. We can run these same calculations with any of those small things we buy on a whim during the day like candy bars, chips or sodas from the vending machine.

      If we buy one soda a day for seventy five cents and we do that twenty times a month, that’s $15. Many of us tend to ignore these “small” expenses because they are small expenses…if you do them only once. add them up and it’s quite another story.

      wake up five minutes earlier every morning and brew your own coffee or buy your own snacks and drinks and take them to work. you will be surprised with how much you can save. try even for one week to stop yourself from purchasing these small items. anytime you stop yourself, put that money you would have spent into a jar and see how much you can accumulate in seven days.

      it’s amazing and will make you think twice about shelling out a few coins a day.

      what are necessities?

      you may have the high-end digital cable with all of the movie stations, sports stations and news stations your heart could ever desire. make a list of those shows you actually watch. for most people, you would be surprised at how many stations you actually watch a day.

      i’ve known people with hundreds of channels who will usually really only watch three or four of those channels. cut back on your cable or, if you’re too busy to actually watch a lot of television, eliminate it altogether. that could be anywhere from $40 to $150 a month.

      You may be one of those people that loves to subscribe to tons of magazines or buy the newest cds, movies or books. drop these habits and go to the library. most libraries usually have several magazines they subscribe to, as well as all of the newest book releases.

      many libraries also have video libraries you can rent from for free. instead of rushing out and buying all books, all movies and all music, give them a test drive first at the library. if you really want to own that book, cd or movie after having it read, listened to or watched, then shell out the money for it.

      at least this way, you save a couple of bucks a month by “screening.”

      i guarantee many people would vote that their perfect night out would consist of taking in a movie. instead of going to that movie every week and paying anywhere from $6 to $10 for the movie and then $10 to $20 dollars for refreshments, find a discount cinema or wait for the movie to come to video. Better yet, wait for that movie to come to your local library!

      Keep track of your insurance premiums, especially for your auto and home. For most people who pay monthly, these types of insurance are recalculated once or twice a year. Call in at least once a year to find out if there are any discounts you can qualify for.

      If they are unwilling to negotiate better premiums, shop around with other insurance companies and find out their rates. Nine times out of ten, your own insurance company will be willing to negotiate if they know you are shopping around. Do the same with your credit cards.

      While it is not recommended to keep switching around credit cards and transferring balances (for credit reasons), call your companies and ask to negotiate the interest rates.

    • #419935
      Janice Terrell

      I was spending money on newspaper delivery until certain neighbors started helping themselves to it. I cancelled the subscription and started reading it online. Was already paying for internet anyway so I’m saving the monthly cost for newspapers I’m not getting anyway.

      Over a years time this really added up.

    • #419939

      @Janice Terrell 115942 wrote:

      I was spending money on newspaper delivery until certain neighbors started helping themselves to it. I cancelled the subscription and started reading it online. Was already paying for internet anyway so I’m saving the monthly cost for newspapers I’m not getting anyway.

      Over a years time this really added up.

      this is one of the easiest ways to find extra money, not to mention you get the added feature of it being updated throughout the day. We enjoy the newspaper much more this way since we can comment on the newsstories on our newspaper website.

    • #423142

      dh and i are currently on this goal. cutting what we dont need and can live without. i am also trying to get back to “paying off” rather than “paying on” our bills.

      we have stoped buying several $5-$20 movies a month. We are not going without though. We found for us Netflix is less expensive.

      I was always the one who said no to getting netflix but I found a one dvd at a time plan plus all you can watch online movies and decided this saves us a lot!! It really is too! This weekend I had a talk with our Cell phone suplyer.

      We have a 700 plan with AT&T. Problem is We dont use anywhear near 700 minutes. dh and i discussed it and we decided my phone is pretty much unessary.

      i like it for calling him when i am with friends. ( i dont drive so dh shofers. he is a sweetie) for keeping track of each other when we are out but not togather like a trip to the store but we want to look at difrent things.

      we found out two things with our trip to at&t. we have a house phone for the internet and they never told us we dont need it for that. so that is cut.

      plus in october when our phone contract is up we will be makeing dh’s phone line smaller and mine will be going by by. i will have a pay as you go phone. that will charge me $1 per day I use it plus .10 every minut I am not calling a AT&T cell phone.

      We think it will work better but we have to do trial and error to see. We will be saveing $40 a month this way if all gos as planned. 🙂 Still looking for more ways to save.

    • #423173

      I love the library idea. My family and I never purchase books anymore unless we can get it for free or .25. We also don’t rent movies we just borrow them (music cds too).

      I cannot tell you how much money we save, let alone the clutter. Thanks for all the good tips.

    • #423726

      just a note :occasion16: Congratulations! :occasion16:

      The post, how to find extra money in your budget , was nominated for Topic of the Week and Won!

      Mdowdy has just received 25,000 Experience Points to spend in our Experience Shop.

      Thank you for your participation in the forums and adding content that our members can appreciate and value.

      We look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • #426289

      dh and i invested two tracphones. these phones have no contracts and you only buy the minutes that you need. we don’t use our phones all the time, just only when we need to reach each other.

      my dh works outside at his work so it is near impossible to reach him in an emergency. so one problem has been solved and we saved money too!

    • #426752

      I live very rural. Last spring the trash pick up increased to 18.00 a month. My sister owns a business and suggested I cancel mine and start using hers.

      We never go over the maximum bags allowed. It means a trip into town but I sure don’t miss paying that bill. I know of another person who barters handy man work with a small business in town in return for trash disposal.

      I’ve learned to look at every bill and then look again. Is there a way to lower it? Sometimes I can find a way to do just that!

    • #426764

      We too are canceling our trash service. We put large stuff in our trailer and take it down to them to empty twice a year. Our last bill went up to $84 for 3 month’s service.

      We are now practicing recycling and washing cans out and no food into the trash so by January when it comes due again we can cancel and deal with it a cheaper way! I figure if we can reduce our trash we’ll never notice the extra into the trailer to get taken twice a year. Just need to be much more mindful to avoid food in the trash which is what we are practicing now!

    • #440535

      we too canceled our garbage pick-up service. It was outrageously expensive for the 3 little bags of rubbish every other week! We don’t eat any prepackaged foods (namely due to hidden GMO’s!) and we feed scraps of fruits and veggies to our animals rather than tossing them out.

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives General Budget & Finance how to find extra money in your budget