Frugal Fridays: Slimming the Excess

Frugal Friday: Slimming the Excess

Recently we covered budgeting basics. At this point you should already be on your way to tracking your spending and know which areas of your budget you are struggling in. If you are anything like my family, many of the areas where your budget may be pushing the line may not be in areas that can be easily modified. This then results in us taking money from other aspects of the budget to cover those costs...usually savings. Sound familiar?

The first step is done. You have identified which areas you need to tackle first. Now it's time to brainstorm and network, so grab your pen and paper.

Frugal Friday: Slimming the Excess
Start with where you can cut. Do you qualify for any discounts? If you are disabled, in the military, a teacher, a nurse, work for the government, state, and many more you just might. Call (all of your accounts) and ask, it's worth it. Don't think it will save you much? Discounts alone count for $393.00 in savings a month for my family.

When you approach discounts be specific. Do not just ask a company if they have discounts. Ask them do you have discounts for military? Do you have discounts for teachers? Do you have discounts for <whatever it is you do>? If they say yes on the phone but want you to jump through a million hoops, write down the information required and go visit them in the store.

For example, just recently our cell phone company required four forms of identification in order to give my husband his military discount. One of the many things they wanted along with discharge papers was a veterans advantage card. Since we were still unpacking from our last move, we didn't have all of those things readily available.

The solution? Going into the corporate store, talking face to face with someone, and showing them what proof we did have.

Frugal Friday: Slimming the Excess
Another route to getting discounts is to use companies that partner together. Does your cable or utility
company work with a phone carrier? Does your utility company offer discounts for certain appliances? Does your insurance company sponsor a defensive driving class or offer discounts for bundling with a health insurance company?

They key to this is to shop around and ask questions.

Recalculate your numbers after applying discounts. Is your piggy still in pieces?

The next step is to identify what is a need and a want. For many this is a first step. In my opinion if you can get your budget to fit after discounts and put money into savings then go ahead and enjoy those wants. If not? It's time to creatively cut them. 

Spending too much of TV? Switch to Amazon Prime or Netflix

Utility bill too high? Participate in a weatherization program and/or get a rain barrel. Check out this Free E-Book  for more ideas on how to save money on your utility bills!

Spending too much on food? Learn how to use coupons and watch sales. This is an awesome E-book for tips and tricks on how to cut food costs!

Kid activities costing too much? Barter a service like working in a concession booth or cleaning

Cell phone too high? Go on a family plan with another family member

General things that can be done are learn how to repair things yourself, become a smarter shopper, and utilize your free time.

Take a pen and that piece of paper. Write down every area you think you can cut. Go beyond what you need to do. Give it a fair chance of 1-2 weeks. At the end of those two weeks decide what you are going to stick to and re-calculate your budget.

Frugal Friday: Slimming the Excess

Frugal Friday: Slimming the ExcessFrugal Friday: Slimming the ExcessFrugal Friday: Slimming the ExcessFrugal Friday: Slimming the ExcessFrugal Friday: Slimming the ExcessFrugal Friday: Slimming the ExcessFrugal Friday: Slimming the ExcessFrugal Friday: Slimming the Excess
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