After all of the big and important items have been implemented in cutting expenses in order to save money in your budget where do you go next? What are the things you can do to take this even further?
This assumes that you need or want to go further. In these economic times, going farther is desired because you can save money and put it towards debt retirement as well as savings and retirement.
Here are some suggestions to help you go farther in cutting expenses:
Be more frugal than ever. This has to do more with an overall mindset. Being frugal means living simply. Change your thinking from I have to go out and buy this to how can I make this work by using something that I already have? This singular change in mindset will help to drive you away from automatically spending money.
Household expenses. Look for ways to further cut household expenses. Some people re-use aluminum foil, plastic bags and other such items. Still others make their own soap and cleaning products. There are those who have a pack rat mindset and keep things like glass or plastic containers and old t-shirts for cleaning rags.
Utilities. Utility use will go up and down based on the seasons, so you probably have budgeted amount set aside for that category. Always look for ways to reduce your utility usage. Keep lights turned off and use natural sunlight whenever possible. Unplug any charging devices that normally stay plugged into outlets. These use a small trickle of electricity, and if you add them all together, you would be surprised to learn that over the course of a year, depending on the quantity of these devices, you can save around $10 or so. That is not a lot of money, but every little bit helps, right? Now, apply the same concept to natural gas consumption and water usage.
Repair not replace. Look for ways to fix an item, rather than trashing it and buying new. Build up a network of those in your community who know about electrical items and how to fix electrical wires and such. Look for someone who is good at mechanical items to see if they can fix items that are broken. If something can be fixed and it makes sense, you can save more than you think.
Do it yourself. If you are handy, you will be able to save even more, because with a small amount of materials (or none at all) your investment is only measured in the amount of time that you put into a project. Refuse to pay that out to someone else.
Always question. This is another mindset change that you need to implement. Ask questions about how things work. Find out answers by using the Internet. Keep your mind in a questioning mode throughout the day. Refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer unless there is absolutely no other option.
Look at the challenge. Take it on as a challenge every time you encounter an opportunity to save rather than spend on an item or task.
Deplore waste. Decide that waste is your enemy. Not only waste in things that we discard, but waste in your budget, waste in how you live your life. Use up every little resource that you can to make your life better with less waste.
Does this sound strange? Too over the top for you? It is not for everyone, but for those who want to go farther and save even more it can help. Think about how much money can be saved throughout the year if every one of these items is implemented. It will make a difference.