My TOP 10 ways to cut EXPENSES!

1.  Cut cable or satellite (Yes, we have done this and currently use an $20 antenna that picks up all the major networks and some other channels)

2.  Increase your house insurance deductible (Yes, we have done this also – it really does not help your insurance rate to make small claims – it’s better to pay them out of pocket unless you have extensive damage).

3.  Take the extras off your telephone service (call waiting, caller ID).  If our line is busy, most people have my cell phone and call it.

4.  Commit to not buying anything decorative or electronics for the house for 3 months.

5.  For credit card debt:  Call your company and negotiate a lower APR.  This does work in most cases.  If you have received a solicitation in the mail from another credit card company with a lower APR, ask your company to at least match it.

6.  Increase your car insurance deductible (some companies such as Progressive, offer a coupon for $250 or $500 off on your deductible).  If your deductible is $500 and you have a coupon, technically you have a $0 deductible so perhaps raise your deductible to $1,000.

7.  Commit to spending a certain amount on groceries.  I know several families of 4 that are spending on average $100 a week.  If you are over this amount, try to make a goal for 3 months to reduce your grocery spending.

8.  Commit to only eating out once a week or sharing a dish with your spouse when you go out.  Another thing is to only order water.  Soda and tea at restaurants can cost up to $3 each.

9.  If you have a house phone and cell phone, consider cutting back your cell phone minutes/billing plan.

10.  Okay this is going to bother some of the women out there…consider not getting your nails done or hair colored in a salon for 3 months.  Ask your hair stylist what color she uses for your hair and go do it yourself.

11.  Sorry I have to add one more…If your vacation is draining all your savings or being put on a credit card, then skip it.  It will not ruin your child(s)childhood if you don’t have a vacation this year.  There are MANY MANY things you can do with your child(ren) or as a couple that don’t cost as much as a weekly beach or mountain vacation.  Go for a weekend instead.  Take a vacation day but splurge on a water park one week and a museum another week.   

My point in all this is to list all your extra expenses (meaning anything not necessary).  Cable and caller ID are not necessities.  These things may make our lives more enjoyable but they are not required for us to live unless your job requires it.  List these items and pick 2-5 to get rid of for at least 3 months.  PLEASE note that these are things I have experienced.  Each of you may have your own personal extra things you feel you can live with and without.

If you have other things to add, please post it.  I love hearing from you!   Have a great Monday – Dana

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