Initially many people may find it challenging to live on a budget, especially those who are not used to tracking their daily expenditures. When these figures are recorded and added together they often form a total that exceeds the amount of income that they are receiving. When faced with this situation an individual must cut back on their spending. However, this is often easier said than done. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of practical money saving tips that should help you to get back on budget as quickly as possible.
• Alter credit card behavior. Pay cash whenever possible. This will help you from making a purchase unless you actually have money available. If you decide to make a credit card purchase, be prepared to pay the balance off monthly. This will save a lot of money through avoiding interest charges. If you already have a CC balance then transfer to a card with a low interest rate. Additionally, find a card that does not charge an annual fee.
• Brown bag it. Believe it or not, all of those lunch hours spent at the local restaurants begin to add up. Bringing your own lunch can save you several dollars each day.
• Call during off peak hours. It is not uncommon for "phone talkers" to spend a couple hundred dollars a month on phone charges. Much of this can be avoided by placing the majority of your calls during off peak hours. These hours may vary depending on the service, but many cell phone companies offer unlimited calls during nights and weekends.
• Clip coupons. Although this may seem like a tedious waste of time to many, the savings can often be well worth the effort. Many stores will offer to double the amount of your coupon up to a certain amount. Using this technique can save you as much as $20 to $30 (this number will vary depending on the amount purchased) each time you shop.
• Refinance. Mortgage rates have been extremely low over the past year. This has been a great opportunity to reduce the monthly house payment significantly. (If you are planning to have your house paid off prior to retirement, then you may want to factor this in before refinancing.)
• Bundle your insurance. Many insurance companies will offer their customer lower rates if they purchase multiple insurance policies. For example, some people use the same agent for multiple cars, and others combine their cars and house.