Budget Planning - Save Money

Budgeting Your Money

Budgeting your money will lead to saving money, and it does not mean you have to give up everything your love, but it means you have to stand back and look at the big picture listening to saving money tips. If you have credit card debt you can’t pay, then it is important to figure out how to meet your obligations and not ruin your credit. Working out a plan together can be done by following some simple steps.

Money

Household Budget

Sometimes that means working a part time job in addition to full-time employment. This is difficult physically and mentally and certainly exploring other methods to cut expenses is worthwhile. Or, if you are barely making ends meet, sit down with your spouse and look for ways to cut costs. There are many ways to you can save money on a household budget by cutting expenses but you have to be disciplined, and make a plan to stick with each month. Your ultimate goal is to learn to save money with at least 10% a payday. Look at your fixed expenses first.

Housing

Rent or a house payment is the number one consideration. If you have a house payment you may be able to refinance at a lower interest rate, or if you have a 15 year mortgage, you may need to get a 30 year loan. If you have a variable interest loan, change to a fixed rate at the lowest interest rate you can find.

You can also increase your insurance deductible to lower your house insurance payment. Shop around to get the best deal on your house insurance. If you have an unused bedroom you could take in a boarder which would add to your income. That is becoming more common as we weather this recession.

Utility Bills

Utility bills take another big bite out of your income and you have to take into account higher heating or cooling bills depending on the time of year. Turn your heat down at night to cut costs. Installing a programmable thermostat can provide good savings. Use shades and drapes to keep the cold out in the winter and open them in the summer. Make sure your windows are well sealed so air isn’t leaking in.

You can use a polyethylene sheeting to seal your windows which comes in variety of widths and thicknesses. It is applied directly to the glass window so it slows down the heat conducted through the window. Tape it to your window frame with clear packaging tape. Dress warmer in the winder and keep the thermostat lower, then in the summer dress for hot weather and make use of your ceiling fans. Use compact-florescent bulbs and make sure they are turned off when you aren’t using them. Turn off computers, TV’s and other electronics when you aren’t using them

Transportation

The next large item is transportation costs which may include a car payment, car insurance, fuel, and car maintenance. If you have to buy a new car, buy used as you lose money just by driving a new car off the lot. Try to find one with good gas mileage. You can also increase you deductible on your car insurance after shopping for the best deal. If you can carpool with someone to work that is an immediate savings. Cut down on your errands, just going to the grocery store once a week and combine other errands when you are already out as fuel is a big expense. Change your oil yourself if possible and also your air filter. A clean air filter helps improve your gas mileage.


Food

Money saving tips on groceries is not that difficult.  Cut out the coupons from the Sunday paper.  The coupons you get in the Sunday paper are typically worth more than the cost of the paper. Shop sales and if a staple item you use regularly is on sale buy more than one.  There are also a lot of coupons on line that you can find quite often by just putting the brand name in the search engine. 

You can also save money on groceries by buying your cheaper cuts of meats, and if there is a farmer’s vegetable market near you, their vegetables and fruits are usually lower priced. Have a couple meatless meals a week.  Make casseroles or crock pot meals that can last for two meals and will save money.  Cut down on buying junk food.  Home baked snacks will also save you money.  Plan your menu a week at a time before shopping.  Fast food, while not particularly healthy, is also expensive.  Bring lunch from home to work most of the time. Try to use up leftovers so you are not wasting food.  Alcohol and cigarettes are expensive and you could choose to give these up or in the case of alcohol, cut back on how often your drink.

chicken and Rice Casserole

Insurance

Health and life insurance can be a big expense depending usually on your job's plan. Of course, developing healthy habits with regard to food and exercise will keep you healthier; there are still times medical expenses can be a burden.

Buy generic drugs if available. Use urgent care instead of the emergency if possible. Monitor insurance claims to make sure they get paid by the insurance company. They often make mistakes.

Clothing

Obviously you have to have clothing but that is another area where you can take advantage of the sales. Stores that carry marked down clothing are great to find top name brands at rock bottom prices. You don’t’ know what is available ahead of time, but it is worth checking them out.

You can also find great used clothes in consignment shops and sometimes at the Salvation Army. People do give away things they have never worn. Stay away from dry clean only clothing. Buy wisely so you can mix and match tops with a couple of pair of slacks or skirts which will make it seem like you have a larger wardrobe.

Consignment Shop

Entertainment

Entertainment can be a big expense, but you can also keep it simple. Having some friends over for a simple potluck with some games for entertainment can be fun. Children love to play various board games and you could have a family night each week where they get something for dinner they love and then games for the family. If you have cable television, eliminate the premium movie channels to cut costs or if you are really struggling you may need to drop the cable all together.


Telephone

If you use cell phones you could drop your land line all together.  If your contract is up see if you can find a cheaper plan and maybe cut back on your minutes.

Retirement Accounts

Putting money into a retirement account (401K, IRA, etc.) is important for your future and should be included into your budget. If you are contributing to an annuity or other accounts where there is no tax break or matching funds, suspend that for the time being, Be sure you got the tax credit last year for your retirement contributions if your adjusted gross income in less than $25,00 for a single and $50,000 for a couple. There is a tax credit for you of up to $1000 for lower earners which is often overlooked. Empty your closets of clothing or other items you aren’t using, and donate them to a non-profit and get your receipt to write off on your taxes or you may have enough to have a garage sale.

It is not a good idea to get the money from your 401K to pay bills as the government will charge you taxes and a 10% penalty if you are under 59 !/2 years.  It is possible to borrow money from some 401K’s if you have enough saved.  This works out well as they put your money in a savings which gives you a little interest and the interest rates are typically low.  You goal it to not deplete your retirement income until you retire.

Summary

If you can cut down your monthly expenses in some of the ways I have suggested, you should have a little more money to pay toward the principle of the credit card. It may take a while but you will pay it off over a period of time. It is not easy to go on a strict budget and you will have to reward yourself a little bit now and then.

The result of not changing your spending habits may be losing your home and ruining your credit. If you can keep your spirits up by knowing that you are making progress and this is not forever. This attitude will help you walk through this process a day at a time. Budgeting your money will ultimately let you start saving money and even a small amount of money will build over time and give you that financial security you long for.

© 2011 Pamela Oglesby

More by this Author


Comments 45 comments

Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 5 years ago

Hi Pamela

This is an extremely helpful hub to help anyone who over stretched their finances at Christmas.

I think this sort of information should be taught in schools. Too many people today have no idea where to start with managing their money.

Amber:)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Amber, That is so true. They just aren't learning when they are young, Thanks for your comments.


rpalulis profile image

rpalulis 5 years ago from NY

I'm a huge Dave Ramsey fan. These are great budgeting tips. I have to say I was very pleased to hear on the news that many retailers noticed more folks using cash during the holiday spending season.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

rpalulis, I like Dave Ramsey also and I am glad that folks used more cash. It seems we think a lot alike. Thanks for your comments.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago

Good tips to start the new year. We can all use these budgeting tips when the economy is not doing so well. Great hub.


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 5 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Great tips. My husband and I consolidated our high interest loans and credit into one loan getting rid of a lot of high interest. I am so happy we did it. We will be dept free in five years

Thanks for the great tips.


Cassie Ann profile image

Cassie Ann 5 years ago

Great hub, Pamela. I believe it is part of a parent's responsibility to teach their children from early on about saving money and finances in general. You can start teaching children about money matters when they start receiving cash gifts. By the time my sons were old enough to drive, they had saved a nice sum for their first cars.

Thanks for all the info!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Anginwu, I think that is so true. I appreciate your comments.

Granny's House, It sounds like a wise more. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Cassie Ann, It sounds like you were great parents. My youngest son was able to do that also. Thanks for sharing your experience.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

Congrats! I know there was someone else's name on here yesterday but I'm SO glad you won!!!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Audry, Thanks, I didn't even know I won. I check earlier today and it wasn't posted yet. I appreciate your comment.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 5 years ago from USA

Congratulations Pamela!


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Hi Pamela, Thanks for sharing a great hub about budgeting. Congratulations on your win as well! :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Phoenis, Thank you so much. It is exciting.

Oseansmsunsets, Thank you for the congratulations and I appreciate your comments about the hub.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Fantatstic tips and well put together hub.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Hello, Thanks for your comments and I'm glad you enjoyed the tips.


Glemoh101 profile image

Glemoh101 5 years ago

Why i need to save money ! while I'm making money online.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Glemoh, Maybe you don't need to save money after all. I

Thanks for your comment.


Loren's Gem profile image

Loren's Gem 5 years ago from Istanbul, Turkey

Great share on saving money! Thanks for sharing these brilliant tips. Congrats on your win Pam and a happy new year to you! :-)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Loren's Gem, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and thank you for the comments. I appreciate the congratulations as that is very exciting. Happy New Year to you also.


Michael Jay profile image

Michael Jay 5 years ago

Wow! Congratulations on your win, Pamela! This is truly a wonderful hub. Great information as well. :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Thank you for the congrats! I appreciate your comments.


TINA V profile image

TINA V 5 years ago

These are great practical tips to save money. I agree with you that cutting down on junk foods can lessen our expenses. It can also improve our healthy diet. haha...

Just an additional advice, instead of using a centralized heater, we can buy one or two smaller heaters that are easy to be transferred from one room to another. In this way, we can only use it if needed, but it is advisable to close the rooms for faster heating. I guess this is more advantageous for small families with bigger homes. It will help control electricity expense.

It's a great way to start 2011. Happy New Year!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Tina V, I think the heaters would work well for some families. Thanks for the suggestion and your comments.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California

Nicec job Pam! Congrat's on the win!

K9


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

K9keystrokes, I appreciate you comments and the congrats. Of course, I am very happy about the win.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 5 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

Very, Very, helpful Hub!!! Thank you so much!! You are amazing!!! God Bless you!!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

drpastorcarlotta, I appreciate your kind words and comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.


Malcolm_Cox profile image

Malcolm_Cox 5 years ago from Newcastle, England

Great hub with some tips I'll actually put into action. Rated up!!


Purple Perl profile image

Purple Perl 5 years ago from Bangalore,India

Excellent hub with good info to use. Voted you up!And useful too!Congrats on the win!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Malcom, I am so glad this hub was helpful to you. I appreciate your comments.

Purple Perl, I appreciate your comments and you congratulations.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Sarj Sagan, Thanks so much for the comments.


Becky Puetz profile image

Becky Puetz 5 years ago from Oklahoma

Great budgeting tips and ideas. This is something that most of us can benefit from by putting these suggestions into action. Thanks for an excellent Hub.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Becky, I'm glad you liked the hub. I appreciate you comments.


Howard S. profile image

Howard S. 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas, and Asia

Congrats on the win! This isn't the first of yours I've read--I like your style. Two quick tips, if I may:

1) Vary your column width. Everything here is full-width.

2) To get rid of those extra spaces between text capsules (assuming they weren't intentional), when you paste from your word processor, do a paste-delete-paste. I don't know why it works, but it's easier than anything else.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Howard, Thank you for your advice and your comments.


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 5 years ago from Michigan

Budgeting and saving takes time and discipline. Very important. v/r


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Support Med, I fully agree. Thanks for your comments.


Contractor Accountants 5 years ago

Great tips thanks for this tips


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Contractor Accountants, Thank you for your comment.


vijaya singh 4 years ago

it is a useful information about budgeting . tips very good in terms of expenses. Nice blog


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

vijaya singh, I'm glad you found this hub helpful and I appreciate your comments.


cheetah786 profile image

cheetah786 4 years ago

great tips on utilities.. utility expenses form bigger portion of total expenditure.. their planning demand 24/7 care..


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

cheeta, Utilities are getting so much more expensive all the time it seems. Thanks so much for your comments.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

Hi Pamela

thank you for these tips. I am now retired so every dime is important in the scheme of things. One thing I have done is I no longer have cable. I purhased a roku which allows me to get many free sources of entertainment as well as news. I do have netflix which I pay 7.99 a month for.

I am reviewing all of your tips to see if there are other ways to save that I have overlooked. So glad I found this.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

pstraubie, We are retired and have cut expenses where we can also. I am glad the hub helped you. Netflix sounds like a good deal. Good luck with finding any other ways to cut expenses. Thanks for your comments.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working