How to Save More Money Every Month on the Family Budget
Your Piggy Bank is Hungry
If you are trying to save money, there are quite a few things you can do to trim your budget. If you are truly trying to save money, you have to sacrifice some things. Living frugally really is a lifestyle. For those of us who live this way, its hard to understand how others don't. The same goes for those who don't live frugally.
Coupon Clipping is not Saving you Money!
By far, the biggest way you can save money is by not spending it on things that are not necessities. You may think your saving money clipping coupons but in reality, you are still spending money that you don't need to spend. I am, in no way, against coupons. However, if you are in serious need of cutting your budget, coupons are going to encourage you to spend more.
Think about all the things you might spend your money on because you have a coupon. One of the most common things I see is someone wanting to go to McDonalad's, Arby's, Burger king, etc. because they have a coupon. Without a coupon i typically buy 1 item from the value menu and drink the water I always have with me, spending around $1.50. But, if I have a coupon and you get a free fry and drink with the purchase of that $3.00 burger, I'm buying the burger! You feel like your saving money but you are really spending more.
What are Necessities?
What do you need? Americans have a hard time accepting that they don't need the newest iPhone or Xbox. People were perfectly fine entertaining themselves before we ever even had electricity. If we only used electricity for what we really needed it for, we could save a lot of money.
So what is really necessary for our health and safety?
- Housing (a roof over your head, not a mansion)
- Clean clothing
- Electricity (for warmth and cool)
Determine Your Priorities
If you can afford these basic necessities, then you can choose what else your budget allows, not the other way around. Too often, we look at how much our bills are to decide how much we need to make. You should be looking at how much you make to determine how much your bills should be.
How Much Should I be Spending?
There is a standard percentage that is suggested for you to spend each month on different bills. It may be helpful to aim for these amounts when you first start cutting expenses.
Home - 30% (Rent or mortgage, lawn care, HOA fees, property tax and homeowners insurance)
Necessities - 20% (Groceries, doctor, dentist, education, eye care, health insurance, life insurance and prescriptions)
Auto - 15% (Gas, car insurance, car payment and maintenance)
Personal - 15% (Clothes, entertainment, gym, laundry, movies, recreation, snacks, shopping and tobacco)
Debt - 10%(Credit cards, department store cards, collections and unsecured loans)
Utilities - 10% (Cable, phones, electricity, heating, internet, trash and water)
What Does This Mean?
This means that if you have a $300 car payment, spend $150 on gas and $100 on insurance; I really hope that you are making more than $3667 in net pay every month. If that in not a case you need to start trimming back in that category. This is a great way to make sure you do end up overspending in certain parts of your budget.
Sample $2000 Monthly Budget