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10 Ways to Cut Down Your Budget

     Everyone has been through hard times before.  It tends to be a really taboo topic, talking about money, and how 'comfortable' you are.  I wanted to put a list together of things we had done in the past that seemed to really help us out.  We actually still use some of these strategies because they have just become good habits.  There are ways to save money, that some people don't even think about.      USA, LLC

  1. Do Not Dine Out - This one is quite obvious.  I feel like it is getting more and more expensive to go out to eat, no matter which meal.  Buying ingredients at home, and cooking up a meal is so much cheaper.  Even if it does cost you $10-$15 per meal at the grocery store, that will feed 4 people, instead of only covering one person's meal at a restaurant. 
  2. Cancel Cable  - We stopped paying or cable a long time ago, and have never needed to go back.  These days, with the internet, you can find plenty of sites that stream shows for free.  Also, there is always Hulu Plus and Netflix.  Instead of paying $80 a month on cable, even if you paid for both of these internet services, you can just pay maybe $20 a month!
  3. Do Not Pay For Texting - My husband and I may have iPhones, but we have never paid for texting.  I know it may be minimal, but not getting a plan with texting will save you money.  There are free apps you can download for your phone, such as iMessage, that will allow you to text will all iPhone users, as well as other apps for other devices.  I also rely on Facebook messaging for people who do not have iPhones.  It still goes straight to my phone like a text, and yet I don't have that added fee.
  4. Have a Budget - This is probably the smartest thing you can do out of this whole list.  Write down everything you have to pay for each month, and how much money you'll be getting paid.  Then you'll know if you have any leftovers.  You can make a desicion beforehand if you want to put the extra into savings (which some should already be allotted to this) or if you want to use it for an important purchase.  Knowing what you have to pay, and how much you have, is the best way to really understand where you stand.  
  5. Have a List - Whenever you go to the grocery store, you NEED to have a list, and then stick to it!  If you go in with no list, you WILL end up buying more than you actually need, and therefore wasting money.  Also, you should go to certain stores for certain items.  It make take a little bit to learn which stores have which items cheaper, but it will save you money in the end if you do this.  I used to start my shopping at Aldi (cheapest), then Walmart, and finally Kroger.  This way I got the best deals on the items that were on my list. 
  6. Have Fun at Home - If you are bored, and decide to go "out", you will spend money.  Even if you're just driving around, you are wasting gas money.  Stay home, have a tv show marathon on Hulu, or play card games, or read a book.  It may not seem the most exciting at times, but staying home means you're not spending money you don't have.  
  7. Use Your Library - The library is filled with tons of entertainment for free!  Borrow books or movies, instead of buying them.  Lots of times, libraries will have a variety of free programs, especially for children.  I have taken my girls there for different types of story hours and such.  If you ask people there, you may find that being a member of the library has other perks.  Sometimes you can discounted tickets to local museums, and parks.  All you have to do is ask them what they offer.  
  8. Lower Your Heat - If you just turn your heat down 1 or 2 degrees it will save you money.  Just remember, the lower you have it the less it has to run.  Blankets are always nice to get comfy under!
  9. Lower Your Interest - Call your credit card companies.  If you're a customer in good standing they will be able to lower your interest rate, and this can save you a lot more money than you would think!
  10. Learn a Skill - Find something that you are good at, and offer the service to others for a fee!  You can fix computers, mow lawns, CROCHET, babysit, make jewelry, and the list goes on.  Find something you enjoy doing, and make some money!