Tips, tricks and strategies so you don’t bust your budget

Tips, tricks and strategies. So you don’t bust your budget. I will share with you ways to squeeze savings and cut down on expenses. Just follow some easy to do tips and strategies. You will no longer bust your budget.

Tips, tricks and strategies. So you don’t bust your budget.

I will share with you ways to squeeze savings and cut down on expenses. Just follow some easy to do tips and strategies. You will no longer bust your budget.

In upcoming columns I will show you how to create a working budget. While going through all the common household bills to find ways to save money. Here are a few money saving ideas that can save you big bucks right now.

1.Reduce the number of coffees you buy at the local coffee house. Take a cup or even a thermos from home to work with you.

2. Reduce the amount you smoke or even better give it up altogether. Better for you and better for your wallet.

3. Pack a lunch a couple of time a week or more.

4. Once a month make pizza from scratch instead of having it delivered.

5. If you can, hang some laundry outside to dry instead of using the dryer.

Now that you have started down the road to saving let’s get started on the budget. The first step is to dig around the house and get yourself a note pad. Now write down everything you buy and every bill you pay. Make sure you include how much cash you take out of the ATM’s and what you spend that cash on. Do this for a full month.

A budget cannot work until you know exactly where your money is going. Once you know where it is going. Then you can start cutting back and saving.

Step two is deciding what an essential expense is and what is not. In case you are wondering essential expenses are the ones you cannot stop paying. We will also classify expenses as fixed and variable later on. When we start work on cutting back.

Take your last groceries bill for an example. The items for basic nutrition such as meat, fruit, and vegetables are essential items. Things such as chips, chocolate bars, pop and coffees are not essential. Your tooth paste, toilet paper are essential. The newest mascara to make your lashes lox longer is not. If you are like me, you probably have at least one mascara at home that is collecting dust in a drawer right now.

The phone bill is another good place to show the difference in essential and non essential expenses. The basic service on your bill and 911 charges are essential. The 10 or more long distance calls to your mother, best friend and whomever else are not.

Don’t forget any of the items you wrote down in the notebook. Classify each and every item. From your rent or mortgage payment to the movie you saw on the weekend.

Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying never buy a chocolate bar again. For me and there are probably a lot of the readers out who feel the same on this one. Chocolate should be an essential. Never mind the fact that coffee is definitely needed for me to get all brain cells firing in the morning.

For right now in building your budget. Just go through and decide for yourself what you consider essential and non essential. As we go through this process of building your budget and looking at ways to trim expenses. You may find yourself deciding that something you feel is essential right now may not be later on.

Sandra Nolan is a freelance writer from Rocky Mountain House. Her column will appear every second week in The Advocate.

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