Daily Finance has a nice little series about saving a Grand by cutting $100 per month. It’s called the $1000 Savings Challenge and you can see all the posts here.
Cutting $1000 is about as easy as losing those last five pounds. It’s going to take time, effort and sacrifice, something we Americans seem to lack. And there’s no one size fits all solution either.
According to the article, “Go after your biggest categories to find the most spending, and concentrate on monthly bills so that you’ll be saving money each and every month. Go over every bill, methodically, one at a time, category by category. Cut out what you don’t use, don’t really need, and then look for less expensive alternatives to what’s less….all you have to do is start now, start small and don’t try to be perfect.”
We have been saying all along that to become financially fit you must DO SOMETHING. Start somewhere. Make a change. No one else is going to do it for you. It is up to YOU.
Here is the list of posts. Read them all, or just read the ones that will benefit you the most.
- Part 10: When the Refi Fails, Rethink Repairs
- Part 9: Nibbling Away at the Family Food Bills
- Part 8: Life Insurance You Can Live With
- Part 7: Spending Smarter on Entertainment
- Part 6: Find Big Savings in Small Purchases
- Part, 5: Cutting the Hidden Costs of Work
- Part 4: Cutting the Cost of Kids
- A $1,000 Challenge Bonus: How to Buy a Car and Save a Bundle
- Part 3: Shrinking Your Car-Related Costs
- Part 2: Turning Down Your Utility Bills
- Part 1: Cleaning Your Financial ‘Junk Drawer’
Tips include looking through your bills with a fine tooth comb for “fees” or other things you didn’t sign up for. Research your credit card bill for those recurring items, and if you don’t use the service (gym membership?) get rid of it.
To save at work, consider talking to your employer and see if you can re-arrange your schedule to save on child care costs. Buy things like diapers in bulk at wholesale warehouses, but don’t get distracted by those “shiny non-essential items” like barbecue grills.
To put a stop to unnecessary spending, trim your bank ATM fees by switching to a credit union (with a network of surcharge free or low fee ATMs nationwide) or simply reduce the number of times you use the ATM by taking out more than you need. Of course, that only works if you can limit your spending, and don’t suffer from “Have Cash, Must Spend” syndrome.
There’s some advice about flexible spending accounts, reducing entertainment spending, buying a car and a bunch of other stuff, too. Some of it may not be for you. Some of it may be right up your alley.
Still don’t know where to start? Get help at a credit union or non-profit agency like Consumer Credit Counseling Service. And there’s always the Money Possible Workbook, which doesn’t take any time, effort or sacrifice. Just click the link. If that’s not an easy way to start, we don’t know what is.