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15 Budget Trimming Tips

Cutting back isn’t always easy, even when you know you need to or you are in a situation where you are being forced to cut back.

For some inspiration for all of you, I went through our budget recently to see where we’ve saved in the past.

If you are looking for places to save money, use it as a road map to get started!

Don’t forget, trimming the budget is just one side of the equation; in a future article we’ll look at ways to bring in more income.

Budget Savings

  1. Housing. To save on housing costs, consider a refinance [1]. If you want to go even further, downsizing [2] is always an option.
  2. Cars. Sell the car [3] and buy a cheaper one [4]. Look at the true cost to own at Edmunds [5] to make sure you’re really spending less over the long run.
  3. Gas. We use the TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express [6] to earn cash back on all our gas purchases.
  4. Insurance. Save on insurance by shopping around [7]. Also check out 11 ways to save on car insurance [8].
  5. Groceries. Buy in bulk [9] and learn how to cook at home using ideas for frugal and easy cooking [10]. We also use the Grocery Game [11] to cut down on our weekly food bill.
  6. Dining out. We love to eat out, but don’t like to spend a fortune doing so. 10 ways to eat out for less [12] keeps the bill in line.
  7. Phone. We use the Sprint SERO plan [13] for cheap cell phone plans with data and Vonage [14] for our home phone.
  8. Electricity. Use available tools from your electric company to analyze your energy use [15] to determine how efficiently you heat and cool your house. Implement 10 easy energy savings tips [16] to bring your bill down.
  9. Internet. We switched to DSL from cable, which is cheaper in our area. It’s slower, but not noticeably.
  10. Childcare. We took advantage of a discount to pay upfront for the whole year. Don’t forget to use your dependent care flex spending plan to use pretax dollars.
  11. Entertainment. Get free blockbuster movies [17]. I also use the money I earn from free money [18] offers to fund our entertainment budget.
  12. Gifts. Give frugal homemade gifts [19]. For holiday gifts, we save all year, using an ING account [20].
  13. Office supplies. Use discount postage stamps [21], or better yet, pay your bills online.
  14. Taxes. Use the ultimate tax resource guide [22] for lots of tax saving ideas including credits, deductions and free e-file options [23].
  15. Vacation. Whenever we travel, we try to take advantage of frequent flier miles we have built up, hotel rewards [24], and other timely travel bonuses [25]. In addition, I set up an alert in Travelocity [26] to watch for bargain deals.

What have you done to save money on your budget?