Ways to Cut Your Household Budget

by Shelley Frost, Demand Media
    Food is often an area ideal for budget cuts.

    Food is often an area ideal for budget cuts.

    Cutting the budget doesn't mean cutting out the fun in your life. A slimmed-down household budget helps you save money and move towards bigger financial goals. Cutting your household budget can help you pad your savings account, pay down debt, or give yourself breathing room in the budget. You might even end up with enough money for a relaxing beach vacation for you and your sweetie.

    Cut Down on Dining Out

    After a long day of work, your favorite restaurant is calling your name. Before you give in to your craving, consider the effects of the decision. The amount you spend on a dinner for two at a restaurant could buy the ingredients for several meals for the week at the grocery store. You don't need to completely forgo date night with your mate at your favorite hot spot, but try reducing your nights out by half. Watch your lunches out as well. Your bank account will thank you for enjoying leftovers in the office break room instead of hitting the deli.

    Ask for Lower Rates

    A simple phone call to all of your service providers and lenders could mean more money in your bank account. Many companies work with customers by offering lower rates or special deals to avoid losing a customer. Call your cable company, phone service provider, cell phone provide, Internet company and other service providers asking for reduced rates. Let them know you are looking around at other companies that provide the same services.

    Calling your credit card companies or lenders might get you a lower interest rate on your debt. The lower the interest, the lower your overall payment, which leaves more room in the budget. Shopping around for more affordable insurance is also an option for cutting back costs.

    Become a Free Entertainment Expert

    As a young couple, entertainment expenses are likely a large portion of your budget. Free or cheap entertainment options give you a chance to hang out with friends or enjoy an evening at home without draining the budget. Instead of paying $100 or more for a big-time concert, check out a local band playing at a bar or festival. Take advantage of free services at the library, such as movie rentals, CD rentals, book clubs and speakers. Invite your friends over for a movie marathon instead of joining them at the theater.

    Set Spending Limits

    Giving yourself an allowance for your extra spending helps keep you on track while avoiding a drain on your budget. Withdraw the set amount of money each week so you know exactly how much is available for extra expenses. When you want to eat out for lunch or join friends for a pedicure, that cash goes toward the cost.

    About the Author

    Shelley Frost started writing professionally in 2007. She specializes in parenting and education topics. Frost gained her experience in various positions in the education field, including classroom teaching and tutoring. She holds a BA in elementary education with a reading endorsement.

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