Tips for Radical Cost Cutting
contributed by Teri
My Story: Everyday Savings
- Go over every bill with a fine tooth comb. See exactly what you are paying for and why. Eliminate the extra mortgage products (life insurance, disability, etc.). If you don't understand what a certain charge is, call the company. In my experience, they have been more than happy to explain their billing.
- If you must keep a landline phone, drop down to the lowest plan you can and then drop long distance.
- Slow down your internet access. You don't need to stream 5 things at the same time.
- For homeschooling families, look into state funded virtual academies (such as K12) that provide a computer, Internet access and lessons plans (done on the computer) for free.
- Comparison shop. Take a Saturday and compare the prices of paper, plastic and personal hygiene items at a discount store, grocery store and dollar store. Use the cheapest one you can get that has the quality that is acceptable to you.
- Figure out how many meals you will need to make from payday to payday, accounting for what is going on with your calendar. For instance, I need eight to nine meals between each payday. I don't like to cook on Sundays after church. We also have church on Wednesday night, and hubby has softball on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For those days, I plan a super easy meal so that we will not need to grab fast food. A Sunday meal may be a crockpot meal that I assemble the night before and plug in before church. Our Wednesday night meal may be baked potatoes, and on softball night, I broil frozen chicken patties and make them into sandwiches in a few minutes.
- Do you have more pets than you really can afford to feed? I know this may hit a giant nerve, but pets cost money to feed and keep. The people I know who are in the worst financial situation have two large dogs and three cats. Yet, they have almost lost their house twice and are constantly behind on their power bill and threatening shut off.
- Soda, beer, alcohol, smokes and candy add up fast, especially when paying gas station prices. By the way, a gas station owner once told me that he makes little to no profit on the sale of gas. The vast majority of his profit is from candy, soda, beer, cigarettes and other impulse sales in the store. Cutting these things out will not only make your wallet smile, but also your body will thank you.
- When you have to radically cost cut, turn it into a positive. Instead of "we have to cut back because we don't have the money," make it "we are choosing to make positive changes for our family."
updated: July, 2014
My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it by mailto:MyStory@stretcher.com
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