Quick Ways to Trim Your Budget

Looking for some quick and easy ideas on how to trim those extra expenses from your budget? Here are some tips from financial advisor Larry Burkett:

Save on utilities:

Keep the faucet turned off as much as possible while brushing your teeth or washing dishes.

Run the dishwasher only when full.

Keep the refrigerator turned down to the lower settings.

Turn your water heater down.

Instead of keeping your thermostat at extreme temperatures, keep your heater or air conditioning at practical levels, then dress accordingly. (Most utility companies recommend keeping your heater below or at 70 degrees and your air at or above 75 degrees in order to save money.)

Turn the lights and TV off in rooms when not in use.

Save on groceries:

Avoid spending money on junk food. Buy healthy snacks like fresh fruit instead.

Consider buying your baked goods at a bakery outlet.

Be sure to watch the newspaper and advertisement flyers for in-store specials and bargains.

Shop generic brands when possible.

Instead of spending more on pre-shredded cheese or prepackaged salads, buy the ingredients and prepare them yourself.

Get in the habit of always using coupons — check for stores in your area that hold “double coupon” days.

Buying in bulk can be great way to save money. But if you can’t use all of what you buy, consider teaming up with a friend — it will save on your expense and storage space.

Avoid buying unnecessary items by sticking with your shopping list and by not shopping while hungry.

Save on clothing:

Shop sales, bargain racks and other promotional events.

Consider shopping at consignment shops, thrift stores and yard sales.

Avoid “dry clean only” clothing if possible.

Care for your clothing to make them last longer — use cold water to preserve colors, mend tears as soon as possible, etc.

These ideas were taken from the book The Financial Guide for the Single Parent Workbook by Larry Burkett. Click here for more information.