5 Tips to Manage Your Frugal Expenses

Your monthly  expenses such as bills, the mortgage, and other financial obligations  are always going to be present in your life. However, if you manage your  expenses frugally, it will be much easier for you to make the payments  and you will live a happier and more relaxed lifestyle. Frugally  managing your finances can be a difficult thing to maintain, especially  with the spending habits of today’s consumers. However, the five tips  that you will find below can make you much more effective at the task.

1 – Use a finance management tool

Finance management tools are designed to help you live on a budget  and organize your income and expenses. There are free tools like  Mint.com that can make it easy to see how much money you have coming  into your bank account every month and how much money you have going  out. They also categorize your expenses for you so that you can see  exactly what your spending habits are like. If you want to manage your  expenses frugally, you have to organize and understand your finances.

2 – Make spending cuts

It’s very important to actually make real spending cuts with your  budget. You cannot manage your finances frugally if you are afraid to  get rid of some of your expenses. This means eating out less,  unsubscribing from high definition television channels, or even getting  rid of your home phone if you can make do with your cell phones. Don’t  be afraid to try new things in order to make spending cuts and  reorganize your budget.

3 – Create a budget

Once you have used a finance management tool to organize and  understand your finances as well as make spending cuts, you then need to  create a budget for your monthly spending. You should now be in a  position to where you can analyze how much money you have been spending  in the past and how much money you want to spend in the future. Creating  a budget and sticking to that amount is very important to managing your  expenses frugally.

4 – Do not spend irrationally

Part of the problem with today’s consumers is that they spend  irrationally. Even though they do not make much money, they feel  obligated to lease a car, buy a house and have all of the amenities that  their friends and family members have. What they don’t realize, is that  this type of spending is reckless and that is why a lot of their  friends and family members will one day find themselves in debt.  Controlling your spending habits and saving money rather than spending  it is a very important step to the process. Try to avoid reckless  spending and stay away from poor financial choices such as payday loans.

5 – Seek cheap thrills

Everyone needs to get entertainment somehow but if you spend a lot of  money in order to entertain yourself, you are quickly going to find  yourself struggling with debt. Try to seek cheap thrills instead of  going for the more luxurious, outgoing types of options. Making yourself  happier with some of the cheaper options in life is going to protect  your budget and stabilize your finances.

How to Cut Back on Expenses During the Crazy Holiday Season

If you’re still rushing around like a crazy person even though Christmas has passed, you’re not alone. It’s unbelievable how the days seems to fly by and soon enough you’re down to the wire with only a few days left until the holidays are here. If you’re tight on funds this holiday it’s understandable. Sometimes it’s difficult putting aside money for Christmas due to other expenses that creep up out of nowhere or other reasons, such as a growing family or an expensive home to take care of. Whatever the reason may be, maybe it’s time to think of ways to cut back. That way when Christmas rolls around next year you’ll have some extra funds to buy your mom and dad or siblings a gift they will absolutely cherish.

Instead of Purchasing a New Cell Phone, Look for a Used One

It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of needing a new cell phone every time a new one comes out, but the reality is that new cell phones are expensive, especially if you already have a nice phone that’s functioning just fine. Usually cell phones cost a lot more if it’s not time for you to upgrade your current cell and in fact a lot of money can quickly disappear if you find yourself purchasing a new phone every year or so as opposed to waiting the full two years to upgrade. If you absolutely would like a new phone or happen to break your current one, there are used cell phones for sale too. Find a great deal on a used cell phone that’s relatively new and this phone will get you through the year without spending more than what your budget allows.

Go Out to Eat Less

Though it’s tempting to take your family out to dinner more than once or twice a week, depending on the size of your family, a dinner bill can quickly add up! Even if you’re a fan of restaurants such as The Soup Plantation it still gets expensive. Instead of spending a lot of money taking your family out all the time, try to go out only once a week or every other week and be mindful of where you take everyone. By cutting back on expensive restaurant meals you’ll be able to put aside more funds for presents for Birthdays and the holidays when the extra funds come in handy.

Start a Savings Jar

If your family would like to visually see how much money they can save up in a given year or six months at a time, start a savings jar and place it somewhere in the kitchen where your family can see it but lurking neighbors cannot. Your kids will enjoy watching the money pile up for a few short months and it will teach them the mentality that money is possible to save it up if you incorporate discipline into your life. Pretty soon you’ll have enough funds to treat your family to a vacation and you may even use some of it for Christmas next year because you were smart and planned ahead in 2013!

 

About the Author: Sierra is a freelance writer who likes to plan ahead and save so she can give her family members great gifts during the holidays!