We are by no means ‘frugal’ (although I would love to be!), but I have found myself putting my family on a budget over the last year. It is still a process and I am still finding areas to cut spending and save money, but I wanted to share some areas that were big helps!
We got rid of our large cell phone bill. Instead of paying out over $100 per month on our cell phones with a large, nationwide carrier; we have gone with a smaller, local carrier and now pay under $100 a month. We can cut that even more and pay approximately $60 per month for unlimited talk and text. This carrier works nationwide as well (or at least where we need it to) and saves us large amounts of money.
I am more energy conscious. We have a “beepy-box”. Essentially, we put money in the box to keep our power on. I can monitor our energy use and payments made more closely so we have greatly reduced the power we use. (IE: unplugging appliances not in use, opening windows, using fans, keeping the blinds closed, keeping lights off when not in the room, etc.)
Reduced our cable bill. I did some research and found a cheaper company as well as got rid of extra channels we don’t watch and HD channels we were paying extra for.
Reduced our internet bill. Again, with some research, I found a cheaper company for our internet services.
School lunch. Our daughter is in kindergarten and when we have the funds, she is allowed a school lunch one day per week. Otherwise, she brings a home lunch.
Groceries. I shop at Wal-mart for stuff when I know there is a good price. I use my loyalty card at Fry’s to save money. There are some things I use the Dollar Store for. (Coupons are in my life of things to learn!)
Carpooling! Hubby has started carpooling with co-workers at work. He now drives one day a week and the other three days are carpooled. So instead of driving 16 days a month, he’s driving 7 days.
We are still finding ways to budget our money and continue to make changes, but these were the first changes I made during our budgeting crisis last year. Do you have any other budgeting tips for me?