Recovering from bankruptcy can require a great deal of financial planning and budgeting, and one of the first steps to achieving financial stability once again is to cut expenses. If you’re looking for places in your budget where you can effectively trim your spending, here are some of the first places you should look.
Take a look at your phone bill, and really compare your phone usage to what you are paying for. Maybe you’re paying for unlimited data, for example, but you rarely use over 1 GB of data per month. This would be a good time for you to call your cell phone company to make sure that you’re not paying any unnecessary expenses. And in addition to making sure you’re getting the best deal with your current company, you might want to call around to compare plans with other companies. Either you’ll be able to switch to a company that offers you a better deal, or your current company will be willing to match a price you found elsewhere.
We often don’t think about how much we spend on utilities because the purchase is never tangible; we use the water and electricity that we want to use, and then we pay for it at the end of the month. But if you were to make an effort to use less water and shut off your heating and air conditioning more often, you would likely notice the difference in cost.
The same applies to gas; you’d be surprised at the difference that planning your gas usage can make. Plan to run all of your errands in one trip; walk or bike to the grocery store; carpool to work when possible. Doing these things will cut down on your gas usage, and you’ll likely notice the difference in major savings every month.
Those small, everyday indulgences may seem to be just that—small, inconsequential indulgences. But if you were to add all of these purchases up in any given month, those purchases would really add up. Your morning coffee, a quick bite to eat for lunch, premium quality foods at the grocery store, getting your car washed—these are all things that you can safely trim from your budget to save a good chunk of change every month.
Owning a lot of stuff
Whether you realize it or not, owning a lot of stuff can actually cost you big. First, the more stuff you own, the more likely you are to rent or purchase a larger home—you’ll want the extra square footage to store everything, after all. Second, if you own more stuff than what can fit in your home, you’ll have to invest in a storage unit for storing your extra things. Owning a lot of stuff can also mean paying more for extra furniture to store things. Paring down your possessions can help you save a lot of money on storage, plus you can sell what you’re no longer keeping for some extra money.