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Five Simple Tips Towards A Better Budget |

Five Tips for a Better Budget

1. Needs vs Wants
The most effective means of cutting a budget is to determine what is really a “need” and what is a “want.” Food is a need, but fast food is a want. Decide if cable or that cell phone is really necessary. Families are able to watch free TV and videos online, allowing them to save hundreds dollars a month on cable, rentals, etc. If you deem a cell phone is really a need, change your cell phone plan to a prepaid plan for huge monthly savings. For example, I have a cell phone with a few hundred minutes and unlimited text with a prepaid carrier for $30 dollars a month.

2. Groceries
Food is a huge expense. One simple way to cut costs at the grocery store is to shop weekly sales. Learn the sale cycles at the grocery store. Most sales run in six-week cycles. Make a budget and a menu and stick to it. Planning what you know your family likes will help make meal time more budget friendly. Knowing in advance what you will feed your family will cut down on costs and relieve pressure from trying to figure out at the last moment what to serve for dinner. Learn to use a crock pot. Meals are able to be started in the crock pot before leaving for work and will be ready when everyone gets home for dinner. This saves money and is less time-consuming than cooking after work.

3. Coupons and Outlet Stores
Coupons can help people save a great deal of money. Coupons are released on a weekly basis and sales to match the coupons usually happen two to three weeks after the coupon was released. Knowing this simple fact can save you loads. Outlet grocery stores offer fantastic deals on name brand and private label food items. Most families are able to save up to 50 percent of their food budget by exclusively shopping at one of these grocery stores. Some stores offer a money-back guarantee if the private label food is not up to your family standards. These guarantees allow a family to try a variety of products with no financial risk.

4. Clothes and Furnishings
One of the most effective ways to save money is to limit clothing purchases. Taking advantage of year-end clearance sales or consignment stores will benefit a family budget immensely. Thrift stores and garage sales are a great place to find gently used clothing for the whole family. Visit thrift stores and garage sales in more expensive neighborhoods. The people who live in pricey areas tend to buy top quality fashion items. offering garage sale hunters a huge bargain on nice clothing. Furniture and items for your home are easily found at these sales. Consignment stores offer nearly new furniture for a fraction of the original cost.

5. Entertainment
Replace going out to eat or to the movies with free activities. Families are able to go on a picnic and to the park for free. Obtain a pool membership for the summer so the children have a nearly free activity all summer long. Visit the local library for movie nights and to find new books. Most towns offer concert series for free for the whole family. Implementing these measures will save a tremendous amount of money.

Callie Jurgens saves money by frequenting the library, thrift stores and

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