Budgeting: Items to Cut From Your Budget

Today, I want to talk about something most of us do not discuss, MONEY. Specifically, your budget and how your hard earn money is being spent or saved. First and foremost, do you have a monthly budget? If your answer is yes, see a list below of items you can cut from your monthly spending. If your answer is no to not having a monthly budget, create a budget first. Not only can you see where all your money is going, but you can quickly assess what can be cut from your spending.

There are so many topics within budgeting I want to discuss, however, today we are just going to focus on the items you can cut from your budget. These items, services, etc. can easily add up making your spending much higher than it needs to be. Some items below, you might see as a ‘NEED’ but if you are really trying to cut back on spending, paying off debt and/or wanting to save more of your money, you need to make cut backs. Below I have listed out a few common things we spend money on, but you could save more money by simply cutting them out of the budget or simply doing the work yourself.

  • Paper products (napkins/paper towels/paper plates/plastic silverware, etc)

These are good for hosting a party but not everyday use. Not only does this add more cost to your grocery list, it is also piling up in landfills. Instead of paper napkins, buy cloth and wash/reuse. Instead of paper plates, plastic silverware, styrofoam goods for each meal simply wash your dishes. As for paper towels, use dish towels and wash them frequently. This should help cut back the amount you are spending if you currently buy these items regularly.

  • Subscriptions (magazines, gym memberships, streaming platforms, music)

If you are trying to save money and/or pay off debt, you need to cut back in this area. If you have all of the above, try cutting back one-by-one.  Only having one or two will be major improvement. It is not to say by budgeting or cutting cost you cannot have fun, however, you need to budget for what you can afford. Sometimes there are free gym options at your workplace or your community centers to cut that cost. Also think about using the great outdoors or a home workout routine.

  • Cable  (You can do it, cutting our cable years ago was the best move and saves so much monthly)
  • Eating out  (lunch, dinners, gas station drinks/snacks, coffee runs)

Okay, this is still a hard category for my family as well, but we budget for dining out. It adds up quickly if you are eating out for lunch or dinner and/or buying gas station drinks/snacks daily! Take leftovers or brown bag lunches to work everyday, it will save you more than you think. Also, take drinks and snacks with you in the car. Each week make a MEAL PLAN. You should be doing this for two reasons; only buy what you need from the grocery store for that weeks meals and having each meal planned out for the week will keep you on track. Stick to the plan! I could make a whole post about meals, planning, etc but I will save that for another time. Also, try cutting back on buying that cup of Joe at the coffeeshop. Make your coffee at home and save money. You can always put $5 per month in the budget so you can still grab coffee once a month with a friend or to treat yourself.

  • Pampering Services (nails, hair appointments, massages, etc.)

This is not to say grow your hair out like a caveman, but to find a cheaper haircut or spread out the time in between haircuts. Ladies, if you get your haircut and highlighted every 6 weeks, try stretching it to every 8 weeks or longer. Over the year, you will save some money. If you have an easy haircut, maybe you could have someone in your house do it for you? If you get your nails done 1-2 times per month at a nail salon, try cutting this back or cutting it out of the budget all together. Do your nails at home.

  • Entertainment (movies, events, activities)

Have a set budget monthly for entertainment. We started the 2020 year with the goal of doing one monthly activity that cost money. (museums, day trips, the movies, sport events, etc) Still wanting to do things as a family is okay, just make sure you have it in the budget. The rest of the month look for free activities for family entertainment. (parks, events, playgrounds, community movie night, local shows, board games at home, volunteering, etc.)

  • Impulse buying (travel, groceries, clothing, junk food, home decor, etc.)

These easily add up if you frequent stores or are on social media. Influencers are there to make you think you NEED the product, but do you really?  I have always loved clothing, shoes, and home decor so I used to ‘browse’ places like Home Goods, TJMaxx, the local mall, etc. To help impulse buying, I only go to the store when I have a shopping list and its on the monthly budget. Example, if you know your nieces birthday is this month, it should be in your budget and on the shopping list. Or, if you know your child has outgrown their current pair shoes, put it in the monthly budget under clothing. If you walk past a cute piece of home decor and want to buy it, ask yourself do you NEED it? The answer is more than likely going to be NO. Put it back and walk away. 🙂 As for junk food, try to keep more fruits and veggies in the house as snack food. Not only is it healthier for your family but you can also use up these items in dinner ideas. (example, carrots are a snack but you can steam them as a veggie for dinner or chop them up to put in homemade chicken and noodles) Travel is a a hard category for me to not spend all of my money. I love traveling, however, it is not practical on my budget whenever I want. So make a yearly plan of places or events you wish to travel to and BUDGET it in. Save a specific amount leading up to the travel date so that you are paying cash for all your travel expenses. (hotel, car, gas, food, entertainment, baggage, flights, taxes/resort fees, etc)

  • Insurance (auto insurance and home insurance)

Negotiate! Insurance companies want to keep your business, so contact them on what can be done to lower your bill. Do they offer discounts you may be eligible for? (your job, military, small mileage commute, university alumni, etc) Yes, I have used a few of these discounts to save me so much per month! Also, shop around! You would be amazed at what you could be saving with a different company for your needs.

  • Cell Phone and Utilities (electric, gas, water, etc.)

Most people do not know that you can put your electric, gas or water on the ‘budget’ plan. What does this mean? Instead of your bill fluctuating monthly or in colder/warmer months, you can be placed on a budget for the year and it will be the same monthly bill.  Be careful not to over use or your monthly bill will increase the next year based on your usage. Real life example: I did not have an electric bill in January and only a partial for February since our amounts paid in 2019 were over the amount we actually used so it was credited to our account. (2018 we used a little more because we had an infant) Being on the budget saves you from those unexpected high $500+ bills in the winter months.  As for cell phones, look for plans that have only what you need instead of all the bells and whistles you do not use. You can also see if splitting a family plan with others would make everyones bill cheaper.

Other areas you can cut back or do without:

  • Home Thermostat (turn it up when you are not home, no need to keep it running for the walls to be comfortable.  Do not set your heat so high, turn it down a few degrees and put on more layers when there are colder days)
  • Kids clothing (shop second hand–I do this for play clothes. I also find new items with tags still attached) Garage sales, selling sites, second hand stores.
  • Pet Grooming (like the haircut category above, space out grooming appointments further by 1-2 weeks OR start grooming your pet yourself)
  • House Cleaning Company (do it yourself OR if it is must for you, cut back to maybe once a month and you cleaning in between. You can also make chore charts for littles to help)
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Alcohol and/or smoking products
  • Grocery Bill (buy only the NEEDS to make your meals. Use coupons, store app coupons, price compare, etc)

 

This is not to say you should cut out every category I listed above.  Many of us use these items out of convenience rather than making a plan and doing it ourselves. Let me know what areas you plan to cut back or what you cut out totally from your budget. You can do it!! I am by no means a financial guru or expert, I too have to work at it every month. These are just common areas within most peoples budget I believe you can cut out or scale back immensely. Make that budget every MONTH. I hope to bring more budget talk your way, let me know topics you want to discuss by emailing me.

Jessica

How I Made $1000 Online

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If you are like me you are always up for a little extra cash from things you do everyday. I have made close to $1k by just shopping online.  How? Sure that contradicts itself, I spend money to make money, but what if I said you are already spending money why not get cash back in your wallet? It is easy……use my link to earn FREE $10 (cash not points) just for signing up. Next, log into your Ebates account anytime you are shopping online, search the company/store/online site you want to shop and bam, if you now buy anything during that online visit you will get anywhere from 1-25% cash back! You can even download the Ebates app on your iPhone.  Just open the Ebates app, search the store, it will direct you to that stores website and shop like normal.

Remember in order to get the FREE $10, you need to sign up here!

Just think of all the things we spend money on and how it would be nice to get cash back to spend towards travel and other things we enjoy. No, you don’t just have to shop for clothing online. Think big ticket items you spend hundreds of dollars on? Think Target, Amazon, Walmart, tires, appliances, furniture, etc. For example, when filing our taxes, I got 25% cash back just by clicking Ebates before heading to E-file.com. I was going to have to pay E-file a fee to file my taxes anyways but I got 25% of that fee back just from being apart of Ebates! (I think it was close to $50 cash back) Another example, my husband needed new tires for his car.  Tires are expensive, so after he searched around online for the best deal, we plugged that company into Ebates and sure enough, cash back by using Ebates!! There are so many companies that are on Ebates. All those purchases you make on Amazon, yep cash back! (however, Amazon only gives back for certain categories) We bought our daughters crib online from Target, cash back! Do you see how easy it was for me to make that money from just shopping online on my phone? Ebates also likes to run double cash-back days which is even more money back in your pocket! If the store is usually only 10% cash back on Ebates, it would be 20% cash back on those double days! Again, get that FREE $10 back just by clicking here and start getting even more money back in your pocket!

Ebates also has select stores that will give you cash back from shopping in-stores too!

Remember you have to go to Ebates every time you shop FIRST, then search the store you wish to shop, now you will get cash back. You can’t go straight to the stores website, you need to go to Ebates first. Did I also mention Ebates lists coupons and free shipping deals for companies too? Go sign up so you can start making money online now.

**This is not a sponsored post, these are all my own opinions and experiences.

 

Best of luck also bring in that $$$$ just from shopping online for your everyday purchases!

 

Jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Coat Edge…

White Coat Edge

White Coat Edge

White Coat Edge

White Coat Edge

White Coat Edge

White Coat Edge

White Coat Edge

White Coat Edge

White Blazer: H&M (old) (similar)  ||  Dress: Unknown (old) (similar)   ||   Boots: Target (here) (on sale for $30!)  ||   Necklace: Forever 21 (old) (similar)  ||  Cuff:  Banana Republic Factory   ||   Sunglasses: Isacc Mizrahi via TJMaxx

Happy start to the weekend friends! Its Friday! So glad the sun is deciding to stay out a bit more these days.  You are probably wondering what all this white coat non sense is about? Lets face it, this as close as I will get to wearing a ‘white coat’.  You know, in doc terms. Ha! Well, if you have been around the blog a while you know I love a good blazer for the office.  Today was no exception, I needed something to bring light to this outfit since the dress and boots were dark.  I am still not to sure how I feel about this combo, but all that matters is I rocked it thinking it looked pretty edgy. What do you guys think? Yay? Nay?  By the way, olive green is one of my favorite colors to wear in the fall and winter months, but for some odd reason I do not have many pieces in my wardrobe.

Ladies, might I add that these boots are on sale for $30! Yes, a pair of black over the knee boots for $30, score! I absolutely love these boots. They are a bargain compared to the $500 plus pair of Stuart Weitzman we have all been drooling over. As for these new beauties, my sunglasses, I was so happy to find them this past weekend at TJMaxx. From the moment I saw Karen Walker’s awesome sunglasses I was in love, but could not cough up that kind of cash for sunglasses.  Lets be real, over $200 a pair does not fit with my ‘real girl’ budget. Who is with me??  So these beauties will work just great and only cost $10! Awesome! Be sure to check back early next week to see another great deal I scored on a winter coat!

Have a great weekend!

XOXO, 

Jessica

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