How to trim your budget

7 tips to trim your budget

If you’re finding that you have less savings than you expected at the end of the month, it might be time to find ways to reduce your spending. Here are some tips to stretch your dollars:

1. Don’t buy what you don’t need – If you don’t need a new TV or microwave just yet, hold off. If you wait, you might be able to time your purchase when there is a sale. Separating “needs” from “wants” can help you prioritize spending if you’re looking for reductions.

2. Look for repeated expenses you can cut back or cut out – Daily coffees are one example, but you might have other frequent purchases such as music downloads, streaming and magazine subscriptions, impulse snacks, or a gym membership you’re not using. These could save you a significant amount each month.

3. Take a no-spend challenge – Try not spending money on anything except necessities for one month. This can help you be more intentional about your discretionary spending once the month is over.

4. Follow a 24-hour rule – Set a personal spending threshold that requires you to wait 24 hours before making a purchase. For example, you could set a limit of $25 and you’d have to wait a day to buy anything that costs more. This can help if you are prone to impulse spending.

5. Buy used – With a little bit of extra time to search, you can often get great discounts on used items like cellphones, furniture, appliances and textbooks.

6.Pay off credit cards on time – If you use credit cards, pay them off in full and on time. Avoiding paying interest on credit card purchases will reduce your additional expenses the next month.

7. Take advantage of discounts, coupons, and free stuff – You might be able to cash in credit card points for gift cards or redeem loyalty points at the grocery store or drug store. Local neighbourhood message boards often offer free items, including furniture. There are also sites that advertise free samples and coupons.

Find ways to trim your budgetBudget A monthly or yearly estimated plan for spending and saving. You work it out based on your income and expenses.+ read full definition

Use this worksheet to help you find expenses you can cut back on.

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