Planning your personal finances can be difficult. You want to cut down on spending without changing to your current lifestyle. If you take a careful look at your monthly expenses, you may be able to reduce unnecessary spending. The dollars you save can make a huge impact on your monthly budget.
Consider these tips to reduce your costs:
Weekly food, coffee expenses
The first spending area you should consider is your weekly expenditures on food and coffee. Think about those times that you get fast food, or stop at Starbucks for coffee. Rather than spend money on the spur of the moment, create a budget for this type of spending.
Fast Food Menu Prices gives you prices for many restaurants and coffee shops, including Starbucks. You see that a Grande-size Cafe Latte is $3.45, while the same size Freshly Brewed Coffee is $2.10. To cut expenses, you could buy coffee instead of the latte. If you make coffee at home several days a week, you could cut expenses even more.
Keep an eye out for coupons and other offers where you shop for groceries. Many non-traditional grocery stores, such as Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart and Target now have grocery departments. This additional competition has forced all grocery stores to lower prices and offer more coupons. Take advantage of this change in the marketplace.
Technology is rapidly changing how we purchase and use content for entertainment. Because you have more choices, you may find yourself spending more money than you really need to.
A great example is music. Take a look at you subscription costs for music. Apps like Pandora and Spotify offer premium music stations, as well as free versions. You may also use I-Tunes.
If you’re paying for the premium stations, could you switch to the free version and still have a good experience? What if you’re paying for more than one premium station? Consider dropping your subscription music services.
Many consumers also pay for HBO Go, Hulu and Netflix to watch programming on the web. These companies offer subscription-based sites with shows and movies. Do you need all 3 services? If your already paying for cable or a satellite TV service, it may not make financial sense to also use web-based programming.
Info at http://satellitetv-deals.com/ explains how DIRECTV can offer hundreds of channels, including content that you may be paying for separately, such as HBO. Satellite TV can offer more than 200 channels in HD, along with the NFL Sunday ticket, which allows you to watch or record every NFL game during the season.
You may be able to save by getting DIRECTV and dropping the your other programming subscriptions.
If you review your monthly budget, you probably find expenses for doctor visits, medication and health insurance premiums. This might be another area where you can save money.
The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created confusion in the health insurance marketplace. For many families, decisions about health care are now more complicated.
Under the ACA requirements, you are required to have health insurance, unless you qualify for an exception. Many people have health insurance through their employer. However, your company may give you a variety of choices regarding the premiums, co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses you may incur.
Take the time to review your health care choices at work. That process can help you avoid paying for more out-of-pocket costs than you planned.
If you don’t have health coverage through work, get help from a health insurance agent. Consumers have a wide variety of choices for health insurance. Make sure you get proper coverage without paying for services you don’t need.
Use all of these tips to make smart choices about your personal finances. You may be able to cut some expenses and maintain your current lifestyle.