Youâ€™re frustrated. Youâ€™re barely making ends meet and youâ€™re sick of living paycheck to paycheck. Itâ€™s time to turn your financial life around.
But where should you start?
The internet is full of information that can help you save. The problem is that thereâ€™s so much information bogging you down that it can be hard to take action.
If you need a good starting point for trimming your budget and getting your money back on track, start with these five frugal strategies.
Look for Low Cost Housing
Your biggest budget category is housing. Housing will make or break you.
If youâ€™re having trouble paying your rent or mortgage each month then itâ€™s time to downsize. Start looking for cheaper housing.
This will mean moving to a different area, downsizing, or living with roommates. And remember, this doesnâ€™t have to be a permanent situation.
If you can find cheaper housing now youâ€™ll be able to save more money, get your financial life back on track, and eventually be able to move to a place that better suits your needs.
Find a Car with Good Gas Mileage
If youâ€™re anything like me you use your car a lot.
You drive to work, drive your kids around, and drive to visit family and friends. You need an affordable car with good gas mileage.
If youâ€™re currently driving an expensive gas guzzler consider selling it and looking for a cheaper alternative. For instance you could look for Miniâ€™s for sale which get great gas mileage and last a long time. This type of car is a great frugal alternative to a big SUV.
Do some research and narrow down your choices until you find a good fit for you.
Track Your Expenses
Another very important thing you should be doing is tracking your expenses.
If you donâ€™t know where your money is going then you donâ€™t know where to cut back. You can use a program like Mint thatâ€™ll do the tracking for you or you can set up your own custom spreadsheet.
Track your expenses for at least one month. After that month is over youâ€™ll be shocked by where your money is going and will be motivated to save.
Make a Savings Plan
Without a plan youâ€™re not going to get very far.
If youâ€™re living paycheck to paycheck you need to try and find ways to funnel some of your money into savings. You need an emergency fund.
After putting some of these strategies into place, like finding lower cost housing and tracking and cutting expenses make a savings plan.
Have a goal to save a certain amount each paycheck. And remember, no amount is too little to start with. Even five dollars at a time will add up.
Saving money isnâ€™t meant to be boring. In fact, it really can be fun.
If you have a competitive personality then challenge yourself. Some examples of challenges are having a certain set of no spend days, limiting your entertainment budget, or trying to eat all the food in your pantry.
Pick an area youâ€™re struggling with and turn it into a game.
What other frugal strategies do you use to save money?