How to Save Big on Your Budget Without Sacrificing the Fun

You’ve done your homework and created a budget that maps out what you should be spending each month, but despite weeks of trying to stay within those limits, your outgoing expenses are always more than your incoming funds.

You’re probably beginning to feel hopeless and ready to give up on this whole budgeting thing. Maybe you’re even wondering if it’s impossible to live within your means.

Luckily, there are ways you can cut back without losing your quality of life. From grocery bills to insurance premiums, there are several methods to reduce spending in virtually every category.

Groceries

For big families, this category can be the most expensive of all, but there are ways to reduce your grocery bill while still enjoying the food you love. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Join a warehouse club like Costco and buy in bulk
  • Learn the art of couponing to save big on name brands
  • Shop local farmer’s markets and buy direct from the grower
  • Join a co-op to save money on produce
  • Sign up for your store’s rewards club to get exclusive savings

 

  • Consider cooking a meatless meal a few days a week to cut back on high meat costs

Restaurants

One of the greatest fears of establishing a budget is that you won’t be able to eat out anymore, but you simply have to be smart about your choices.

Some people limit eating out to a certain number of times per week, while others choose a set amount for the month. Either way, there are options to save money at a restaurant. First, join a membership club for access to coupons and discounts. Next, check out specials, such as “Kids Eat Free” days and free birthday meals. Eating family style can also be cheaper if you have several people.

Insurance

One of the best ways to ensure financial freedom is by maintaining necessary policies. Car accidents and medical emergencies can strike without any notice, leaving you thousands of dollars in debt. Insurance is the only way to protect yourself from the financial downfall of such a catastrophe and while your premiums may be fixed each month, there are still ways to reduce your spending in this category. Contact an insurance agent to compare prices and check for specials, such as good student and driver discounts. Even a few dollars a month can add up to big savings over time.

Mortgage

Your mortgage is a payment that stays the same for several years, but even it can be reduced. If you purchased your home when interest rates were high, consider refinancing to a lower rate. The upfront costs can be recouped within a few years if you reduce your payment enough, meaning you’ll then be saving money each month for the life of your loan. The same principle applies for other forms of financing, such as vehicle or other loans.

Finding areas to make tweaks in your budget can seem like a small change at first, but the savings add up and over time you could be increasing your bank account by thousands of dollars. Whether it’s your grocery bill or your insurance premium, there are always ways you can cut back without sacrificing your quality of life.

 

6 thoughts on “How to Save Big on Your Budget Without Sacrificing the Fun

  1. Eating out is my weakness, but I try to limit it to social events with friends. I search for coupons online or in my coupon book before I go out. I frequently try to make lunch plans because you often get the same food you’d get at dinner for half the price. I don’t have kids, but I’ve heard of this website http://www.MyKidsEatFree.com to find places where kids eat free!

  2. That last sentence is so important, “Whether it’s your grocery bill or your insurance premium, there are always ways you can cut back without sacrificing your quality of life.” Budgeting shouldn’t hurt. If it does, you’re doing it wrong.

    Nice post. Huge topic but with small, actionable steps that can be taken towards a better financial future.

  3. Pyper B. says:

    Great post! I completely agree that there are always ways to cut back costs. For me, the one thing I cannot sacrifice is good food. While I use coupons, Ibotta and other ways to cut costs I continue to buy organically (what I cannot grow myself) and eat healthy. Using coupons doesn’t mean you have to eat junk food all the time!

  4. You’re absolutely right! You can have the things you want if you’re smart about it.

    It’s amazing the areas we can cut back on. My wife and I just went 30 days without spending any money other than fixed expenses, like rent and utilities. We didn’t buy groceries or eat out. It was really just a challenge to see if we could and we did. We realized how much unnecessary money we spend and how it could be better spent elsewhere. I’m actually writing about it right now and we plan to go for 60 days!

    I think it’s important to spend money in the places that you prefer and always be looking for ways to cut back the areas that aren’t as important to you.

  5. Your article is very true and accurate. I found that eating out is the biggest money drainer when we make it a habit. However, if we know where to go or we get a voucher it can be the most fun activity. We just have to know where to eat and how much to spend.

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