Top 5 Drastic Money Saving Tips: Surviving Difficult Times

Saving money is easier said than done, and for a wage earner struggling to make both ends meet, this can be frustrating. Here are some less painful ways to save money and still live comfortably, albeit without the luxuries.

Know What You're Spending On

When you get your paycheck, you already foresee what will be left of it after you've paid your bills. You still have to stock up on groceries and perishables before the next payday, put aside money for gas, and do a balancing act with the remaining amount. Normally you would always have a few dollars carefully stashed in one of your money clip wallets, just in case you'll need to meet some emergency expense.

If you're still wondering why, despite the increase in pay, you're still floundering with your budget, a little review of your spending habits should be done if you want to find where you are spending your money. True, it is tedious to be listing down everything you spend on when even a $1 candy bar has to be entered into the journal so you can see where your money is going.

Once you've discovered your spending habits, face up to it and trim the fat. Here are some small items that eat up your budget and that you can do without:

* Newspapers

* Cigarettes

* Family dinners out

* Movies

* Spending for coffee in the office

* Buying office lunch

* Unnecessary use of the car

Calculate how much you spend on each item and add them up. You'll be aghast at the amount you're spending unnecessarily.

Drastic Money Saving Tips

Credit cards - Stop using your credit card for small purchases. Pay household utilities and groceries in cash. The interest adds up to the unwanted expense list if you don't pay your credit card debt on time. Ditch other cards and use only one with the lowest interest rate. Pay your existing credit card debts before the interest balloons into unmanageable proportions. If your credit card debt is screaming to be paid, pay it. In the meantime, lower your expenses so you can channel the money to debt repayment.

Electricity - Change all household bulbs to lower wattage. Designate one room for a common workplace where everybody can read, do their lessons, use the computer, or catch up with office work. Schedules for every chore should be followed strictly and lights should be off at 10PM, with the exception of the common room where everybody can work.

Heating - Of course, it would be inhumane to cut off heating costs. Still, you can cut cost by cleaning your vents regularly. Another drastic effort is to lower the thermostat when you take your shower. You can lower your heating bills by 15%. If you have five children, that's a lot of money saved.

Water - Instead of soaking in a tub, use the shower. Instead of fancy soaps, use anti-allergenic soaps for the whole family, unless there is a family member who needs special soap formulas.

Gas - Don't drive yourself to the nearest store - walk! Get public transport to work and see how much you save on gas in a week's time. Sometimes laziness and the love for expedience takes over one's will to forego some conveniences. Save the car and the gas for important or urgent missions.

Observing these drastic money saving tips can save you lots of money. Add it all up (gas, electricity, water, heating, and credit card interests) both monthly and annually. It's a wonder you didn't know where your money went all those years. In these difficult times, the profligate spending should be nipped because you can never be too sure of what lies ahead.

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