Living Frugally in the Big City

If you live in one of the major cities, there is no doubt that you and your family are affected by the higher cost of living. While wages in a metropolis tend to be higher – the increased cost of living makes those wages feel minimal. If your family is struggling to find extra money in your budget, cutting unnecessary expenses and utilizing money-saving strategies can help you make ends meet just a bit easier and may even help you put a bit extra into savings.

Preserve What You Already Own

While saving money and cutting unnecessary expenses can make a huge difference in your monthly budget – it is also important to take steps to protect what you have already purchased and invested in. The growing crime rates in large cities tells us that break-ins and theft are common. Even if no one is home to be harmed – the loss of personal property can be a huge financial setback, especially if your current income does not allow you to have renters and theft insurance. Adding a home security system is a small investment that can save you a lot of money in the long run. Home security services are typically rendered for a small monthly fee and while it may seem to many like an unnecessary expense – it can end up saving you thousands of dollars in personal property loss. Before you by, be sure to do your homework and get more information on the right system for your home.

Eliminate Impulse Buying

Impulse buying is a weakness shared by millions of people, so – if this an issue you have you are not alone. Unfortunately, that $7 lipstick you buy waiting for your prescription at the drug store or the craft supplies you bought on clearance at Walmart for a project you will never have time to complete — those things add up quick. Eliminating impulse purchases is one of the easiest ways to create extra money in your budget. Here are a few tips to help you avoid these additional costs

  • Make Lists! – Before going to any store make a list of what you need BEFORE you go. Stick to that list. If an item is not on your list and it is not a necessity – avoid it. The faster you get in and out of the store the less likely you are to spend.
  • Order online! – If your local grocer or drugstore offers online order and curbside pickup USE IT – it will not only save you time, but it will also prevent you from going in store and seeing things you would be tempted to buy.
  • Limit Cash On hand! – When you make your list – most of the time you can guesstimate how much the purchase is going to cost you. Pull that much out of your account IN CASH. Leave your cards at home or in the car – this way you have only have enough money to cover your purchase, and you will not be able to afford anything else.

Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses

Another issue that commonly plagues the family budget is unnecessary expenses. It is important to comb through every regular purchase or fee you pay each month and evaluate whether it is crucial to your family’s needs. An example would be your home phone bill. If every member of your family has a cellphone – is a home phone necessary? Probably not. This may be an expense you can part with and save a nice chunk of change. Here are a few examples and suggestions of costs that can easily be cut from the monthly budget without causing too much extra stress.

  • Newspaper and Magazine Subscriptions – You can read these online!
  • Subscription Boxes – Do you NEED perfume every month?
  • Consider cutting down your data plan on your cell – especially if you have wifi at home.
  • Cable TV – are you home enough to enjoy it? Why not try a streaming service or plug-in device instead.
  • Morning Coffee – If you are spending $5-$7 months a day for fancy coffee- try making your coffee at home and taking it on the go.

These are just a few of the minor monthly expenses that can easily be done away with to create some breathing room in your budget. Try estimating how much you spend on these services and items each month and multiplying by twelve to see how much you could save in a year by making small cuts. Managing finances on a limited budget can sometimes be an overwhelming situation. If creating extra breathing room in your budget has been a challenge, making a few small changes to your everyday spending can make a huge difference. By implementing these changes, day by day you will start to see that you can find a balance– and some extra cash that can help you manage your household with a bit more ease.

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