How to Tighten Up Your Finances

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Let’s face it, it’s a little scary right now with the virus. You may have lost your job, your partner may have lost their job, or maybe both of you were laid off. Maybe you had a nest egg prior to this and you’re feeling comfortable, maybe you’re using debt to float you, or maybe you’re wanting to kick start cutting back and saving at a time when you can’t really go out and do anything. The good news is everything is closed so it makes it that much easier to tighten up your budget. Here are a few helpful tips to help you trim the fat on your budget and tips for cutting back and saving money.

#1 Re-evaluate

If you have an already established budget, take a look at each category and see where you can cut back. My husband and I cut back each category by $50-$100. Not eating out as much? Perfect, cut your going out budget back. Not getting your hair and nails done? Great, cut that budget back as well. I bet you can find a way to cut back in each category of your budget.

#2 Call Around

Call your cell phone provider to see if there is any room in your bill to cut back and save a few bucks. Call your car insurance company, chances are you’re not driving your car everyday, see if they can offer you a deal on partial coverage.

#3 Try To Not Use Debt To Float You

I know this can be really challenging, especially if you don’t have much of a nest egg but I promise you, you will thank me later. When you use debt to float you you’re not only paying that debt back but you’re also paying the interest back as well. When this storm clears you don’t want to be in an insurmountable amount of debt. Get creative, sell things, offer to run errands for a friend do ANYTHING to get a little bit of extra cash so you don’t have to put expenses on a credit card.

Already have existing debts? Call your bank or credit card company to inquire about lower interest rates or deferred payments. Do research on lower interest cards, it’s easier than you think to transfer a balance from a high interest card to a low interest one. You may even be able to find a 0% interest option. Call whoever handles your car loan(s) and inquire about consolidating, trading in for a cheaper vehicle or lower interest rates. I promise you, you’re not the only one calling with these questions so I bet they will be willing to work with you. Unable to make your mortgage payments? Call your mortgage servicer to inquire about forbearance, this is where you defer your mortgage payments to a later date. This is not to be confused with forgiveness, you will still be responsible to pay eventually.

#4 It’s The Little Things

If you’re like me then you have a ton of extra time on your hands, so use what extra time you do have to reevaluate and find more cost effective options for your home or family. Here are a few easy things you can do to cut back. These little things can add up and go a long ways!

  • Instead of buying fresh herbs from the store, plant a windowsill garden.
  • See how to make your groceries last longer and your dollar stretch further with these helpful tips on food storage.
  • Cancel or pause subscriptions that charge you monthly
  • Cancel apps that cost money and find a free alternative
  • Make your own household cleaning items, it’s easier than you think. (See my DIY cleaner board on Pinterest here)
  • Instead of buying new, try shopping second hand with Thred-Up
  • See if you can find a free alternative to a workout subscription you pay for.
  • Salvage your kids stuff and try to reuse. Have a bunch of old broken crayons? See how to make fresh new crayons with those bits here.
  • Get creative in the kitchen and see what you can make from scratch instead of buying from the store.
  • Visit your local free library to find your next read.

Whether you find yourself in a financial bind or you’re just wanting to find ways to cut back, start with these tips! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me, I am here to help!