If you are struggling with your personal finances and household budget each month, chances are you have more money going out than you have coming in. This is actually quite common with most Americans as most people do not track their spending.  So how do you overcome it?

The first step is to realize that in order to create a balanced budget for your household, what you are bringing in each month and what is going out should be equal. Ideally, you would have more money coming in each month than going out. This is how you start to build a savings to use in emergency situations.

If you are looking for ways to cut expenses and add money to your budget each month, try these 5 strategies. I have used them successfully and recommended them to other people in my classes and they have worked well.

1. Phone lines – Your cell phone and home phone are two areas where you can find money in your budget. If you still have a land line, do you use it? If not, consider cancelling it or reducing some of the extra add ons like call waiting or caller id. The same goes for your cell phone. Is your plan the best you can get for your usage? Take some time to explore these two areas of your budget to see where you can save money.

2. Television – Paying an expensive cable bill? If you are struggling monthly, cutting out the cable bill is one way you can help to get your finances in order. With services like Netflix, there is no need to pay expensive cable bills each month. I have written a detailed report on my website about this using the Roku digital video player.

3. Haircuts – Going to expensive salons can make a huge dent in your budget. Have you thought of trying a beauty school? A beauty school is a great way to get professional services at a discounted price. Just remember, they may take a little longer because they are students, but they are supervised. Just be clear on what you want and you shouldn’t have a problem.

4. Limit eating out and take your lunch to work – Food is one area of the budget that can really hurt you. I mean we all have to eat, right? By limiting the number of times you eat out each week you can help save money. If you want to save even more money, take your lunch to work every day. You can take leftovers or sandwiches to save money and eat healthy.

5. Budget Billing for utility bills – In our area it’s called budget billing but does your utility company offer you to set up your monthly bills so you are only paying an average each month? This can help even out your utility bills so you are paying an average all year around instead of a spike in price during the heat of summer and cold in winter.  By paying a monthly average, you know what you are paying and you won’t get an unexpected high bill.

Finding money in your budget can be easier than you might of thought if you just start to look at your finances in a new way. These 5 tips should help you start to do that. Can you think of more ways you can save money each month by making small and manageable changes?

Ready to create your own personalized household budget? Learn how with the Budget Bootcamp: A Common Cents Approach to Personal Finance and Money Management for Women. Find out how to finally set up a realistic budget that you can live with and stick to, cut your living expenses without living like a monk and get rid of debt once and for all, so you can start building up your financial assets! Jenny Kerr  specializes in helping women get out of debt and build wealth. Get her highly-acclaimed Budget Bootcamp and find out how to take care of your finances once and for all so you can become debt free!

 

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Wassuper, it’s yo girl, Kesha and I believe we should Be the Fruit Loop in a world full of Cheerios because life is more interesting when you dare to be different and challenge what’s “normal!” I am wildly passionate about helping highly driven women pursue fantabulous relationships, juicytastic careers/bizzes, and authentically inspired lives. Let’s rethink, redo, and reinvent YOU so you can live life YOUR way!
5 Ways to Add Money Back into Your Monthly Household Budget
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  • These are all great tips! Number 4 will get you every time–you never realize how much the $5-$10 for breakfast/lunch everyday adds up until the week! Plus food from home is healthier and more satisfying anyway! -Thanks for posting!

    • Hey Makeba, girl, I remember when I first started working my first job out of college, I was going out to lunch with coworkers everyday spending 7-15 dollars. I started tracking and budgeting even back then and saw how much money I was spending and knew I had to change that habit quick! LOL

      It’s one I am still conscious of today 🙂

      I appreciate your feedback deary!
      ~Kesha

  • If you have children, joining a babysitting cooperative is a great way to add money back into the household budget! They can save participating parents thousands of dollars a year and, since there can be many families in a coop, there’s a much better chance of getting childcare when you need it!

    For help in finding a coop or starting and managing one of your own, check out sittingaround.com and start saving!

    • Great addition and resource Elisabeth! Thanks for adding this tip. Everything helps!

      Also, your comment made me think of another way to save money – sharing rides to and from work. At some companies, there are Ride Share programs (both sponsored and non-sponsored) so if there are people with similar work schedules who are from the same area, they can ride together. Saves on gas which is a huge monthly expense these days 🙂

      ~Kesha

  • Kesha, your budget-wise tips are right on the money (pun intended)! 🙂

    As someone who’s raised four daughters on my own, believe me, I can pinch a nickel till the Indian rides the buffalo!

    The one area I really wish I could cut back is having to maintain a land line phone. Unfortunately, I don’t get a cell signal in my condo but I need a cell phone for emergencies, car breakdowns, etc. To me, paying for two phones is foolish. Hopefully the next place I rent will have a really good cell signal.

    I color and cut my own hair and I never (and I mean NEVER) dine out. And I take advantage of every cost-cutting plan the utilities companies offer.

    I’m always amazed at some of my co-workers who walk in with some kind of specialty coffee drink from Starbucks every day. They could easily be putting $100 back in their pockets every month. And how hard can it be to brew your own coffee at home?! I’ve discovered some really flavorful blends sold at bargain-basement prices at discount stores and grocery stores. To me, this one is a no-brainer if you’re seriously trying to save some bucks.

    How about saving on your wardrobe? More budget-conscious people should consider taking a peek inside their local Goodwill store or other thrift stores or consignment shops when shopping for clothing. You’d be surprised (no, you’d be amazed!) at the beautiful, barely worn (and even never worn) garments you’ll find. Look carefully and you’ll discover pieces that are “designer” fashions.

    Kesha, I’m an affiliate for Lorie Marrero of the “Clutter Diet”. Have you bumped into Lorie yet in your internet travels? Almost every one of her video tips highlights a piece of clothing she’s wearing that she purchased at the Goodwill store. And unless she revealed that fact, you would never guess because she always looks “polished and professional”.

    One other way to some save money is to look online or in your local newspaper for deals and coupons when it’s time to get an oil change. Where I live, the average cost is $35-40, and more for larger vehicles. My last oil change was $9.95 thanks to a Firestone coupon I found online.

    I have a motto I stick by …

    “Never pay retail.”

    Awesome post! Can you tell I love this topic? 🙂

    • Yes, I can tell you really love this topic and it’s all good as I’m glad you do!

      I will check out the Clutter Diet (send me your affiliate link first though). I have not met Lorie yet but she sounds like my type of chick. I definitely go to Goodwill stores and thrifts shops on the regular (need to hit up some now for some winter wardrobe pieces). I love unique items or just items not many others are wearing. I’m not a trend setter when it comes to clothing and I just like comfy and cute so when I find some good stuff, I grab it!

      I am also a believer in “never pay retail” though sometimes I admit I’ll grab something retail if I REALLY, REALLY want it…Most times though, my wallet speaks to me and says, “Next week, it’ll be on sale” 🙂

      Here’s another practice I have – anytime I get to a checkout page online and there’s a coupon code area, I immediately do a search for a code (since evidently they accept them). That has saved me up to 50% in a few of cases!

      Fortunately for me, I’m not a coffee girl so Starbucks never had an allure for me. But you’re right, so much money is spent there daily (I need to see if I can get in on that stock!!)…

      I feel you about the land line option. The only reason I have a land line is because I work at AT&T and it’s free with employee concessions. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to justify it. I have unlimited everything on my cell phone and NEVER answer my home line. I barely even check the voicemail messages (mostly telemarketers anyway) so really don’t need it.

      In the end, being more budget conscious for me is all about saving HERE so I can spend money THERE (on the things I really want to do)!

      Mel, you know I greatly appreciate all of your feedback here! *warm hugs*

      ~K

      • I felt it in my heart way back when — there’s no doubt we’re related. Go ahead and laugh if you want. I know my skin is light and yours is dark but that doesn’t matter. We’re kindred spirits, nonetheless — or long lost cousins. 🙂

        This describes ME to a “T” …

        “I’m not a trend setter when it comes to clothing and I just like comfy and cute.”

        I had to laugh when I read you work at AT&T because that’s who I have my cell phone service with. Too bad I haven’t reached YOU when I’ve called. The reps keep telling me my signal is “excellent”. I’ve invited them all to swing by the condo and attempt to make or take a call on my cell phone. So far, none of them have knocked on my door. LOL! 🙂

        You’re really a sweetheart to ask for my Clutter Diet affiliate link, Kesha. So here ya go if you’d like to watch a little video tip or two and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the blurbs popping up about Lorie’s attire: http://bit.ly/byebyeclutter

        We’ve just got to meet in person some day. 🙂

        • P.S. Forgot to mention — just click the tab, “Lorie’s Blog”, to see the video tips, Kesha. She’s a cool gal to have in your circle so I hope you’ll think about following Lorie on Twitter or clicking the “Like” button on her FB fan page. I love helping my friends make new friends. *Grin*

        • Girl, I would not survive in a call center. I’m an IT project manager in the Online Services group. I don’t even know anybody in the rep department anymore to call when/if I have issues! I need to meet more reps! No one showed up yet? You gotta bribe them with food and drinks 😉

          Yes, we must meet one day. If you’re in the St. Louis area, you know to let me know. But then again I try to get out and travel a lot so there’s no telling where I might be. I might meet you in Cali soon!

          ~K

  • Thanks for the great tips cuz. Also with the holiday’s coming up we tend to get stressed out….Shop early and put things in layway…Don’t use your credit cards for simple purchases use the for emergencies only….

    • Excellent additional tips cuz 🙂 Thanks for sharing your feedback! Love ya!

      By the way, Walmart has opened up their layaway again for the season so that can help people plan as well.

  • Pingback: Budget Bootcamp: A Common Cents Approach to Personal Finance | 7Wins.eu()

  • Kesha, I just discovered your blog. I love it and your attitude. Wonderful. I’ve implemented each of your tips in your life, except one. As an ex-hairdresser, I’ve been cutting my own hair for years. I get it done whenever the mood strikes me. I gave up the landline phone a couple of months ago. Now, I don’t get the soliciting calls. For years every few months I assess the bills to see if there is anything unneccessary in them. Extra stuff has a way of creeping in.

    • Thanks Becky for stopping in! Thank you for the lovely compliment as well. 🙂 And those landline costs can really add up, especially if you don’t need it and use your cell phone more often. Awesome plan you have to review your bills ever so often. It’s the best way to keep track of what’s going on and understanding where you’re spending money and when/if spending needs to be cut 🙂

      Hope to see you back soon Becky!

      ~Kesha

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