Getting what you need sometimes means forgoing what you want. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. By saving money on the “must-haves” you can save more for the “nice-to-have” items in your life or, better yet, increase your savings. Here are a few tips to help you cut costs, improve your financial situation and save for the future:

Compare your housing costs

If you’re a renter, consider comparing prices for similar properties in your neighborhood and asking your landlord to take a more competitive price. If you’ve been a responsible tenant, you might consider mentioning your history, as it may encourage your landlord to work with you.

If you own your home, refinancing your home for a longer period of time could lower your monthly payment requirements. However, this may also increase the lifetime – and cost – of your loan, so make sure to take a big picture look at your financial needs.

 Tip 

Plan menus and stick to a list of the items that you need.

Tighten your belt

Food bills offer several opportunities to reduce expenses. Spending a little time preparing for a grocery trip will help you keep your bill low:

  • Plan menus and stick to a list of the items that you need.
  • Clip coupons for items you purchase on a regular basis, but avoid purchasing an unneeded item just because you found a coupon for it.
  • If you have the storage space, consider buying in bulk. If you don’t have a membership to a bulk store, ask a friend if you can tag along on a shopping trip.
  • Limit how often you dine out or order delivery. Try to limit these purchases to special occasions.

Reduce Transportation Costs

If you own a car, find ways to cut down your driving to save on maintenance and gas costs. Carpooling with coworkers or public transportation may also reduce your costs. Depending on the weather and the distance, riding your bike is another great way to reduce the cost of getting around. If you wear the proper safety gear and look for roads with bike lanes, biking can be a safe and enjoyable way to avoid traffic while saving money.

There are plenty of ways to save money on necessary expenses – you just have to figure out what you want, what you need, and what you can afford.

Q:
Refinancing your home mortgage always decreases the overall cost of the mortgage.

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