Covering financial needs sometimes means making adjustments to the household budget. But, we can also look at it another way – finding opportunities to save money on our financial needs can help us set aside money to eventually afford “nice to have” items, or better yet, to build up savings. Focusing on housing, food, and transportation in your budget, 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 negotiating with your current landlord. If you’ve been a responsible tenant, you might consider mentioning your history, as it may encourage your landlord to work with you. As rent may be the largest item on your budget, you might consider moving to a more affordable space or sharing the cost by adding roommate to help your budget.

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 length – and cost – of your loan, so make sure to take a big picture look at your financial needs.

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 grocery 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 increase the number of times that you cook at home and see if that improves your budget.

Reduce Transportation Costs

If you own a car, find ways to reduce 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 might be another great way to reduce the cost of getting around. If your job allows for telecommuting, this may help eliminate your daily commute expenses.

There are 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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