Tips To Increase Your Monthly Budget

There are many ways to increase your monthly budget. One is to get a second or third job and make more money. However, there are ways to increase your current monthly budget without taking up more of your leisure time.

Since the turn in the economy, people are more willing to consider trimming their budgets and adopting new ways of saving. While you trim in some areas, you can also increase your monthly budge in other, more important areas.

First, when trying to increase your monthly budget, it’s important to know how much money you have and where it goes. For a month, write down every purchase you make and every bill you pay. At the end of a month, divide the purchases and payments into two categories: needs and wants.

Under the “needs” category, list all necessities, such as rent or mortgage, food, gas, medication, etc. Put all the other items into the “wants” category. Determine what “wants” you can do without or can cut back on. The money you save from those wants can be used to increase other areas of your monthly budget.

Here are some ways to find money within your budget in order to increase your monthly budget in other areas:

1. Heat and air conditioning. In the winter, put on an extra sweater and set the thermostat a couple of degrees lower than usual. In the summer, do the opposite. Over a year, you will save money. Another way to save money is to clean the heating and air conditioner filter regularly. It will make the unit function more efficiently.

2. Plan your driving. If you are used to running out on an errand whenever you want, plan ahead. By consolidating your errands into one trip, you will save the back and forth driving and save gas.

3. Collaborate with neighbors and friends for services. For example, go together on services that are needed only occasionally, such as lawn care, and you might get a reduced rate.

4. Substitute at home meals and packing a lunch for fast food and restaurant meals. If you must eat out, choose wisely. By ordering water instead of other beverages you can save a couple of bucks right off the top of your bill. Also, the meals served in restaurants are very large these days. Ask for a take-out box and take half of your meal home for dinner.

5. Grocery shopping. Shop from a list with a calculator in hand. If you will use a quantity of a product before it spoils, then buy a quantity of it. Calculate a per ounce or per pound price for what you are buying. Sometimes, it is no cheaper to buy the large size.

6. Whenever possible, use coupons or discounts. They really can add up to substantial savings.

7. Save on electricity in other ways. When you leave a room, turn off the lights; and when finished, turn off your computer.

8. Learn the art of delayed gratification. Because credit cards are so prevalent, we've forgotten how to save for a purchase. Use credit cards for emergencies only.

In most cases, you won’t need to use all of these suggestions at once. The more of them you use, however, the more you will save and the more you’ll be able to increase your monthly budget in other areas.