Are You Reducing Spending in Your Family Budget

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The big debate in Washington is whether or not the debt ceiling should be raised, and then how to go about justifying raising the ceiling. Some want to raise revenue, and others want to reduce spending. Let’s look at this realistically as it applies to your own budget and determine if you are you reducing spending in your budget .

It’s likely that you already know, just as it is in business, balancing your family budget, will require monitoring your expenses and revenue. Your revenue is typically your income and the income of your spouse. When you’re budget gets out of balance there are two things you can do. You can raise the revenue, or you can reduce the expenses. It is amazing how much money you can save in your family budget just by documenting your spending. If you take the time to track your spending and expenses for one month, and then give it a subjective review, you may find hundreds of dollars in savings.

We did this in our own home budget. What we found not only startled us but prompted us to make some changes. We enjoy going out to eat. We were flabbergasted at the amount of money that we spend simply by going out to eat once or twice a week. The remedy we had was twofold. Obviously we cut back on the number of times we went out for dinner. We also looked for coupons and coupon codes that would get us a discount. Restaurant.com will give you a discount up to 60% at more than 18,000 restaurants. We also looked for restaurants that offered free meals to kids. After our first month of making these changes, we realize the savings of over $350. It might be worth it for you take a look in this area as well.

Another area where we realized our spending was out of control was buying gasoline for our vehicles. While we can’t do much about oil-producing countries raising the price of oil there are some things that you can do to help lower your fuel cost.

You can begin, if you haven’t already, start to focus on being frugal about your gas consumption. We live in a culture that loves to just jump in the car and go places. It is simply too expensive to do those kinds of things. Try to consolidate your trips when you run errands, so that you are not making multiple unnecessary trips.

Avoid filling up on weekends. There are many station owners who post new prices on Thursday morning and hold those higher prices through the weekend. Take advantage of a smart phone app that may point you to the way of cheaper gas prices. Before you leave the house you may want to check in with GasBuddy.com to get the best price in your area.

Many major oil companies have begun offering cash back credit cards. You can earn up to a 5% rebate when you use such a branded card. Examples are, Shell Platinum MasterCard or BP Visa card. Some of these cards will often double your rebate for the first 60 days and offered more discounts on travel and restaurant purchases.

As should be the case with the debt ceiling issue with the government, every item, or every service that you spend money on should be scrutinized. In this day and age, it is easier to cut your spending than it is to raise more revenue. As unemployment hovers around 9% this will be the case for the foreseeable future.