Both consumer debt overall and household debt continue to soar to historic highs as many US citizens are living paycheck to paycheck or are in dire financial straits due to unexpected issues such as a car crash or a motorcycle accident causing loss of employment or hours. While the mortgage typically eats up most of the income for most consumers today, student loans are also making life more difficult for many of the 45 million borrowers up to their ears in almost $1.6 trillion in cumulative debt. It can be hard enough to make ends meet if you live alone, but if you are supporting a family or working with your partner to take care of children (and perhaps ageing parents or other family members too), it could be difficult to rein in your finances or continue saving in the manner you enjoy.
Here are five ways to save more money now:
- Hold a family meeting – while no one wants to burden younger children with worries about money, older children will benefit from understanding the truth about how a household budget must be handled, along with learning that everyone, and every family unit, will experience financial ups and downs in life. One of the most important topics at your family meeting may be an announcement that there will be ‘budget cuts’ and there may be restrictions on spending for a while.
- Start adding more to your retirement fund if possible – this is especially helpful if your boss is matching your contributions. This is true savings for your future and becomes increasingly more important as you head into your 40s and 50s.
- Stop eating out – busy lives, and especially as both spouses/parents work these days, can make it exceedingly difficult to make it to the dinner table for a home-cooked meal. Even though it may take extra effort on those days where you are exhausted, hit the grocery after work—or once a week on the weekends, after which you may want to designate several hours to meal prep to get you through the week. These types of preparations pay off not only financially, but nutritionally as well. Get the family in on cooking too, and delegate duties—especially the dishwashing!
- Kick those bad habits – if you are a smoker or like your fine wines and other alcohol, consider how much you are spending monthly on these luxuries. Cutting back is a savings to your wallet, and also your well-being.
- Research major purchases, and be disciplined about online spending – is the refrigerator on the fritz? While you may need a new one quickly, take time to comparison shop. Feeling the need for some retail therapy from the desktop? Use this convenience wisely, and sparingly, being disciplined about how often you let that ‘buy now’ button subtract money from your checking account.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.