Every year, the US congress has a difficult time deciding how to pay for the expenses that have been approved in previous sessions of congress. The confrontations leading to the “Fiscal Cliff” are similar to the problems that a husband and a wife have in trying to meet the needs of the family while staying within the household budget.
A wife may think that it is necessary to spend $100 every three weeks, about $1700 per year, in the beauty shop. A husband may feel that a 60-inch flat screen television with a special audio system for $2000 is necessary for entertainment. Of course, the additional cable bills for $300 dollars a month, or $3,600 per year, are also necessary. If the family has children, there are additional expenses for toys, school supplies and clothing which is outgrown quickly or worn out.
The only way to cut expenses is to eliminate those things that you can do without. All the members of the family have to get together to agree on the expenses that will be eliminated. Nobody will be happy because everybody has to sacrifice. Just like the members of congress, everybody will grumble and complain. If you are single, you are the only one who has to sacrifice and you have to have the discipline to stick to a budget. Here is a list of things that you may try:
- Stop smoking to save your health and your money.
- Sell your car and use public transportation to go to work.
- Take your lunch to work instead of going to a restaurant.
- Read books from the public library instead of going to movie theaters.
- Brew your own coffee instead of buying it in expensive coffee shops.
- Pay down your credit card debt. If possible, pay in full every month to avoid fees.
The most effective way to save money is to make a list of your monthly expenses and then determine which ones you can eliminate. Looking at a complete list of expenses gives you a perspective of your spending habits. Eliminating many small incidental expenses sometimes can save big bucks, but small cuts in recurring large expenses may provide the greatest savings.