by Jeff Wise
These days money is tighter than ever. As the economy slows down people are generally happy to have a job. Now more than ever we need to find alternative ways to make extra money and save. There a saying that making money is like filling a bucket with water, as you make more your bucket gets fuller. But there are also holes in the bucket leaking the water that represent spending money. In our busy lives it can be difficult to make the time to finding ways to reduce wasteful spending. Here are some things you can do to stop the unnecessary expenses from leaking the money from your bucket.

If we want to find out if we can reduce our spending we must first get an accurate picture of how much we spend every month. Tracking your spending can seem like a daunting task but is fairly easy if you follow a few steps. If you can track your expenses on an Excel spreads then great otherwise a paper, pencil and calculator will work just fine. Begin by adding up all of your non-negotiable expenses which are expenses that occur such as mortgage or rent, utility bills, car payment etc. Then enter other recurring expenses such as health club memberships, magazine subscriptions, dining out, etc. Finally, add up all the miscellaneous expenses which can be the most surprising. Now that you have a complete list you can now prioritize and scrutinize what you really need versus things that are just conveniences.

Dining out can cause a huge leak In your bucket. Eating out often is convenient but VERY expensive. But don’t let the little things like morning coffee and pastries fool you, they are silent killers. For example, if you go to Starbucks latte every morning, as I have in the past, It doesn’t seem like much. But that expense alone is about $1000 per year. If you’re like me drastically reducing my dining expense stopped a huge leak in my bucket.

Take a good look at some of your recurring expenses that you might be able to reduce or eliminate. Some examples include; magazine subscriptions, movie clubs, extravagant cable TV packages, and health club memberships. So prioritize and chop the most unnecessary things off the list.

Honestly take an inventory of all of your expenses and go over your spending habits with a fine tooth comb. Cut out the things you can live without a little at a time. Don’t cut it all out at once or you’ll never stick with it. Remember that reducing spending has the same result as finding ways to make extra money.

About the Author:
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