If you’re trying to establish financial freedom for yourself or your family, an important first step is to create a source of disposable income. You can do this by reducing the amount of money you have to pay out each month on bills and debts. Many people don’t realize how much money they’re spending on redundant or unnecessary expenses. By limiting those expenses, you’ll be able to stretch your existing income further.
Eat at Home
You don’t have to go out to eat to enjoy a special meal on a Friday night. In fact, if you cook at home with your own groceries, you’ll save money, and you can prepare enough food for several nights. Reheating leftovers will be just as convenient as eating at a restaurant, but you’ll be saving on a three-digit dining bill. Additionally, grocery shopping will help you get more food for less when compared to the costs of frequently picking up meals from fast-food restaurants.
Cancel Subscriptions and Memberships
You might find that it’s cheaper to pay upfront for a treadmill and a set of weights rather than paying a monthly gym membership for your entire family. You can also cancel your cable subscription if your family streams most of their content online. Newspaper and magazine subscriptions are also redundant now that news is readily available online. Look for other subscriptions you can cancel to save money each month.
Limit Your Shopping
Before you run to the grocery store, make a list that you can visually check at the store. Be sure you’re only buying what you have on that list. If you’re going to a larger chain department store, be sure to avoid departments that don’t sell the items you need. For example, if you’re going to pick up dairy products in the grocery department, don’t browse through the kitchenware department. Random browsing will only lead you to spend more than you intend, and that can result in unnecessary charges on your credit cards.
Once you have a small amount of disposable income, you can use that to start paying down your existing debts. With each debt you pay off, you’ll have that much more disposable income. Before long, you’ll have extra money each month that you can put towards a savings account or contribute to an investment account.