The bills keep coming each month even if your income decreases, but that doesn't mean you have to accumulate a lot of debt. Instead, use these creative tips to stretch your hard-earned dollars.
First, take a look at your biggest expenses. For most consumers, housing is the biggest recurring expense each month. This means that you can make a huge impact on your family's finances if you are able to decrease your housing costs.
Some people choose to move to a smaller residence to save money, but this is not your only option. If you currently have a mortgage, check to see if refinancing is a possibility. Refinancing your loan allows you to lower your interest rate, which is especially helpful for adjustable rate mortgages.
In most cases, you'll need to pay closing costs to refinance, but refinancing can ultimately save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. It can also make your monthly payments more affordable.
After you research refinancing, take a look at your other recurring monthly bills. Don't think of these as expenses that are fixed. Instead, think of ways that you can reduce these expenses.
In some cases, you can reduce your monthly bills simply by asking. Give your phone or cable company a call, and let them know you are living on a tight budget and thinking about reducing or cancelling your services. It's cheaper for the company to retain current customers than it is for them to attract new ones, so they will often offer incentives or better rates to keep you from cancelling.
If you're trying to reduce your expenses, take a look at each bill carefully when it comes in this month. In these days of automatic bill pay, some customers don't even look at the specifics of their monthly charges. You might be paying for services that you don't even need or want. For instance, if your cable bill includes several pricey movie channels, but you only watch one movie a month, you can save painlessly by switching to a lower package.
When you reduce your recurring bills, you'll enjoy saving each month!