Options to Increase Income & Reduce Spending
OPTIONS TO INCREASE YOUR PRESENT INCOME
• Second Job
• Overtime on present job
• Different higher paying primary job
• Older children take part-time employment
• Hold garage sales
• Turn hobby into income producer
• Odd Jobs
• Higher paying position with present employer
• Spouse take employment
• Sell assets not needed
• Gifts from family
OPTIONS TO LOWER YOUR EXISTING OUTGOING EXPENSES
• Reduce spending & apply surplus to debts
• Ask creditors to lower monthly payments
• Sell any asset not needed & on which you are still making payments
• Increase income & apply surplus to debts
• Loan consolidation or refinancing
OPTIONS TO CONTROL YOUR FUTURE SPENDING
• Cut back in ALL budget categories & apply the excess to reducing debts.
• Rent part of your home to someone else.
• Refinance to lower interest rate & lower payment.
• Shop for lower rental payments.
• Rent part of your home to someone else.
• Shop & compare for the best possible terms & rates.
• Do not overpay to your mortgage escrow account for home insurance.
Real Estate Taxes
• Compare the real estate tax assessor's appraisal of your home with other comparable home values. If you are over assessed, ask for reconsideration.
• Do not overpay to your mortgage escrow account for real estate taxes.
• Check attic insulation, door & windows for air leaks, change filters regularly.
• Keep the thermostat set at moderate comfort levels.
• Delay using heat or cool air until necessary. Use sweaters, blankets, or fans.
• Close off any part of the home not used frequently.
• Turn off unused lights; reduce bulb wattage in non-work or non-reading areas.
• Group bath times to conserve hot water.
• Insulate all exposed hot water lines & your hot water heater.
• Reduce your hot water heater thermostat(s) from 140 to 120 degrees.
• Reduce the number of hours you heat hot water (manually or with a timer).
• Clean refrigerator coils regularly.
• Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL’s when needed.
• Unplug items when not in use, use power strips.
• Group your cooking and baking while stove and oven are hot.
• Consider solar energy to heat water.
• Repair all leaks promptly.
• Avoid partial load use of dishwasher, washer, & dryer - use a full load.
• Stop dishwasher before drying cycle - allow dishes to dry by themselves.
• Evaluate need for more than one phone.
• Use plain standard phone, no frills, and no extra features.
• Limit the number and length of all long-distance calls.
• Make long-distance calls during reduced rate times.
• Write more letters and make fewer long-distance calls
Water and Sewage
• Conserve use of water when washing dishes, hands, and teeth.
• Conserve use of water when bathing (shorter showers).
• Use well water when and where applicable.
• Turn off the hose when not needed to wash cars, boat, and house.
• Do your own house and lawn pest control.
• Reduce use of fertilizer-use natural organic materials.
• Do your own plumbing, electric, carpentry, and other repairs.
• Rent the equipment and clean your own carpets and furniture.
• Mow, edge, trim and maintain your own lawn.
• Do your own painting and wallpapering.
• Consider using standard local stations, only.
• Avoid "Pay for View" and unnecessary extra tier channels.
• Next, consider using the basic cable only.
• Shop for best buys-sales, discontinued items.
• Consider repairing, refinishing, and recovering used good quality furniture.
• Shop the local shopper's guide, garage sales, and thrift stores.
• Consider making your own furniture.
• Maintain what you have to consult service manuals.
• Do not overload or abuse appliances-follow instructions.
• Learn to be a do-it-yourself-seek counsel when available.
• Before replacing, consider a repair or overhaul. Many older units are better quality and cost less to repair.
• If replacing, use a buyer's guide to determine the best manufacturer.
• Stick to standard models. More dials and gadgets usually cost more and usually require more maintenance.
• Keep written maintenance charts.
• Shop and compare price, quality, and service keep a written record.
• Look for high volume dealers who carry name brand products under their own label at lower prices.
• Buy on a cash basis. Avoid trade-ins. Seek discounts for cash.
• Avoid dealer service contracts usually expensive and no guarantee that they will be in business when you are in need.
• Seek free delivery and installation.
• Look for similar used units in the paper or shopper’s guide
• Shop by a written list only prepared at home.
• Shop less frequently every week or every two weeks.
• Avoid shopping/buying when hungry.
• Only use coupons for items on your need list.
• Only use coupons after shopping for a price-not label.
• Also shop for price per serving. Compare canned, frozen, and fresh food prices.
• Compare the price of drugstore type items at food stores with discount type chain stores. Usually, but not always, they are cheaper at discount stores.
• Avoid sugar-coated higher priced cereals-usually more expensive but not more nutritious.
• Avoid prepared foods, TV dinners, pot pies, cakes. You are paying more for expensive labor that you can supply.
• Consider serving your family "restaurant style" not family style only one plate per meal filled in the kitchen-no extra food on the table.
• Buy larger quantities which usually cost less per ounce.
• Leave children and spouse at home.
• Reduce or eliminate paper products.
• Consider buying in bulk with other families.
• Avoid food plans that package and deliver large quantities of meats. You will end up eating more meat, which in the long run will cost you more, especially if you buy their overpriced freezer to go with it.
• Compare store brand prices with the more popular brands.
• Buy items when in season to get the lowest prices.
• Shop for advertised specials but be sure it really is "on sale," not just "as advertised" but the same old price.
• Normal foods processed in a blender are less expensive than baby foods.
• Consider canning your own fresh vegetables.
• Learn to perform your own routine maintenance oil change, lubrication, etc.
• Perform preventative maintenance over the more costly corrective maintenance.
• Purchase your parts and supplies from wholesale distributors for the best grades and prices.
• Maintain a written regular maintenance chart or list for every car to extend the life of your car (up to 40 percent).
• Consider buying "take-off' tires from dealers who frequently change tires on new cars or on fleets of cars.
• Use the cheapest gasoline rated for your car.
• The cost of repairing your old car is most always cheaper than buying and financing a new car.
• If it is really time to buy another car, consider a newer but less expensive car. Many cars can be bought for half the price when three years old.
• Before buying any car, new or newer than your present car, check your budget to see how much cash you have and how much you can afford to pay monthly.
• Avoid buying another car if your present car is not paid in full. That leads to upside down financing and additional costs of refinancing, especially if the payoff is computed on the rule of 78s.
• It is usually better to bargain for a discount on the purchase of your new car and pay cash for it than to buy on the "trade-in" plan.
• If you do finance your new car purchase, shop for the best financing available, not just the quickest and easiest offered by the dealer.
• If you buy a used car, talk to the previous owner before you buy. Also, have it checked by your mechanic before you buy.
• Bargain for a short-term 100 percent guarantee if you buy a used car.
• Avoid being pressured by sales tactics. Set your own price and type car desired and stick to your plan, even if it means walking away from a so-called "good deal" which requires a quick decision.
• Be willing to accept minor problems or repairs on older cars · Avoid buying a new model when they first come out. Better to wait for a demonstrator or year-end close out sale.
• The standard model usually provides the same transportation as the luxury model and at substantial savings.
• Avoid the use of credit life insurance. It is expensive and unnecessary if you have an adequate overall insurance program.
• Extended warranties are also expensive and should not be necessary if you are buying a quality car.
• The average family should avoid new car leasing as it is always more expensive in the long run. If they can't afford a down payment they most likely can't afford the car at this time.
• Only buy what you can pay for in cash-avoid financing.
• Seek godly counsel to establish an overall insurance plan for your present income and your specific needs and goals-GET THE FACTS!
• Establish a budget to determine how much insurance you need-GET THE FACTS!
• Select a plan that meets your needs and fits your budget-GET THE FACTS!
• Get godly counsel from several qualified people but you are accountable and responsible for your decision. Decide after getting the facts and praying for God's direction which usually comes in the form of a lasting peace about your decision.
• Buy insurance to provide if you are unable to provide from your estate which is your abundance.
• Again, seek godly counsel.
• Get the Facts!
• Buy what you can afford and need.
• Consider a major medical plan that insures the big ticket liability, not every pill and every doctor visit, unless you can afford the low deductible all expenses paid by the insurance company plan.
• Determine your need.
• Select a plan that fits your income and need.
• Establish a plan to get out and stay out of debt
• Decide to pay cash from this day on.
• Save for the future at the same time you are paying off your debts.
• Be fair to every creditor. Pay everyone every dollar.
• Stop using credit cards.
• Do not leave any creditor out of your current plan.
• If you are past due with any creditor, contact them, apologize for breaking your promise to pay the minimum required an amount, and advise them of your plan to repay all past-due payments and make all future required payments on time as agreed. Then keep your promise and follow your plan.
• Make as many sacrifices as necessary to follow your plan until you are current with all creditors.
• Seek options to increase your income, lower your outgo and control your future spending until you reach your goals.
ENTERTAINMENT & RECREATION
• Dine out less frequent and at less expensive places.
• Order "water only" to drink and avoid the expensive beverages when eating out.
• Use discount, early bird or 2 for 1 specials when they fit your time and budget plan.
• Establish your budget and the specific amount you have allocated for "dining out". Then select a plan of places to go and limits to pay.
Trips / Vacations
• Plan vacations during the off-season, if possible, when rates are lower.
• Consider camping to avoid motel and restaurant higher costs.
• Select vacations close to home, they give you more time to recreate and cost less to get there.
• Consider swapping your house with a relative or a Christian family in another town for your vacation.
• Stay at home and change the daily routine and activities for the entire family.
• If flying, plan in advance, buy super saver tickets and special fare plans.
• Consider a working vacation where the whole family spends part of everyday painting the house or some other project where the whole family joins in doing something different.
• Find one or more couples with children and trade off being the babysitter for each other no cost to either family.
• Barter for sitters. You fix their hair or mow their lawn, they sit for your children.
• Plan activities like hiking, camping, swimming at the lake or beach, etc that have a minimum expense.
• Attend movies, bowling, or other activities during hours of lower admission fees.
• Two or more families get together and share video rentals.
• Carpool to nearby towns for special sporting events.
• Volunteer to help serve food at children's school sports events and get free admission.
• Swap your boat for your friend's camper for a week.
• Make some clothing for you and the children as time permits.
• Buy from a need list only, prepared at home after looking in the closets.
• Buy during the "off" season when prices are their lowest.
• Wash in cold water.
• Zip up zippers to avoid damaging other clothing.
• Hang garments to dry.
• Buy basic outfits that you can mix and match, dress up or dress down.
• Shop at discount outlets and for special sales.
• Pass on hand-me-downs among friends and family.
• Buy home washable fabrics to avoid dry cleaning costs.
• Take good care of your existing clothing.
• Shop garage sales and thrift stores for real bargains.
• Repair any damaged clothing early.
• Use an automatic withdrawal (payroll deduction) when possible.
• Pay your savings account just like it was a creditor.
• Set a fixed amount to be saved, regularly, based on your budget.
• Possible savings goals: to build an estate; to buy a home, car, furniture, appliance; to take a vacation; to make a home or auto repair; to be able to help others with a gift or loan.
• Save one specific amount for the future-not to be spent.
• Save another specific amount as a reserve to be spent for the variety of other purposes you are saving.
• Save for a purpose. Set your goals.
• The purpose of every investment should be to bring glory to God.
• Investments are longer term savings usually for a specific purpose, such as pensions, college education, etc.
• Use automatic withdrawal (payroll deduction) when possible.
• Set a fixed amount to be invested based on your budget.
• One type investment provides you with an income now.
• Another type investment simply grows and only provides you with the increase when sold.
• Some investment earnings are taxable now.
• Some investments are made through financial institutions. Other investments are made directly to individuals.
• Where applicable, both husband and wife should agree on the investments before they are made.
• Every investment has a degree of risk.
• Every investor should seek a balance between convenience, availability, the rate of return, and safety.
• One of your best investments is to get out of debt.
• Other investment earnings are tax deferred.
• Do not invest in anything you don't understand.
• Consider investing in your own family.
• Take good care of yourself and your family. Preventative action is less expensive than corrective action.
• Select physicians and dentists who practice preventative care.
• Get estimates of costs in advance. When practical, get second opinions.
• Shop for a price on prescriptions, glasses, etc.
• Read books and articles on proper health care and nutrition.
Drug Store Items
• Shop for a price on each item and from various type sources, compare grocery stores, drug stores, discount stores, direct sales, etc.
• Always shop from a needs list prepared at home after looking in all your closets.
• Compare price per ounce or per unit and buy the larger quantity or size when it proves to be the best buy.
Beauty Parlor / Barber Shop
• Do your hair care at home, when possible, trim your spouse's hair in between haircuts, and learn to cut your children's hair.
• Stretch the time between hair care appointments.
• Use "coin-operated" dry clean machines when available.
• Use "full loads" not partial and not overloaded on coin-operated laundry machines.
• Buy your own washer and dryer as soon as possible, even used, as it is cheaper to do it yourself at home.
• Dry your own clothes on a line in lieu of a dryer.
• Buy fewer "dry clean only" clothing.
• Pack your lunch for children and yourself.
• Avoid buying special lunch size packaged foods that are usually very expensive. Make and package your own.
• Use reusable containers for packing lunches. Avoid more expensive throwaways.
• Drink water only for lunch.
• Avoid allowances. Only reward children for extra work performed, not the usually expected chores such as picking up their clothes, cleaning their room, helping with dishes, etc., which is part of their responsibility as a member of the family.
• Give your children an opportunity to work and earn money. Select special projects like wash windows, wash and wax the car, mow the lawn, babysit, etc. to earn money in lieu of a set allowance for doing nothing.
• Reduce or eliminate periodical subscriptions (paper, magazines, books, records, etc.).
• If subscription continued, use longer term contracts (2-3 years) which are usually less expensive.
• Swap subscriptions with neighbors, friends, or family.
• Limit your gifts in number and amount per gift.
• Make personal gifts (plaques, paintings, and poems, etc).
• Make a written calendar list of known birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, set a dollar amount for each, based on your budget allocation for gifts, stick to your budget amount.
• Consider cards or letters in lieu of gifts.
• When families get too large, they could draw names for the one person for whom they buy a gift.
• Remember to honor the Lord at Christmas. It is His birthday. Be creative in ways to honor the Lord.
• Have your children select a gift they would like and then have them earn money to buy it and give that gift to a needy child their sex and age.
• Remember; buy on a "cash" basis, not credit.
• Shop by a list only for Christmas and pre-determine the amount to spend on each and stick to your list and amount.
• Buy on a cash basis. Avoid using credit or credit cards.
• Consider baked goods as gifts when appropriate.
• Mail packages early and use the least expensive carrier to deliver.
• Determine the amount available based on your budget.
• Save in advance. Avoid borrowing for education.
• Gather the facts about all the options.
• Decide on the school based on the best academically that your budget can afford.
• Have student participate in the expense by working part time job(s) especially for a college education.
• Evaluate need for the value of and interest in special lessons, music, dance, etc.
• Seek scholarships and grants that may be available.
• Do not give them or allow them to use credit cards.
• Carpool to reduce transportation costs when applicable.
• Avoid cars in college, if possible.
• Buy used books in lieu of new books when available.
• Teach your college student to establish and live on a budget.
POCKET MONEY/ CASH
• Set a regular specific amount, weekly, based on the budget.
• Avoid being wasteful or buying unnecessary items.
• Avoid impulse spending for drinks, snacks, gum, etc.
• Decide in advance what to buy with your pocket money.
• Avoid being wasteful or buying unnecessary items.
• Milk, bread, gas, etc., are not considered miscellaneous pocket money. These already have specific budget items.
• Stick to that amount.
• Consider the cost of keeping a pet before buying.
• Limit your purchases to the pet's needs and your budget.
• Shop for best veterinarian fees.
• Have children participate in providing for their pet care.
• Shop for the best bank services. Avoid service charges.
• Shop for child care rates. Consider bartering.
• Learn to prepare your own income taxes.
• Keep the required minimum balance in your checking account to avoid service charges and returned check fees.
• Carry no credit cards, checks, or extra cash unless yo
• Shop for fees if you need to use an attorney.