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It seems to me the cost of living rises much faster than my pay. I am having a hard time keeping up. How do other people handle this? We eat at home more, by stuff on sale. I am working two jobs! Yikes! I hope things get better!!
We make sure our jobs pay for what we can afford, if they don't, we take on extra work, or make a lifestyle change.
Do you do a WRITTEN budget every month? If not, start. If you're having a hard time making ends meet, then eating at home should be an all the time thing, start couponing, or price matching (Walmart is awesome with price matching), buying your fruits/veggies based on what's on sale. Also, I found that my grocery bill DRASTICALLY decreased (by a good 50%) when I dumped eating pre-packaged crap food, and started eating healthy things like more fruits, veggies, that type of thing. And eating at home doesn't always mean making your meals from fresh ingredients. Do you cook your own meals?
You may also want to look into something like Costco or Sam's club. Where you do have to pay a membership fee, the savings typically outweigh the fee. I save a TON on my dog food and cereal at Costco as well as on vitamins and a few toiletries. Buying in bulk can be a way to save as well.
I would highly suggest that you sit down and do a written budget. That will be step 1 in showing you EXACTLY where your money is going and then you account for EVERY SINGLE PENNY that leaves your household. It's a real eye opener to most that they spend a lot on things that really are unnecessary.
Personally, I also plan my trips so that I don't waste gas that I don't need to.
Our income is certainly being eroded by inflation.
My Top 10 Tips for Saving Money:
1. Turn off TV & lights when not needed;
2. Only heat the rooms you use;
3. Find offers, coupons, discounts for almost everything I purchase;
4. If I'm considering a big purchase, I wait 2 weeks to decide if I want it.
5. Write lists before going shopping;
6. Repair stuff instead of buying new;
7. Ask for reduced rates from credit card company;
8. Eat less snack foods;
9. Don't drink or smoke;
10. Swap books and music with my friends.