This is where you may need to bite the bullet and make some cuts in your expenses, especially if you haven't even built up your Emergency Fund yet. I am going to highlight some areas of your budget that you might want to take out the magnifying glass and look at.
1. Insurance - Some of you are paying way too much for insurance (especially car insurance). It is very easy to shop around for car insurance and you can switch at any time with no penalties. One thing to make sure with your insurance, especially when you have an emergency fund is to make your deductible higher so that you have more money to put towards paying off debts.
2. Utilities - Are you really being efficient here? Pay attention and shut off your lights when you walk out of a room, unplug things when not in use, turn down the heat a little and wear a sweater, etc. It is amazing how all these things add up when you actually make an effort.
3. Cell phones - Is it necessary to have the most expensive plan and the newest phone? Consider cutting this to the bare minimum if you are not yet out of debt.
4. TV (YIKES!!) - So many people now have cable bills well over $100, is this really necessary!? Consider going to the basic plan or completely cutting it out. We cut our cable about 8 months ago and it has been great! I wasn't sure how I would handle this, but it actually made me start thinking more and spending my time more wisely. I wouldn't have started my blog if it wasn't for cutting out the TV :-))
5. Eating Out - We all know how quickly this adds up! Bring your lunch to work, pack snacks in the car and just plan ahead. You will save so much money and so many calories too ;-)
6. Gas - Try to do as many things as possible in one trip. *I will fully admit that I am horrible at this! Sometimes I need to just get out of the house and go somewhere just because, so I end up spending a lot more on gas than I need to :(
These are just some things to think about when looking at your budget. The main thing is to really comb through your expenses and think of any way that you can cut things down.
Don't feel guilty if there is something that you know you should cut, but don't. Some could never cut their cable and want to stop following me right now just because I suggested that ;-) There are some things that we choose to spend more on because it is more important to us and to make up for this we cut TV.
It is all a personal decision and you can be as extreme as necessary when looking for ways to make your budget work for you. Just make sure you work together, if you're married, and be realist so that you set yourself up for success not failure.
Do you have any helpful tips or areas in your life that you cut?