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Keeping Your Budget in Check without Strangling Your Lifestyle

ID-100152574Keeping your budget in check is easy, right? You just need to keep your expenses low, and you’ll have plenty of money. Sure. The reality is that keeping your expenses low is hard. After all, you want to enjoy your life.

What is the point of keeping your finances under control if you never enjoy anything? Take heart; it is possible to lower your expenses without squeezing all of the fun out of your life style.

Check out these easy ways to enjoy the things you love while still saving money:


Dining Out – Dining out at restaurants is often the first thing to go when you start trying to cut back your expenses. So what do you do if you really enjoy eating out? Look for discount nights that allow you to enjoy your favorite restaurants for much less money. “Kids Eat Free” nights, for example, will save a family a bundle on dining out. Take care while making your selections from the menu to be sure that you’re getting the most bang for you buck. In addition, you can reduce the cost of eating out by skipping soft drinks (or hard ones) and drinking water.

Name Brand Clothing – If having a specific brand of clothing is important to you, look to resale shops to really stretch your clothing budget. In years past, people were a little reticent about the idea of buying used clothing. The subject brought to mind visions of shopping at thrift stores or garage sales. Today, though, there are traditional retail shops that specialize in gently used clothing of all types. Whether you’re looking for cute children’s clothing, trendy teen clothing, or stylish women’s clothing, you can bet that there’s a resale store out there for you.

Theme Parks – Maybe you can live without “stuff” but you just can’t stand the thought of giving up family adventures. Does your family enjoy spending the day at your local theme park? Save money on admission to the park by looking for coupons or discounted tickets. Visit the park’s website to find out about any upcoming ticket offers. Once you make it into the park, you can keep the cost of food at the park down by bringing your own food from home. Take lots of pictures of your adventure, and you can skip the pricey souvenirs, too. You’ll already have plenty to remind you of your day at the park.

Technology Items – In this age of constant connectivity, you may find yourself willing to cut out a lot of expenses but draw the line at denying yourself the latest in cell phones, mp3 players or tablets. But that new technology comes at a high price. You can cut that price if you are willing to purchase factory refurbished items. You often get the same warranty that a brand new item would have but also get enjoy a much smaller price tag.

Movie Nights – Do you love seeing the latest blockbuster film on the big screen? At $10 or more per ticket, taking the family to the movies can quickly break an entertainment budget. If you really need your move fix, though, there are ways to save money at the theater. Keep an eye on the clock and see your movie during the earlier matinee showings. Eat before you arrive at the theater and you’ll be doing your wallet and your waistline a favor.


Image courtesy of Naypong /

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