We’ve all been there before. Your credit card statement is staring you in the face and your checking account is just cents from zero. It happens. Time to make some household budget cuts.

And then you get mad at yourself for allowing your finances to get in this awful shape. Because no one likes to get into credit card debt even further.

How could you not have enough money for your household expenses to last through the whole month? To cover all the bills including the electric bill?

I have friends ask me all the time how to make better household budget cuts when they really feel like they already are only paying for their everyday expenses.

I’ve found that there is always room to cut something in your household budget, even if you think there’s nothing left you could possibly do to their discretionary spending.

Are you ready to learn how to make some household budget cuts? You can easily cut out more from your monthly budget with these tips!

Plus, I’ve got more budget tips for families that will help you prioritize your monthly income spending.

And, these personal budgeting tips will help you find ways to trim your budget spreadsheet.

Let’s dive in and figure out how to get your monthly budget in tip-top shape!

(Side Note: If you don’t already have a monthly budget, check out my post on creating a budget when you hate to budget.)

household budget

Reevaluate Your Needs Vs. Wants

In order to properly make some household budget cuts, you are first going to have to take an honest look at where you are spending money.

I’ll bet there are probably discretionary spending expenses in your life that would fall into the wants category, rather than needs. At least that’s what I found when I took a look at my household spending.

Believe it or not, things such as Amazon Prime and Netflix are actually wants, and not needs.

How can you make better household budget cuts? Start by cutting the non-essentials out of your monthly expenses.

I realize we use Amazon Prime all the time, and we watch something on Netflix almost every day. That doesn’t mean it won’t be a pain to live without them, but for the short term, until you have more wiggle room in your monthly budget, you’ve gotta get ruthless with your spending plan. (Besides, I’ve got ways to use Amazon and still get free shipping without having prime.)


Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

If you are still hanging on to your cable bill, cut it from your budget spreadsheet. If you are still paying for a landline, get rid of it. These proposed cuts could at an extra $200 or more as a part of your debt repayment plan.

Would it be harder to live without them? YES! But being in control of your finances and making better household budget cuts is more important than television. Your health insurance is more important than Amazon. Your electricity costs are more important than a landline. When trying to figure out which proposed cuts actually get cut, compare them to your basic needs. You’ll quickly find which one is more important.

This is one of the budget tips for families. Besides common thought, you don’t need cable to survive!

Take a quick hard look at the items in your personal budget and what you are spending money on. Label each one as a Need or a Want.

If you want a cheat; I’ll tell you that there are only five things that are your actual basic needs that should be in listed your spending category:

  1. Mortgage Payment / Rent
  2. Electric Bill / Water (utilities)
  3. Food (grocery bill for eating at home, not restaurants)
  4. Basic Clothing (only replacing the necessities such as holey shoes)
  5. Car Payment & Gas

Everything else that is in your spending category from your monthly income is a want. Ouch! I know it might sting to hear this, but sometimes facing the truth about what we are spending money on and identifying the true spending category it is in, will force you to make better budget cuts and better navigate the waters ahead.

household budget

Raise Your Deductibles

This one item has the potential to make a huge difference in your household budget and monthly expenses.

If your claims are infrequent, you might want to consider raising your home, auto, or healthcare deductible. Raising your deductible can often reduce your annual premiums, adding some breathing room to your monthly budget after your household budget cuts.

You can always make a note on your calendar to reduce them again once your finances have recovered.

As a part of our proposed cuts, I called about increasing our auto deductible. We found out that our car was worth less than the deductible! Therefore, we could remove that portion of our auto insurance. That saved us $100 each month that we added to our emergency fund! We still have a fully insured car, but we are not paying for something that would never help us.

BE WARNED, insurance spending cuts are not without risk. Doing so means you’ll be paying significantly more out of pocket if something happens. Make sure you start building an emergency fund right away if you don’t already have one.

household budget

Get Rid Of Your Second Vehicle

I know this probably sounds crazy at first, but if you have a vehicle or even a second vehicle that is rarely used or you are able to carpool, you need to get rid of it!

Plus, you’ll save money on insurance too! Double bonus!

For years my dad rode the bus from Clearwater to his work in Tampa. He started doing it to save money on gas, but getting rid of that car helped the household budget too!

How to make better budget cuts is to decide on ways to actually cut things out of your household spending – like that second car!

Another bonus from making better budget cuts is that you’ll be able to use the money from selling your car to put toward your credit card debt, student loan, or add it to your emergency fund.

Get creative and think about possibly sharing a ride to and from work with someone else. You’ll reduce the wear and tear on your own car and save on gas.

Another option if you really need a second car, but want to get rid of those car payments, is to get an older car. A short-term solution to use until your finances improve with your everyday expenses. We’ve traded out newer cars for much older cars. I’ll be the first to tell you some days it stunk and I wanted to drive a new car again. But having our finances under control was more important, we did it, and we survived.

household budget

Get Rid Of Your Data Plan

We live in a digital world where almost everyone carries (and has a data plan for) smartphones. It’s an expense most of us won’t do without.

Look for ways to downgrade your data plan to make better budget cuts. Nowadays you can connect to WiFi almost anywhere you go. I was even able to connect to WiFi when I was getting my oil changed!

By cutting our cell phone’s data plan it lowered our bill by $20 a month. Even lowering it just 1 GB would’ve saved us $10 a month. Any extra money you can find in your budget is a plus to making better spending cuts.

And these budget tips for families are even more important when multiple members of the family have phones further causing a larger monthly bill.

I realize you can’t cut off data completely and only use texting. So calling your carrier to ask if there is a lower option could save you some serious money from the budget cuts you don’t even know you are wasting from your monthly income.


Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

household budget

Find Ways To Bring In More Income

If only you could just give yourself a raise at your job.

If you truly feel that your personal budget is the thinnest it will go, earning extra money is always another option.

To make extra money, a really easy way is to immediately gather up some things from around your home and sell them. I would be there are probably at least 5 things sitting in your home that you haven’t used in years that could be worth something.

Take an hour and gather the items together, take pictures and list them on eBay, Craigslist, or in a local Facebook Group and take the cash and run! There are even easy smartphone apps that will make it easy to get rid of your stuff, OfferUp and LetGo are two that I’ve used with success (I sent my husband James to meet them in a Firehouse parking lot for the exchange).

If you are passionate about something, there is probably a way you could be making money doing it.

To save your personal budget and make better budget cuts, you’ll need to take a slightly tough look at your current spending plan and identify your true wants versus needs.

Call your service providers to see if you can immediately cut the costs by possibly raising your deductibles or changing your plan.

You’ll also want to consider getting rid of your second car or possibly trading it for a cheaper ride.

Because you can learn how to make better budget cuts easily by using these tips.

Plus, these budget tips for families will help you prioritize your spending plan.

And if all else fails, consider increasing your gross income by taking on a temporary side hustle like selling things at a yard sale or online.

Making better budget cuts can be easy when you identify your personal budget needs.


YOUR TURN: What are some things you can do to make better budget cuts? Let me know in the comments below!

household budget
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