Making ends meet to keep your budget balanced

The economy continues to be rough, though showing signs of improvement!  For many still operating on a reduced income making ends meet is a challenge, especially with high gas prices because they drive up the costs at the grocery store.  We have put together some tips to help keep it together.

1. Make a Budget - This definitely is not new advice but arguably the most important.
Balanced Budget
2. Live within your Means – Do not ever spend more money than you take in, just because the government can do it does not mean you should too!

3. Cut Down on Expenses – If you have less going out you do not need as much coming in.  Get rid of cable, lower your cell phone plan, and eat out less.

4. Earn Extra Income – Side jobs, overtime if you can get it, buy and resell, if you are handy you can make a lot of money.  Check eBay and Craigslist for deals!

5. Use Coupons – Check your mailbox or the Sunday paper for coupons and make detailed shopping lists to maximize your savings.

6. Downsize – Bigger is not always better, larger items cost more and incur additional expenses.

7. Become Self-Sufficient – The easy way on this is to start your garden, the hard way is to generate your own electricity and/or water.

8. Shop Around – Comparison-shopping can help you find deals; this is easily done online or on the phone so you do not have to waste gas.

9. Sacrifice – Sometimes you just have to give things up.  Americans regularly engage in luxuries we consider essential that are not viewed the same way in other countries.  Simplify your life and enjoy the extra financial cushion it provides.

If you have other tips and tricks for making ends meet share them with all of us below!

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