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This Week's Project: Trim Your Monthly Expenses

If we look at our expenditures, the majority of us can find some areas where we can cut back and save some money. With costs increasing and income remaining stagnant or decreasing for most American households, cutting costs becomes a necessity.

Take some time this week to go through your monthly spending. Below are some ideas of some ways you could instantly cut your costs:

- Downgrade your services. Can you get a lower cost on your internet by switching to a lower speed? How about cutting out some of the extra channels on your television service?

- Get rid of unnecessary expenses. Do you really need a landscaper or can you do it yourself and put that extra $100 a month elsewhere? Do you truly need that monthly music service, the magazines or other subscriptions? Get rid of any services you don't use or can do without.

- Try bundling services together. Many providers offer discounted rates if you are able to bundle your services together. For example, if you have phone, internet and cable, look into programs to get a package deal and cut your overall cost.

- Get rate quotes for insurance. Insurance prices can fluctuate and can vary dramatically from one company to the next. Ask for quotes from a number of insurance companies to see if you can get equivalent coverage at a lower price. Also, many companies will bundle your car insurance and homeowner's insurance together to save you even more money.

- Cut any unnecessary spending. How much do you spend on entertainment each month? Do you eat out often? Perhaps go out one less time per month, the savings can really add up!

- Could couponing help your budget? If you are spending too much on groceries and products try couponing and purchasing items when they are on sale. Also, buy items in bulk when possible and avoid name brands.

Cutting back costs in our day-to-day lives can help alleviate financial stress and give you the means to build a financial safety net for a rainy day.

One step closer to preparedness!

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