Income’s been stagnating. Prices have been going up. It’s been getting harder and harder to make ends meet.
One way to survive this middle income squeeze is to start saving money now. There are “leaks” everywhere, and this article hopefully helps you plug some of these.
First let’s look at our budget. Are there things we can cut back on, e.g. fewer Cable or Satellite channels? Or perhaps eating in more? Or don’t order that second beer? You’ll be surprised how all of this adds up.
The average cable bill for an American family is $90 monthly. A 2013 Visa survey found that the average American consumer eats lunch at a restaurant twice a week, spending $10 each, on each occasion. Another survey found that the average American household dines out 4.8 times each week!
There’s at least a couple of hundred dollars of savings in these 2 items alone!
Now, if you’re dining in more, you’ll need to do your groceries more, right? Well, you’ll need to learn how to do it smart. The average family of 4 spends $1,300 per month, and the average adult $350 per month according to the USDA. You can cut back on that by adopting these tried and tested tactics: 1. Always stick to the shopping list. 2. Never, EVER, shop when you’re hungry. 3. Buy by the unit price and not the package price. 4. Coupon. 5. Shop at bulk buy outlets. 6. And did I say not to shop when you’re hungry?
Which all sounds like a lot of PLANNING. But at least planning’s better than cutting back to survive the dreaded middle income squeeze. Leading me nicely to the next point. If we plan ahead, we can save money from not having to run around, eg, 2 trips to the mall for something we forgot to pick up the first time around doubles the gas. Or having to buy dinner on the way home, increasing both gas use and food expenses.
Of course you could bicycle to the store, which would give you the advantage of giving up that gym membership too. Taking public transport or car-pooling could be another way to save some money. Given that the average American household spends almost $3,000 on gasoline annually, and assuming driving to work makes up half of your driving (probably more if you’re sitting there burning gas in peak hour jams), then you’d save at least $1,500 a year or $125 a month!
Finally, get rid of debt. If you have $1,000 in credit card debt at 10% interest, and don’t pay it off, you’ll soon owe $1,100. That’s literally flushing $100 down the toilet. Given that the average household has over $7,000 credit card debt, we’re talking a lot of savings if you pay this down.
There’s likely over a thousand dollars a month in savings on this page alone.
This is one way to survive the middle income squeeze. I’ve been down that road, and these methods work. But I’ve since found a better way. That is, make that money instead of try to cut back on it. If you’re interested, click here to try it out risk free.