Thrifty Tips: Gain a Fatter Wallet with These Budget Slimming Ideas

<img style="margin: 5px; height: 175px; float: left;" alt="bigstock-Saving-Money-8173913.png" src="” />Want to start the upcoming year with more money in your pocket? Who doesn’t want to make the most of the money they have coming in?

One of the easiest ways to create more jingle in your pocket is to rid your life of the things you are paying for that no longer benefit you.

Are you ready to get started? Grab a sheet of paper and a pen and make a list of the discretionary items that you are paying for on a regular basis (i.e. subscriptions, memberships ~ either, online or in the “real” world, recreational habits, or clubs). 

Now, that you have your list, critically look at each item. Are you really, truly using the item? In the case of expensive habits, like cigarettes or alcohol, while you may be using them on a regular basis, have you reached the point where the expense is no longer worth the cost to your health?

To gain a fatter wallet, here are 5 places to look at to reduce your discretionary spending:

Collections
If you are a collector, take a serious look at your collection(s). While collecting the items may have brought you joy when you first started… does it still? Or are you just going through the motions with it? Can you downsize the collection by selling duplicate items or getting rid of the pieces of the collection that you don’t absolutely love. Or, maybe, it is time to rid yourself of the collection altogether. If what you have been collecting has a monetary value, get your collection appraised and then find a venue for matching your collection to a willing buyer.

Magazines or Newsletter Subscriptions
Do you have piles of unread magazine/newsletter subscriptions either in your email inbox or in a corner of your room? Maybe your interests have changed since you first subscribed to the magazine. Not only is it a good idea to not renew the subscription, but take the proactive step to call the subscription department and see if you can cancel for a refund. You might get a prorated portion of the subscription fee back ~ it never hurts to ask.

Expensive habits, like cigarettes and alcohol
Habitual use of these will burn and drown your money supply while giving you nothing positive to show for it. If you are ready to make a change and need motivation beyond the wish to be healthier, think of the man who funded his 2-year community college schooling with the money he saved from quitting cigarettes.

Cable or satellite channels you don’t watch
Are you paying for a premium package with your cable service, but never really watch the extra channels? If you are only watching a movie once a month or so, consider cheaper alternatives. A movie from the Red Box is only $1.25 for one night and you can check out movies from the local library for free or for a nominal fee.

Unused club memberships
Do you belong to a gym or a country club, but find that you hardly ever go? Consider cancelling your membership. You can always renew the membership later. In fact, they may be so happy to have you back that they offer you a great deal. This happened to a relative of one the Barker, Beck, Collins & Kronauge Agency associates. He renewed his country club membership a year after cancelling, for less than half of his previous fee.

Here’s hoping that your coming year is filled with prosperity.

Your Barker, Beck, Collins and Kronauge Agency Team.