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Trimming Your Expenses
  1. To determine how to trim your expenses, review your list of monthly expenses you entered in the Monthly Expenses calculator. Check every item on the list that could be adjusted. Generally there are three areas that can be trimmed fairly painlessly: luxuries (meals out, recreational expenses, and entertainment); penalty fees (overdue fines on books and videos or late fees on debt payments); services you can perform yourself (housecleaning, laundry, manicures, accounting; and even making your own coffee). Only you know how you're spending the money that you don't have.
  2. Choose ten painless changes you could make to your present spending habits. Enter these in the "Savings Action" column below, be as specific as possible (for example, "Wear clothes one more time before taking them to the dry cleaner," or "Reduce the housecleaning service from once a week to once every other week") But don't fill in a dollar amount yet.
  3. Commit to one month of cutting the expenses you listed. During that month, carry a small notebook with you at all times. Every time you would ordinarily spend money on one of these items, jot down the amount you didn't spend. For example, if you usually get two manicures a month, but this month you choose to do your own manicures, record the amount you saved ($15 x 2 = $30).
  4. At the end of the month, add up the total amount of savings for each item and enter that amount in the "Money Saved" column.
  5. The calculator will total monthly and annual savings.
To calculate your totals, simply click inside the Total Annual Savings field at the bottom after filling in your amounts.

  Savings Action   Money Saved Monthly
1. $
2. $
3. $
4. $
5. $
6. $
7. $
8. $
9. $
10. $
Total Monthly Savings $
Total Annual Savings $