Simple ways to reduce spending

  • Published
  • By Heidi Hunt
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
A car repair, car insurance deductible, medical bill, and a death in the family are among the many reasons people carry a negative balance on a credit card.

Many people may have thought about gaining control of their spending, but don't know where to start. For those who find cutting cost a challenge, the staff at the Airman and Family Readiness Center offer simple ways to curb spending temptations.

"Take an assessment of your life and determine what your worst case scenario would be," said R.D. "Smitty" Smith, 509th Force Support Squadron readiness consultant. "People should plan in advance for those situations so they don't have added stress and worry when these cases present themselves."

The A&RFC has created an expense tracking sheet and encourages individuals to find out how much they are spending in each area and know exactly where they can cut back, according to Smith.

"Many may not realize how much they are spending in each category; for example, if you eat out a lot, it can get to be very expensive," said Smith.

Another way to curtail costs is to car pool with a friend which will cut down on gas for both parties.

"Instead of making one trip, people can run errands and combine trips which reduces the cost of gas," Smith said.

When it comes to home maintenance, Smith said unnecessary expenses can be avoided in order to save on costs.

"For example, don't plant as many flowers, or go a year without changing decorations, or whatever you are willing to cut back on," Smith added. "Depending on the circumstance, you may be able to find somewhere to cut back expenses.

"The biggest thing I like to see people cut back on is what is in the 'left over category' that clients tell me is in their budget," he said. "If clients have anything left over, they are going to spend that money because that is their intent.

"I suggest budgeting and accounting for every dollar," Smith said. "That way, you know where every dollar is going."

Smith said if people make a plan for where there money is going ahead of time then they will likely save that money.

"The key to being successful is to plan a budget, set spending goals and follow through," he said.

"If you think about it, everyone can cut back somewhere," he said. "Pay attention to prices because some stores can offer better deals, but without compromising quality."

For more information and to seek financial advice, contact the A&FRC at 660 687-7132.

(Editor's note: This is the second of a three-part series highlighting financial readiness from the Whiteman A&FRC.)