Income Spending Breakdown Calculator
This calculator will show you what percentage of your income is going towards your various expenditures. First enter the period for which you wish to calculate your expenditures. Provide category names for each expense in the given fields and the amount of each expense for the given period. The percentage field will automatically fill in once the provided spaces are populated. At the bottom of the form, you’ll see a dollar amount and total percentage of your income for the period you wish to consider.
If you wish to see a detailed report, press “Create Printer Friendly Report,” and a separate browser window will open.
Today's Savings Rates
The following table shows current rates for savings accounts, interst bearing checking accounts, CDs, and money market accounts. Use the filters at the top to set your initial deposit amount and your selected products.
Trimming Expenses from Your Budget
If you're like most modern adults, your monthly expenses are no doubt vast and varied. They begin with household bills for the mortgage, gas, water, electricity, connectivity (phone and internet), cable, and even home maintenance, although the last often entails annual or intermittent costs.
But they can quickly spiral out of control when you add in necessities like your many insurance policies (home, auto, health), taxes (property, income, etc.), and car related costs (auto loan, registration, gas). And then there are all of the extras, from clothing to entertainment.
And let's not forget the high cost of carrying debt, which can grow exponentially over time due to interest payments that result from a failure to pay in a timely manner. In short, your monthly expenses can quickly spiral out of control, leaving you up to your eyeballs in debt.
But believe it or not, there is always a way to amend your expenditures to pay down debt, live within your means, and even save some money along the way. Here are a few tips that should help you get your finances and budget in order.
1. Bundle bills
A good place to start is by looking over all of your bills to see if there are any services you don't really need. For example, you could dramatically cut costs by getting rid of your cable or satellite TV service and switching to streaming plans like Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus.
But if you're not keen to start slashing your bills in this manner, you might try bundling instead. You probably already contract for cable, phone, and internet service, and many providers now offer bundles that include two services or even all three at a reduced rate.
When your current contract is up, simply ask what kinds of deals your provider is willing to offer. And don't be afraid to look into competitor prices. You can use them as leverage or even switch providers if others offer better bundled packages.
2. Rethink your phone plan
It used to be that you only had to pay the price for a home phone line, but the widespread use of mobile phones has laid that simple system to rest. Now every member of the family has their own phone, complete with astronomical bills.
But there are ways to save on this monthly expense. For starters, you might want to think about whether or not you actually need a home phone any more. If the only people calling you are solicitors, perhaps this is a good time to shave off the cost of a home phone.
From there, you need to make sure you are using the most economical mobile plan for your family. You might not want to pay extra for text and data plans, but if your family is suffering overages every month, you might actually save money by upgrading your service.
3. Call competitors
Certain monthly bills don't really allow for competition. Your utilities, for example, may only come from a single, local provider. So you're pretty much stuck when it comes to water, power, and gas.
But nearly every other monthly expense comes with alternative options, and all you have to do is call competitors to see how much they're willing to cut your costs in order to steal you away from your current service providers.
At the very least, you can use any offers you receive as a negotiating tool to see if your current provider is willing to price match. And you can always switch providers if it makes financial sense.
4. Consider transportation alternatives
Automobiles can be an expensive addition to an already strained fiscal plan. But they certainly make commuting and errands more convenient.
That said, there are transportation options and alternatives that could lower your monthly bills. For example, you might want to think about purchasing a less expensive vehicle.
This will not only lower your purchase price and associated interest costs, but it could also decrease related, ongoing expenses like registration and insurance. And if you opt for an alternative fuel vehicle, you'll reduce operating expenses, as well.
As an alternative, you might want to look into carpooling, public transit, or even biking (if feasible) as possible means of cutting car costs.
5. Eat in
If you dine out frequently, you might be surprised to discover just how much you spend on food in a given month. Luckily, you can save a lot by eating at home and brown-bagging your lunches.
If the problem is having time to cook every night, think about splitting the duties amongst family members or prepping and cooking casseroles and other easy-to-heat meals on the weekend so that you're prepared for the weeknight crunch.
Or if what you're missing is the social aspect of dining out with friends, simply host a weekly potluck to get your fill of food and friends with far less cost. As a bonus, everyone can have a variety of leftovers to take home for another meal.
6. Consolidate debt
Depending how much credit card debt you accumulate, you could be spending a ton of money each month on interest payments. And one good way to lower your monthly expenses is to consolidate.
If you carry several credit cards, begin moving your balances over to the card that features the lowest interest rate and cancelling extra accounts as you go. This will help reduce your interest payments as you whittle away your debt.
With interest rates quite low at the moment, refinancing could save you a ton of money, not only on a monthly basis, but also over the long haul. Start by speaking to your financial planner or various lenders.
These professionals can help to determine whether you qualify for refinancing and how much you stand to save by doing so.
There are easy ways to conserve both energy and water at home, and many will cost you nothing. For example, you can take showers instead of baths. Also, you can turn off the tap while you wash your face or brush your teeth.
You could also make a concerted effort to turn off lights and electronics when you're finished using them. And if you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to roll back during the hours you're at work. This way, you're not paying for heating or air conditioning that your family won't even get to enjoy.
Or if you want to go the extra mile, think about installing low-flow toilets and aerated faucets to significantly cut water consumption. And the next time you're in the market for new electronics or appliances, consider purchasing products that are Energy Star certified.
9. Find Deals
Some items which are regularly consumed have periodic discounts at grocery stores. You may not need 120 rolls of toilet paper, but if they are 50% off and you have storage space for them then buying such consumables while they are on sale makes sense. You can save even more when you find generic products on sale.
10. Borrow Rather than Buy
If some items are rarely used, you may want to consider either buying them second hand rather than new, or borrowing them rather than buying them. Sites like eBay, Amazon.com, Chegg & even Craigslist might offer steep discounts on used books. And of course there is the friendly local librarian.
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