easy ways to trim your budgetFor many modern families, financial restraints and budgeting has become a major issue within the household. As a restricted economy and high priced goods seems to be affecting everyone, it can be especially hard on those with large families. However, they aren’t the only ones affected, as the majority of Americans are looking to cut their monthly expenses.

Luckily, there are ways to live a healthy and comfortable life without making major sacrifices. We have found five ways that you can cut your monthly spending, while still maintaining the lifestyle you deserve.

  1. Shop at Local Farmers Markets

Feeding a family is expensive, especially if you are someone who is health conscious and chooses to buy primarily organic. However, many times the organic label is somewhat misconstrued. It is a government labeling process that costs farmers a considerable amount of money to obtain, hence the high prices for organic food, as that expense is then handed down to the consumer. What many consumers don’t realize is that there are many small farms that are actually not labeled organic, but also use the same rigorous standards as organic farms, but can’t afford the certification. Which is why shopping at local farmers markets is a great option, as most of these farms sell their produce locally. Head down to your local farmer’s market and talk to your local food producers.  Not only will you be building community relationships, but you also be saving money and eating the best produce of your life.

  1. Entertain In

With an abundance of online entertainment options available, it is easier than ever to have an awesome movie or game night in the comfort of your own home. Some movie theaters are now charging over $20.00 per ticket, not to mention the inflated snack and beverage costs. For a family of five, a night at the movies can be insanely expensive. With options like Amazon Prime and Apple TV, you can often rent new releases for a fraction of the price.

  1. Compare Insurance Rates

One of the quickest and easiest ways to cut your monthly budget is to research whether or not you are getting the best deal on your home, life, and car insurance. Many families could be saving large sums of money on their monthly premiums if they took the time to compare insurance rates. With the ease of online quotes, there really is no reason not to shop around. If you can save hundreds of dollars a month, it will allow you to have some extra income for other expenses, like that family trip you have been postponing.

  1. Give Up Those Vices

You may really enjoy a well-aged scotch or an expensive cigar after a hard day of work, but giving into your vices can often add up quickly. It’s not to say you don’t deserve to unwind and enjoy the finer things in life – just do so with your budget in mind. Instead of having a happy hour at a trendy cocktail bar with your friends and co-workers, invite them over for a tasting party where everyone brings their favorite IPA or bourbon. That way everyone is involved, you will save on outrageous bar prices, and you will probably end up with some quality leftovers.

  1. Actually Utilize a Budget

Everyone knows that creating a monthly budget is a good idea, but between long days at the office and getting the kids to soccer practice it can be hard to find a time to really dive into your finances. However, it is a critical step to staying on top of spending habits and finding ways to save money. This goes for couples without kids and even individuals, as it is hard to really understand how to manage your monthly expenses without a well-kept budget. If you have the means, it might even make sense to sit down with a financial advisor, as having a professional involved may help you find ways to save money, without feeling like you are making huge sacrifices.