Everyone wants to cut costs and enhance their budget, but nobody wants to cut spending on the things they enjoy most. The good news is that, with a little thought and preparation, you can actually save money without actually doing very much at all! The key is to plan to cut out the extraneous costs that you do not seem to notice when they are eliminated, hence the word “painless.”

Here are four painless ways to cut costs and enhance your budget in the process.

1. Use Timers for Heating

Many people don’t use a timer for their central heating or hot water. If you’re heating your home to the same temperature while you are asleep or away from home as when you are in, you are spending unnecessary money on your heating bill. By simply setting a timer on a programmable thermostat to warm up an hour before you get out of bed or return home in the evening, your bill could be cut considerably.

The same goes for water heating. It costs a lot to heat a water tank, and most families only use it for a few hours each day. Set the timer to warm the tank an hour or two before you plan to use it, and you will in turn save energy and money.

2. Make a Budget

It may sound like an incredibly tiresome thing to do, but if you don’t set up a budget, how can you possibly stick to it? It’s amazing how many people don’t realize how much money they have coming and going. When you write your monthly expenditures down, it will be much easier to determine where you can make easy savings that don’t affect your daily life too much.

You can take this a step further by visiting www.saveonenergy.com, where you can easily compare rates from top-rated energy companies.

3. Nix Your Home Phone

Many families pay out every single month for a land-line, but rarely use it. With such inexpensive cell phone rates and Internet services, people are using their conventional home phone lines less and less. If this sounds familiar, it could be time to ditch it altogether.

The same applies for cable channels that you never watch. There is no reason to stick with a package that you selected five years ago if you don’t watch most of it anyway. There are loads of options available today, and changing over to a new package could save lots.

4. Pack a Lunch

If you added up the amount of money spent on lunches at work or family days out over the course of a year, you would probably be astonished. Make sandwiches, and salads, and pack leftovers from last night’s dinner to take with you, and you can save considerably compared to eating out. Think ahead, save money, and eat healthy. Many times this can have a direct impact on your finances because many office-based restaurants take advantage and boost prices because of their convenient location.

5. Carpool

This may seem like something that comes off as common sense-driven, but not all people understand the benefits of carpooling. If there are 3 people in your carpool whom all live close to each other, you can cut your gas costs during the week by a vast amount. If you have a long commute to work, think about all of the things that you could do with this extra income sitting in your bank account.

Saving money is actually easier than you think. Simply make a budget, decide where all your money is going, where you would like it to go, and what you can cut out. Your cash-flow situation will vastly improve, and your wallet will thank you.

Once you’ve taken this pertinent step, consider the following tips to help you stay on track throughout the month. 6 Ways to Prevent Your Budget from Failing

Featured photo credit: Tax Creditsvia Flickr

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