The current economy is forcing all of us to take a more critical look at our expenses and searching for ways to save money. Do you really know your expenses each month? The average household can save $500 per month by making some simple but significant changes in their spending.

Step 1

Phone: Switch from a typical land line company (Verizon) to a Voice Over IP (Vonage). From $80 to $30 = $50 monthly savings

Step 2

Cable: Decrease Basic Package with DVR to Limited Package(local channels only). From $65 to $15 = $50 monthly savings

Step 3

Groceries/Toiletries: Plan your meals and purchases around sale items and coupon items with the necessary exceptions. On an average $100 weekly bill = $25 savings = $100 monthly savings

Step 4

Electric: Unplug and/or turnoff everything when not in use = $10 monthly savings Turn water heater down from 125 to 100 degrees = $20 monthly savings Line-dry clothes when applicable = $10 monthly savings

Step 5

Restaurant Meals/Drinks: Brown bag your lunch = $5 per day = $100 monthly savings Eliminate one dinner out for 2 = $50 monthly savings Drink Coffee/Tea from home = $2 per day = $60 monthly savings

Step 6

Water: Fill your own reusable water bottle = $10 monthly savings Turn water off when not in use = $10 monthly savings

Step 7

Gas: Combine your errands to decrease mileage = $5 per week = $20 monthly savings

Step 8

Car/Home Insurance: Evaluate your policy and request additional discounts = $20 monthly savings

Step 9

Miscellaneous (savings in addition to $500 since not applicable to all): Wash your own car = $15 monthly savings Groom your own dog = $40 monthly savings Use online billing = $5 monthly savings (+ avoid late fees) A/C set to a constant 77 degrees = $50 monthly savings Heat set to a constant for 8 hours = $40 monthly savings

Step 10

Steps 1 through 8 result in over $500 monthly savings! Step 9 is not included since they may not apply to everyone.

Write every expense down for a week- where else can you save?

Step 11

Now decide what you will do with an extra $500 per month! Pay off a credit card, contribute to an IRA, save for a 6 month emergency fund, save for a new car, save for a new house, save for a vacation...