Hidden spots to find money in your budget

You can trim expenses easily, if you know where to look

To say that we could all use a little more money is likely the understatement of the year. Whether you need to accommodate a new expense or are hoping to save up for a family vacation, setting aside money often requires some level of personal sacrifice.

But what if you could easily reduce expenditures on your monthly bills to free up room for a new need or want? Enter “budget hacking.”

While not an official term, “budget hacking” means finding money within your fixed expenses, and not simply through reduced latte runs and cancelled social outings. Users of this strategy review their recurring expenses and call on those companies to reduce their bills.

In her recent post on applying budget hacking to a health insurance payment, Lauren Bowling of the personal finance blog lbeeandthemoneytree.com writes that she needed to find extra cash in her budget to accommodate a new health care policy. Bowling recently left her full-time position to work for herself, and says that she was struggling to afford her health care premium payment. Her new health care expense totals $297 per month, including a dental policy she’s covering through COBRA from her previous employer.

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