You've undoubtedly heard it said that necessity is the mother of invention. The truism certainly applies to finances. When times are tough, people invent all kinds of ways to save a buck. They may have already considered themselves to be quite frugal but suddenly, in the face of absolute necessity, they discover that they didn't truly know what frugality was. You invent some cost cutting approaches, your neighbor invents others and when everyone shares their insights, there are a multitude of opportunities to consider.
But just as there are many ways to save money, there are as many (or more) opportunities to waste it. A bounced check, an impulse buy or a holiday shopping spree can erase all of your hard-earned gains. That's why it's important to look, not just at the little things that can be tweaked in your budget, but at your overall approaches to personal finance. Do you tend to lose track of how much you have in the bank? Then the best way to cut your expenses might be to explore options for getting organized. Do you spend more money dining out than you plan to? You might want to examine that bill a little closer for savings opportunities. Do you burn through your entertainment budget faster than you'd like? Perhaps you haven't considered all the entertainment options available.
Your monthly living expenses can be cut. Some of the cuts may involve tiny tweaks that add up over time, while other cuts may involve broad changes in your lifestyle and habits. Either way, the opportunity to reduce costs is waiting.