Wolf: How much money do you think the average person can uncover just by being more intentional about spending and budgeting?
Huffstetler: The average person could easily uncover an extra $250 a month -- and probably much more.
Wolf: What are the top 5 areas that you think people should look to first when they're trying to cut their expenses?
- Food spending (both groceries and eating out)
- TV-related expenses (cable/satellite services, certainly; but also movie subscriptions and rentals)
- Phone services (particularly extras like call waiting, caller id, long distance and cell phones)
- Insurance premiums
- Miscellaneous spending (all those small amounts spent on coffee, vending machine snacks and other indulgences)
Wolf: How can single parents, specifically, stretch their child support dollars and reduce child-related expenses?
Huffstetler: For single parents looking to stretch their child support dollars, creativity is the key. Look to children's consignment shops and thrift stores to buy your kids' clothes instead of department stores; sign them up for Parks and Rec-run activities instead of privately-run activities (which will always cost more); and don't feel like you have to make up for being a single parent by buying them extra things -- It's you they need, not stuff.
Huffstetler, Erin. Email interview. 24 Oct. 2008.