* Prioritize monthly expenses.
* Figure out which expenses are mandatory and which are not. If income doesn't cover mandatory expenses, look for places to trim.
* The grocery bill is a good place to cut back. Are you spending money on unessential items like cigarettes, lottery tickets, sweets?
* Consider refinancing a mortgage at a lower rate. Interest rates on mortgages are lower than they have been for years. But make serious inquiries with several lenders because closing costs can vary greatly.
* Contact your gas and electric company for tips on how to save on utilities. They publish practical books on the subject.
* This winter, wear sweaters around the house and lower the thermostat. For every degree you lower it, you cut your heating bill by about 3 percent.
* Don't ignore older children living at home as a resource for household expenses. Teen-agers still in school can get after-school jobs to cover their personal expenses; those out of school with jobs should pay room-and-board expenses.
* Study telephone bills to find long distance calls or unessential services that can be eliminated.
* Shop around for lower rates for both automobile and household insurance. Often a higher deductible means lower regular payments.
* For household goods, shop systematically. Follow advertisements for sales and comparison shop, especially for big-ticket items. Often this can be done on the telephone.
* Generic brands usually offer substantial savings over name-brand items.